The Young Reds made a disappointing exit from the FA Youth Cup, conceding two goals in each half in North Yorkshire to fall at the first hurdle.
Just three minutes in and still recovering from the four-hour journey, Reds suffered a harsh blow when the referee awarded Town a penalty. Alfie Nicholls ended up on the turf just inside the area and Daniel Todd pointed to the spot yet there was clearly no foul from the Reds’ keeper.
Regardless of the authenticity of the penalty, it was duly converted by Mitch Parkinson to give the hosts an early advantage.
Reds were still trying to play their way into the game when Town doubled the lead, Parkinson cashing in on some sloppy defending to score his second with just eleven minutes on the clock.
But the visitors then enjoyed a good spell up to half time and were encouraged by a twenty-minute goal of their own. Town goalkeeper, Harrison McGuire, came a long way out of his area to make a clearance, failed to get a good connection on the ball and the alert Josh Palmer won possession and drove the ball into an unguarded net from twenty five yards.
Palmer was unlucky soon after when a lob over the ‘keeper just drifted wide of the target.
Paden-Gale’s excellent save just before the interval prevented further damage when he denied the lively Parkinson.
But having got themselves back in contention, Reds lost their impetus in the second half and Pickering controlled the game, playing some very attractive football in the process.
The first goal of the second half was always going to be crucial and when Pickering scored it four minutes after the restart, the outcome was inevitable. A swift raid down the right culminated in a low cross into the area and there was Parkinson smashing the ball home to complete his hat-trick.
There was a timid response from Workington but Thomas Downes was unlucky not to get his name on the score sheet when his well struck shot was saved by McGuire and the ‘keeper then thwarted Palmer as Reds tried, in vain, to find a way back into the game.
A surging seventy yard run from Hayden Percival created another opportunity for Downes but his shot narrowly missed the target.
Palmer appeared to be fouled inside the area late in the game and, although there was certainly more contact than the penalty which was given, the referee felt it wasn’t worthy of another spot-kick.
But Pickering emerged worthy winners, overall, and they wrapped up an impressive performance when Harvey Bayes’ half volley completed the scoring four minutes from time.
They will now host Penrith in the next round.
Pickering Town: McGuire, Cattaneo, Hartley, Wilson, Maber, Atherton, Bayes, Dawes, Nicholls (Hunt, 67), Thornton (Hogg, 75), Parkinson (Norton-Hunter, 75). Substitutes – Brown, Stokoe, Goddard, Pallister (not used).
Workington: Scott Paden-Gale, Hayden Percival, Lewis Moore, Evan Stephenson, Zach Martin, Zack Lester (Aaron Williams, 60), Hayden Rae (Milo Cooke, 46), Coby Bell (Robbie Wilson, 68), Josh Palmer, Cain Pears, Thomas Downes. Substitutes – Luke Whitehead, Caine Winter (not used).
Referee: Daniel Todd, Redcar
Booking: Pears (Workington)