Workington will be hoping history can repeat itself as their NPL West title bid threatens to unravel. On the only other occasion they failed to win at The IP Truck Parts Stadium, a goalless draw back in the ’98-99 season, they went on to lift the North West Counties League title.
They failed to score again after dominating a large chunk of the game and the goal drought, only Marine in the top seven have scored fewer, is a cause for concern.
If that is to prove a lucky omen, they will have to score more than the five goals netted in their last six outings in their final half dozen matches and, if that means winning all by the narrowest of margins, Reds fans would offer a unanimous ‘yes please’ right now.
The title is still in their own hands, just, but recent performances suggest the strain is starting to show and that was never better illustrated than the scenes at the final whistle on Saturday afternoon.
Cables were celebrating what, for them, was a great result, and nobody is suggesting they didn’t deserve a hard fought point, but the Reds contingent were almost crestfallen knowing how damaging the draw could prove to be for them when the dust settles from these arid, bumpy pitches.
They were almost camped in the Prescot half for the first forty five minutes yet had nothing to show for their efforts. Eight corners produced a few half chances but nothing clear-cut.
The law of averages suggests that sort of domination doesn’t continue over ninety minutes and, sure enough, Prescot came more into the game after the break and might have even sneaked a winner themselves.
Had it not been for a diving save from Jim Atkinson to thwart Cables’ Josh Gregory and a superbly timed last-ditch Sam Smith tackle, Reds might have suffered a first ever defeat against the spirited Yellows.
The corner count, 12-1in Reds favour, gives a false impression on matters because Cables caused as many problems from their 85th minute set-piece than Reds had from their repetitive routines.
Scott Allison saw one effort drift beyond the target, Dav Symington had a free kick blocked then sent the rebound wide, Reuben Jerome, who received little support from some poor refereeing decisions, got in some good positions but failed to deliver and Kyle Harrison failed to make the goalkeeper work from another decent effort.
Cables best efforts came from Sam O’Halleron who broke through only to miss the goal by a distance before a Kyle Sambor shot was saved by Atkinson.
Reds resumed after the break in positive mood but Brad Carroll’s header looped over Mitchell Allen only to rebound off the crossbar. That was the closest they came to breaking the deadlock but a floated Symington cross to the far post found no takers, the same player blasted another effort wide and a Steven Rigg thunderbolt was bravely blocked by Louis Shead.
Cables, sensing they had repelled Reds best efforts, became a little more adventurous in the later stages and a few counter attacks might have been rewarded had they shown a little more composure.
Chris Willcock’s side are now four points behind leaders Warrington Rylands but have two games to play before the crucial clash between the top two in a fortnight.
Prescot Cables: Allen, Cannon-Noren, McNally, Shead, Kearney, Gregory, Goodwin, Arnasalam (McMahon, 82), Sambor, O’Halleron (Buckley, 67), Williams. Substitutes – Devine, Farmer, Glennon (not used).
Workington: Atkinson, Harrison, Clarke (Fenwick, 76), Wordsworth, Smith, Casson (Tinnion, 67), Symington, Carroll, Jerome, Rigg, Allison (Evangelinos, 67). Substitutes – Gaul, Leslie (not used).
Referee: Nikolas Storey, Altrincham
Booking: Williams (Prescot Cables)