This was the final dress rehearsal for the Development Squad before the season proper gets underway next week but coaches Brian Dawson and Craig Routledge weren’t happy with the overall performance.
The young Reds started the game well but deteriorated thereafter and were only in contention because the home side squandered several gilt-edged chances. They took the lead twice, conceded an equaliser each time and were fortunate to leave North Lonsdale Road with a hard fought draw.
That said, it was a commendable result against West Lancashire League opposition considering they went into the game without three regular members of the squad.
Rangers came close to opening the scoring after Reds had made the brighter start but, thankfully, Josh Cronin’s shot struck the post and deflected to safety.
And it was the visitors who took the lead with a wonder goal from central defender, Reuben Butterworth in the twenty-sixth minute. He collected the ball a good thirty yards from goal and crashed an unstoppable shot into the top left corner of the net.
Keeper Scott Paden-Gale prevented Rangers equalising almost immediately but suffered an accidental blow to the head making a brave save. He was still clearly shaken when Ulverston levelled matters ten minutes before the interval.
The dazed ‘keeper fumbled a free-kick and Josh Cattler was first to the loose ball forcing home from close range.
Brodie Richardson was pressed into action as Reds swapped goalkeepers before half time.
Reds regained the lead ten minutes after the restart with a classic break on the counter. Cain Pears sprung the offside trap, with Rangers’ defenders appealing in vain for offside, before rolling the ball into Tyler Harrell’s path who converted a well taken second.
Once again, Workington couldn’t hold on to the slender advantage and Rangers scored a deserved equaliser after sixty five minutes, Cronin finishing off a good passing move when he guided the ball past Richardson.
It was a rearguard action for the final twenty minutes and a combination of some desperate defending, a couple of good saves from Richardson and repeated errant finishing from the Rangers attack saw Reds just about survive.
- Reds will launch their Cumberland County League programme on Saturday, hosting Carlisle City at Borough Park.
Team: Scott Paden-Gale (Brodie Richardson), Aidan Howarth, Dan Whitehead, Harry Atkinson, Reuben Butterworth, Jack Burns, Thomas Houghton, James Bell, Tyler Harrell, Cain Pears, Elliot Lowrie. Substitutes – Josh Palmer, Logan Bosward, Coby Bell, Jack Speight, Matty Graham (all used).