A game that was fast and furious, with little finesse, saw Reds record a first ever win at the Riverside Stadium to keep alive their NPL West Division title hopes.
The application and attitude, so lacking at the weekend, was much improved and, on a relatively quiet night for both goalkeepers, Reds converted one of the few clear-cut chances they created in what became a war of attrition.
Kyle Harrison had done his bit as part of a solid back four but ventured forward to grab a priceless match winning goal in the first minute of five added for stoppage time.
Reuben Jerome and Steven Rigg linked well as the ball switched from left to right and Harrison arrived at the far post to finish off a decent passage of play with the last-gasp winner – sparking wild scenes of celebration amongst players and supporters.
Making his first return to Acre Bottom since accepting the Workington job, Chris Willcock made changes to the starting XI with the two Scott’s – Allison and Fenwick linking up with Dav Symington in a front three with Rigg joining Conor Tinnion and Brad Hubbold in midfield. Brad Carroll again deputised in central defence.
Rigg was prominent early on but the two chances which fell his way failed to hit the target and Symington thundered another chance wide after he had been released down the left by Hubbold’s superb diagonal pass.
Rammy weren’t accurate with their finishing either and John Murphy headed wide via Tom Kennedy’s corner whilst Khalil Osi-Efa’s shot didn’t trouble Jim Atkinson.
Sam Smith landed a header on target at the start of the second half via a Tinnion corner but Tom Stewart caught the ball with ease.
The best chance of the game was squandered by the hosts when Reds momentarily got caught off guard at the back. Murphy broke clear and squared the ball to Jack Grimshaw but he mishit the ball and the danger was averted.
Rigg tested Stewart with a rare second half chance but the home ’keeper saved without concern.
Murphy and former Red, Godwin Abadaki, were seeing plenty of the ball but getting little joy out of a watertight defence while Billy Hasler-Cregg’s crosses were often wasted. Abadaki came close with one opportunity but his downward header bounced over the bar
Rammy won the corner count 8-4 but Atkinson handled well when called upon although, more often than not, was just dealing with routine tidying-up.
With a goalless draw looking the most likely outcome, Reds staged their dramatic late, late show with Harrison’s goal completing a first ever double over Rammy, leaving them in second position, two points behind leaders, Warrington Rylands.
Ramsbottom United: Stewart, Fitzgerald, Kennedy, Osi-Efa (Ormrod, 77), Barlow, Rouse, Hasler-Cregg, Rother, Murphy, Abadaki, Grimshaw (Bartram, 68). Substitutes – Fleming, Donaldson, Carey (not used).
Workington: Atkinson, Harrison, Clarke, Carroll, Smith, Hubbold (Casson, 69), Symington, Rigg, Fenwick (Jerome, 73), Tinnion, Allison (Evangelinos, 73). Substitutes – Gaul and Leslie (not used).
Referee: Paul Roots, Manchester
Bookings: Carroll, Clarke (Workington)