Such is the expectation on Reds’ shoulders this season, this hard fought draw was looked upon as a disappointing result by the frustrated travelling support.
Yes it was a well below par performance overall, but are we expecting too much, too soon?
We have gone on about the injury situation since the first week of the season and, now players are starting to gradually return, every supporter is expecting the same levels of performance prior to the countless number of lay-offs. It will take time to get everyone firing on all cylinders and we all have to show a little patience.
This was a tough afternoon for Reds against a hard-working Newcastle outfit and, considering the levels of fitness from some individuals, was a fair result. They had to defend numerous long throws into the box and eight corners and, generally, kept the hosts at arm’s length.
But there was certainly a lack of fluency in the attacking third of the pitch and when the few half chances came our way there was little composure or that cutting edge needed to convert near misses into something more tangible.
Connor Gaul was involved in both goals during a spell in the first half. It was his unnecessary challenge on Jack van der Laan in the apex of the penalty area which resulted in a thirty fourth minute spot-kick. Before the Newcastle player converted, Reds’ keeper, Jim Atkinson, was rightly booked for trying to distract the taker.
But Gaul quickly got over the disappointment and atoned for his error in the forty second minute. It was his astute reverse pass which released Matty Clarke into the area and the popular defender drove home his first ever goal for the club with an unerring finish.
On the stroke of half time, Reds came close to taking the lead. Rowan Roache’s assist was met by Dan Wordsworth but the defender’s header hit the crossbar much to ‘Castle’s relief.
Had that gone in, it would have probably been undeserved but accepted regardless!
A positive end to the first half suggested better was to come in the second and they certainly started with intent. Steven Rigg’s shot was kept out with an unconventional save by Owen Mooney and Conor Tinnion headed narrowly wide from a Roache corner but Reds never seriously threatened after that.
Ryan Baxter squandered Newcastle’s best chance of the second half heading inches over the bar when he should have scored and Atkinson comfortably saved Nathan Morley’s well struck shot from distance.
A bit of desperation crept in before the end and wayward shots from Brad Carroll, Tinnion and Ceiran Casson ensured it would be just the one point obtained rather than the hoped for three.
Newcastle Town: Mooney, Jarman, Raine, Vale, Askey, Dennis, Berks (Baxter, 46), van der Laan T, Arber (Johnson, 66), van der Laan J, Morley. Substitutes – Chimenes, Harrison, Roberts (not used).
Workington: Atkinson, Clarke, Charlton, Wordsworth, Smith, Casson, Roache, Carroll, Rigg, Tinnion, Gaul (Jerome, 66). Substitutes – Bowman, Gooden, Lawrence, Eccles (not used).
Referee: Ben Robinson
Bookings: Raine, Jack van der Laan (Newcastle Town), Atkinson, Carroll (Workington).