Danny Grainger read the riot act to his players after the game, and had every right to do so, after this inept showing led to Workington’s heaviest ever defeat at Parkside Road.
Yes it was a friendly, yes it was a makeshift squad but Reds fell short on so many aspects of the game and a very frustrated manager would take few, if any, positives from such an unacceptable performance.
If there was any consolation, it would be the fact that not many Workington supporters were present to witness this ‘undressing’ in public and a few of those who did attend left well before the end.
A dejected Grainger vowed to address the problems surrounding the squad but, although they have coped generally with the lack of numbers throughout pre-season, it finally caught up with them as rejuvenated Kendal had a field day.
There was no hint of the carnage which was to follow after an even opening quarter of an hour. Reds’ best efforts came from Dav Symington’s right boot, the first spectacularly saved by Town’s Ben Wilcock, the second wide of the target like so many of the opportunities created.
But once Kendal established a two goal lead just after the half hour mark, one sensed it was going to be an afternoon to forget.
The fleet-footed Steve Yawson looks a threat if there is no one willing to tackle him and the eighteenth minute goal was a gift he would willingly accept. The second, after thirty-two minutes was even more embarrassing from a Workington perspective with Finley Lynch brushing past three flimsy challenges before sending a shot from outside the box past Jim Atkinson.
Keelan Leslie had one effort saved between Town’s goals but half chances from Lewis Reilly and Symington were wide of the target and the home side’s lead never looked in danger.
To use the phrase ‘a knife through butter’ doesn’t even describe Kendal’s third goal – it was less of an effort to dance through Reds’ brittle midfield and porous defence, which is exactly what Brandon Croskett-Robinson did for his goal in the fifty-ninth minute. The assistant referee, who got a couple of offside decisions wrong in the first half, had his flag raised but was rightly over ruled by the referee and the goal stood.
And, fifty seconds later, ex. Red, Tom Kilifin got in on the act when he made it four shortly after being introduced as a substitute.
An Aidan Howarth header was cleared off the line as Reds went in search of a consolation and from their next sortie forward Lynch conceded a seventieth minute penalty – Reds first of the summer. Reilly confidently converted, sending the ‘keeper the wrong way from the spot.
But more futile defending saw Reds concede a fifth goal with Yawson grabbing his second in the seventy-eighth minute with his miss-kick deceiving Atkinson, the ball trickling into the bottom corner of the net almost in slow motion.
The goal of the afternoon, seven minutes from time, came from an un-named trialist so his moment of glory doesn’t get the publicity it deserved but the young man’s thirty yard belter, on his Reds debut, will be memorable for him at least.
Sadly there was little else to enthuse over.
Kendal Town: Wilcock, Wraighte, Hankinson, Thomas, Grundy, Philipson, Croskell-Robinson, Lynch, McDonald, Sailor, Yawson. Substitutes – Nightingale, Kilifin, Ellis, Akred, Eden, Dickson, Mobbs, Backhouse.
Workington: Atkinson, Clarke, Birch, Howarth, Lightfoot, Burns (Jerome, 58), Symington, Leslie (Trialist 3, 78), Reilly, Allison, Trialist 1(Trialist 2, 50). Substitutes – Lowrie and Eccles (not used).
Referee: Ben Scofield, Lancaster