Workington extended their impressive record at Surrey Street after securing a third successive victory on the ground, a perfect response to the disappointing midweek setback at Macclesfield.
Would there be motivational issues playing before a 300 strong crowd after the ’glamour’ surrounding the game against the title favourites? Not at all. Danny Grainger’s side were fully focused on bouncing back to winning ways at Glossop’s expense and did so with a very efficient performance.
Indeed, they hardly put a foot wrong all afternoon and might have won more emphatically had it not been for on loan goalkeeper, Louis Hood. He picked up the man-of-the-match award after pulling off a string of fine saves, following his arrival from parent club Accrington Stanley.
Hood was one of three loan signings made by Glossop boss, Stuart Mellish, who also named Ekow Coker, the defender who started the season at Borough Park, in his line-up.
Grainger had to go into battle without skipper, Conor Tinnion, and vice-captain, Sam Smith, but such was Reds’ dominance on a damp afternoon the two stalwarts were hardly missed.
Hood was in action straight away and pushed away a ferocious shot from David Symington.
Glossop’s first telling attack was a fine breakaway run from Jacques Etia who edged out Niall Moran in a foot race only to place his shot wide of Jim Atkinson’s left-hand post.
The game was being played at pedestrian pace in the first half with Glossop happy to stand off and wait for the visitors to lose possession. But that proved costly in the twenty-sixth minute with Reds opening the scoring from an unlikely source. A good passage of play culminated in a deep cross from Keelan Leslie finding Reds’ smallest player in the box, Bobby Carroll, and he directed a fine header over Hood and into the net for his first goal for the club.
Clever, old-fashioned wing-play from Symington created a golden opportunity for captain Scott Allison but his shot was cleared off the line by Coker. And in the next sortie forward, Allison was denied again this time by Hood.
North End tweaked their system at half time and looked more of a threat on the restart. Sekouba Sanogo ventured forward and sent a powerful shot goal-wards which Atkinson dealt with confidently.
Had that gone in, it would have been a different game, obviously, but when play switched to the other end Hood was called upon again, keeping out efforts from Symington and Carroll.
But the goalkeeper, like many other number 1’s before him, was left helpless from a trademark Symington free-kick on the hour mark. Slightly left of central and a good twenty-five yards out, Symington powered home another wonder goal for the collection to double Workington’s advantage.
When Glossop won a similar free kick, Louis White could not replicate Symington’s power or accuracy and his effort sailed high over the bar.
Steven Rigg and Symington forced Hood into two more saves before a controversial moment went in Reds’ favour. They conceded what looked an obvious foul in their left-back area but the referee turned down Glossop’s appeals for a free kick. Home boss, Mellish, was so incensed by the lack of a decision in his favour he picked up a yellow card for dissent.
And to rub salt into gaping wounds, Workington compounded Glossop’s frustration by scoring a wonderful third goal in the eighty-fifth minute.
The outstanding Ceiran Casson released Rigg, who was alone on the half-way line, and the substitute set off towards goal, cut inside, leaving Coker in his wake, before drilling the ball past Hood to cap a good afternoon’s work from the visitors.
Glossop North End: Hood, Zuk, Sanogo, Stanyer (Freedman, 46), Wilshaw, Coker, Hopkins (Kilheeney,80), White, Gillam, Etia, Liptrott. Substitutes – Spinelli, Smith, Rothwell (not used).
Workington: Atkinson, Clarke, Leslie, Wordsworth, Moran, Casson, Symington, Allison, Reilly (Rigg, 68), Jerome (Palmer, 85), Carroll (McCaragher, 72). Substitutes – Birch, Eccles (not used).
Referee: Louis Smith, Wirral
Bookings: Hopkins, White, Mellish (Glossop North End)