Despite an encouraging start in the Northwich heat, Reds were guilty of another poor offering prolonging years of misery against old rivals, Albion.
A goal up after twenty minutes, and deservedly so, misfiring Reds capitulated to allow their hosts a first league win of the season as, once again, they failed to put in a ninety minute performance.
Reds seemed to lack energy and looked out of sorts in a disjointed display, a contrast to the hosts who looked the more cohesive unit overall.
The Cumbrians were almost gifted the opener when Kingsley Williams’ wayward clearance forced Albion ‘keeper, Ollie Martin, into a necessary save to prevent an own goal.
But they did take the lead when Dan Wordsworth rose superbly to firmly head Conor Tinnion’s corner into the net.
More shaky defending from Ben Harrison almost resulted in a second goal as his back pass just drifted wide for a corner. Workington won seven corners in the first half but most were wasted.
Vani Da Silva was prominent as Jon Macken’s Witton gradually got themselves into the game. He headed one chance over the bar and narrowly missed the target when meeting Taylor Kennedy’s low cross at the near post.
Workington suffered two blows in a matter of minutes which contributed to their ultimate downfall. Firstly, Greg McCaragher suffered what appeared to be a recurrence of the foot injury which kept him sidelined for most of pre-season and then they conceded a thirty-ninth minute equaliser.
They made a mess of playing out from the back and the talented Joe Duckworth punished them with a well placed cross shot which left Danny Eccles helpless.
Reds just couldn’t get going after that and poor distribution and very little worthwhile possession handed any initiative they had back to a confident home side.
They took the lead after sixty two minutes following a swift raid down the left. Lee Jackson had plenty of space out wide and he found the elusive Duckworth who tapped home his second of the afternoon.
And a third goal, almost a carbon copy of the second, left Reds floundering when Da Silva netted in the eighty-first minute.
Workington who hadn’t looked a threat at all in the second half suddenly came to life after Reuben Jerome reduced the arrears, scoring from close range, at the second attempt, after James Hooper and Scott Allison combined well in the build-up.
Martin then flicked the ball over the bar as Jerome’s header nearly produced an equaliser Reds didn’t deserve.
What followed just about summed up a frustrating afternoon for grey-shirted Reds. Goalkeeper Eccles ventured forward for their tenth corner but the ball was cleared leaving him stranded ninety yards from his own patch.
The ball broke to Duckworth with Eccles and David Symington giving chase and it was the Reds deputy ‘keeper who clattered the Albion player with a late challenge.
Referee Simon Robinson, at first appeared to go for a yellow card but, after consultation with his assistant, brandished a red.
Symington donned Eccles’ number 1 shirt to finish the game as an emergency ‘stopper’.
So, an afternoon which started optimistically ended in carnage. Reds will lose Eccles through suspension (he will be available for Monday’s game v. Clitheroe) but McCaragher and, his replacement, Bobby Carroll, hobbled away from the ground nursing injuries which will force them onto the sidelines.
No wonder Danny Grainer looked exasperated as he boarded the coach for home.
WITTON ALBION: Martin, Koral, Jackson, Harrison (Huxley, 75), Hitchcox, Williams (Paterson, 90), Kennerley, Haywood (Billington, 58), Duckworth, Da Silva, Fogerty. Substitute – Darlington (not used).
WORKINGTON: Eccles, Mahone (Clarke, 65), Birch, Wordsworth, Moran, Casson, Symington, McCaragher (Carroll, 28), Jerome, Allison, Tinnion. Substitutes – Hooper (replaced Carroll, 66), Rigg and Reilly ( not used).
Referee: Simon Robinson, Warrington
Bookings: Haywood (Witton Albion), Wordsworth, Birch (Workington) Red card: Eccles (Workington)