The young Reds made progress in the FA Youth Cup but needed an outstanding performance from goalkeeper, Scott Paden-Gale, to get through this Preliminary Round tie at Borough Park.
He saved two penalties in a dramatic shoot-out having earlier made several crucial stops during normal time.
And although Workington missed their first two spot-kicks, they went through when the ‘Two Blues’ Nathan Dixon shot wide from the twelfth penalty to spark celebrations on the field and the terraces.
It had been a tense, nervous ninety minutes with neither side dominating for any length of time. Both were technically very good yet it was an error strewn match and the importance of the occasion got to some of the players.
But credit to both sides who gave it their all with many playing in the national competition for the first time.
Reds were ahead after five minutes, albeit rather fortunately. Dan Whitehead’s free-kick, from a central position just outside the area, shouldn’t have troubled Aidan Gill but the ‘keeper either lost his footing or misjudged the bounce and the ball finished in the net.
Bishops had strong claims for a penalty turned down shortly after and that reprieve prompted a good spell from the hosts. They moved the ball about well with a decent tempo but couldn’t find that all important second goal.
Thomas Downes went close with an angled shot and Tyler Harrell also tried his luck with Jack Burns bringing the best out of Gill with a good effort from a free-kick.
Alex O’Hagan and Callum Watkinson had the opportunity to level but were denied by Paden-Gale, the second save keeping out the latter’s head was a spectacular one-handed touch over the bar.
But they did level matters after thirty three minutes and it was O’Hagan who scored, a low drive from the edge of the box after Reds defence had been caught flat-footed.
The game followed a similar pattern after the break – Reds would have a good spell before handing the initiative back to Bishops then the Durham side got on top without being able to capitalise.
Cain Pears saw one clever shot rebound off the foot of the post but Tom Skinner and Matty Foster missed the target completely with decent chances while Harrell and Logan Bosward saw their efforts gathered by Gill.
At the other end, Paden-Gale made two excellent saves to thwart Luke Brownlees to ensure the game ended in stalemate.
Even before the excitement of the penalty shoot-out, there was late drama when Reds were reduced to ten men. Substitute Josh Palmer hardly touched the ball during his stint on the pitch but picked up a yellow card for a tackle, more awkward than vicious, then received a second for a challenge on the ‘keeper, a harsh decision considering both players collided in a fifty-fifty tussle.
And so to the spot-kicks.
Both teams failed to score from their first two penalties, Workington then converted four in a row but Bishops needed to score to restore parity with their sixth kick but missed the target and Reds were through.
Shoot-out (Reds up first):
Taylor Hambling (Workington) saved 0-0, Luke Brownlees (Bishop Auckland) saved 0-0, Jack Burns (W) missed the target 0-0, Lewis Crosby (BA) saved 0-0, Cain Pears (W) converted 1-0, Ruaidhri Heath (BA) converted 1-1, Elliot Lowrie (W) converted 2-1, Josh Jukes (BA) converted 2-2, Logan Bosward (W) converted 3-2, Callum Watkinson (BA) converted 3-3, Daniel Whitehead (W) converted 4-3, Nathan Dixon (BA) missed the target 4-3.
Reds will now travel to Stockton in the next round.
Workington Paden-Gale, Downes (Bosward, 65), Whitehead, Stephenson, Skinner, Burns, Lowrie, Hambling, Foster (Graham, 72), Pears, Harrell (Palmer, 80).
Bishop Auckland Gill, Todd, Heath, Jukes, Petty, Maughan, O’Hagan (Crosby, 76), Watkinson, Brownlees, Tchaunga (Jackson, 86), Ord (Dixon, 81). Substitutes – Stephenson, Charlton, Pickering (not used).
Referee Tony Whitfield, Carlisle
Bookings: Hambling, Skinner (Workington), Petty (Bishop Auckland)
Sent-off: Palmer (Workington, two yellow cards)