Credit both teams for their exertions at a Mediterranean-like Frenchfield as the present Workington side went toe-to-toe with an ex. manager and a number of players who have donned the red shirt in the past.
Darren Edmondson, the man in the home dug-out, will feel satisfied with the contribution of his players but what did Danny Grainger take from the game at this advanced stage of pre-season?
Reds certainly dominated play in the first half and a one goal lead was scant reward for their possession based game played at a sensible tempo. It was a more open contest after the break and, although the west Cumbrians did not have things all their own way, ‘DG’ was reasonably content with the overall performance.
He won’t have learned much that he didn’t already know and his update on the continued absence of several senior players was assuring if not convincing. That is probably why some of the trialists are getting more game time than they expected and the two used in this game – one making his third ‘appearance’, the other his first – may feature again before decisions are made on their future.
Reds makeshift defence was forced into an early reshuffle when the un-well Aidan Howarth had to retire before the first drinks break but Reds were already in front by then.
A well worked short corner routine between Conor Tinnion and David Symington had paid dividends in the 10th minute and, whilst most in the crowd suspected what might happen, Lewis Newton didn’t as the shot from the latter flashed passed him for the opener.
Two of Reds summer recruits, Lewis Reilly and Ben Hughes, both squandered a couple of opportunities and Symington had two further attempts to add to his tally, one well wide of the target, the other smothered by Newton.
Penrith had a rare shot on target after half an hour but they finished the half strongly with Jamie Armstrong causing green-shirted Workington a problem or two.
Grainger’s men should have added to their slender lead early in the second half but attempts from Symington (shot) and Reilly (header) were wide of the target whilst Newton made a fine save to deny Tinnion, flicking the ball to safety via the crossbar.
Reds’ new trialist forced Newton into another decent save but the ‘keeper could only parry the ball and Reilly reacted quickest to double the lead by lashing home from close range in the fifty seventh minute.
At that point, Reds substituted Dan Wordsworth and the defence was caught flat-footed as Penrith reduced the arrears immediately. Armstrong broke through and calmly slotted past Jim Atkinson.
Penrith introduced no fewer than seven substitutes in the sixty-seventh minute but it was a Reds replacement, Trialist 2, who made sure of victory with a well taken goal six minutes from the end. Matty Clarke had got down the left and his cross into the danger area was swept home by the substitute for his first goal for the club.
Trialist 1 had gone close to scoring a debut goal earlier, his shot touched onto a post by Newton but the Penrith ‘keeper saw a well struck shot from Reilly hit the other upright with the ball rebounding across the open goal before being cleared.
The hope is that both sides will meet in the FA Cup next month and the two managers, and supporters, would relish a competitive contest after this runabout in the heat.
Penrith: Newton, Delaney, Cham, Best, Coombe, Morrison, Tait, Main, Murray-Jones, Moynan, Armstrong. Substitutes – Brunskill, Richardson, Brown, Prokas, Ruddick, Shields, Hunter, Murray.
Workington: Atkinson, Clarke, Birch, Wordsworth (Allison, 57), Howarth (Lightfoot, 20), Burns (Trialist 1, 46), Symington (Trialist 2, 68), Leslie, Reilly, Hughes (Lowrie, 84), Tinnion. Substitute – Eccles (not used).
Referee: Curtis Wood, Lancaster