A familiar score line and another dominant performance sent the Workington faithful home happy after a game which was a good advertisement for Northern Premier League football.
Reuben Jerome was able to retain his place in the starting XI after Workington’s appeal to the FA saw his red card rescinded. He had been harshly sent off the week before at Skelmersdale so the pending punishment was quashed.
And Brad Hubbold was handed the number six shirt on his welcome return to the club.
Not for the first time this season, Reds made a sluggish start to the game and they were punished by a Northwich side who have started the campaign well. Good centre forward play from Josh Quarless caught the hosts a bit flat-footed. He held the ball up well, turned his marker and released the supporting Joe Woolley, the younger of the two brothers, who advanced towards goal before applying a confident finish.
That seventh minute opener kick-started Reds into action and their response was excellent. They went on to dominate large spells of the game and the only criticism was that the performance probably deserved a bigger winning margin.
But, with Lewis Reilly finally ending his goal drought and several individuals shining in a cracking team performance, there were plenty of smiling faces to brighten up a miserable Cumbrian afternoon.
Reilly netted his first Borough Park goal after nineteen minutes – a good low shot on the turn ending a frustrating spell for the centre forward. His performances have been good but a number 9 thrives on goals and they have been in short supply this season.
And, as is often the case, you wait so long for a goal then score two in the same match with just nineteen minutes separating his first and second. Keelan Leslie chipped the ball into the danger area, Sam Smith chested the ball into Reilly’s path and a good finish left Nosakhare Aghayere retrieving the ball from his net a second time.
Reilly also went close with two first half headers and Conor Tinnion also nodded goal-wards as Reds finished the first forty-five minutes on top.
Facing a strong wind and driving rain in the second period, Reds continued to get crosses into the danger area but thanks to a combination of poor finishing, good goalkeeping and dogged Northwich defending meant the game was still in the balance.
Bobby Carroll, twice, Dav Symington and Reilly all went close to adding to their tally but couldn’t apply the finish to some great approach play.
Northwich tried, and failed, to get back into the game finding Workington’s back four a solid unit with the Wordsworth/Smith partnership back in harness and ably supported by fullbacks, Matty Clarke and Leslie, who were both excellent defensively and offensively.
And they had no match for Hubbold and Carroll in the engine room with the pair complementing each other so well in their first outing as team mates.
A good travelling support kept encouraging their heroes from the terraces but they just couldn’t create an equaliser as the hosts maintained third position and Northwich finished the day in eighth spot in a very competitive division.
It wasn’t to be their day and compounded by a late dismissal when substitute, Callum Gardner, got himself sent off for what could only be persistent dissent.
Workington: Atkinson, Clarke, Leslie, Wordsworth, Smith, Hubbold, Symington, Carroll, Reilly (Rigg, 85), Jerome (Allison, 76), Tinnion (McCaragher, 84). Substitutes – Palmer, Casson (not used).
1874 Northwich: Aghayere, Broe, Buckley, Fenton, Marrow, Green, Crawford (Gardner, 67), Woolley M, Quarless, Woolley J, O’Neill (Le Blanc-Akpo, 75). Substitutes – Woods, Noble (not used).
Referee: Sam Ross
Bookings: Reilly (Workington), Le Blanc-Akpo (1874 Northwich)
Red card: Gardner (1874 Northwich)
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