Reds rattled up their highest ever score at Frenchfield but manager Danny Grainger left the ground with mixed feelings.
“We weren’t so good in the first half but there was a definite improvement in the second and, overall, I was reasonably happy with the performance considering how warm it was,” he said.
His side overcame the hot, sticky conditions and a youthful looking Blues outfit with a dominant display on what appeared to be a decent playing surface. They were always in control but two lapses of concentration at the end of each half proved costly but, thankfully, not crucial.
There will be bigger tests to come in the pre-season build-up, and Saturday’s clash versus Carlisle United at Borough Park is certainly one of those, but the players deserve credit for putting so called lower-ranked opposition to the sword. That hasn’t always been the case.
Plenty of sparring in the early stages of the contest but Liam Brockbank, Conor Tinnion and Jordan Little were all off target with the early attempts at goal. But they delivered a knock-out blow on twenty minutes when former Penrith player, Scott Allison, opened the scoring.
Jordan Holt broke through two half-hearted tackles and his accurate low cross was swept home by Allison.
There was a good response from the home side and they actually had the ball in the net, but the referee had blown for a free kick instead of playing an advantage. Max Brown almost equalised but his well struck shot was cleared off the line by an alert Dan Wordsworth.
And Reds took advantage of their good fortune by adding a second in the forty-first minute. Robbie Hebson and Allison moved the ball square at pace and, where most players would have taken a touch and shot, Dav Symington simply despatched the ball into Luke Miller’s net with the minimum of fuss.
Again Penrith reacted positively and this time they pulled a goal back.
Reds temporarily lost their shape on the right and Brown outpaced Jordan Little in a foot race for the ball. As Jim Atkinson advanced off his line, Brown nonchalantly rolled the ball past him.
The visitors introduced seven substitutes on the restart and, all of a sudden, moved up a gear.
Charlie Bowman went close with a downward header then hit a thunderbolt of a shot, both efforts saved by Miller’s fine ‘keeping. And Louis Potts’ goal-bound effort was bravely headed away by Grant Davidson.
But Potts scored a fine goal after sixty-four minutes, his first for the club, and that effectively ended Penrith’s resolve. He collected the ball on the left, cut inside and curled a shot beyond Miller into the net.
The fourth arrived eight minutes later with Brad Hubbold side-footing home from eight yards after Reuben Jerome provided the assist from the left.
Jerome got in on the act soon after, converting a low cross from Liam Brockbank after a quickly taken free kick caught the Blues off guard.
Brad Carroll saw his first attempt strike the foot of an upright but he bagged Reds’ sixth of the afternoon.
A quick turn of pace took him past the last defender inside the area before an angled drive found the far corner of the net with Miller helpless.
Penrith had the satisfaction of a second consolation goal seconds before the end when former Reds’ player, Adam Main, scored from an acute angle.
Current Penrith boss and former Workington legend, David Hewson, was philosophical about his team’s first defeat of pre-season.
“It was a really tough game as we expected but that is the standard we have to aspire to. We worked hard, did well in patches and will take the positives from that but Workington looked strong in all areas and we wish them well in their push for promotion this season,” he commented.
Penrith Miller, Faustino, Metcalfe, Davidson, Moynan, Wolfden, Law, Main, Brown M, Brown L, Phillipson. Substitutes – Digby, Harker, Hunter, Clarke B, Street
Workington Atkinson J, Kelly J (Clarke M), Brockbank, Wordsworth (Smith), Little, Casson, Symington (Bowman), Holt (Hubbold), Allison (Jerome), Hebson (Carroll), Tinnion (Potts)
Referee Simon Vogt, Penrith