A second emphatic defeat in a week by EFL opposition hasn’t dampened spirits in the Workington camp but an injury to talisman, Scott Allison, definitely took the shine off Reds’ gritty performance against Chris Beech’s United.
And Allison’s injury, a reoccurrence of the shoulder problem which has sidelined him before, happened when Reds’ top scorer was removing his shirt after the game. His shoulder popped out and had to be reset at West Cumberland Hospital.
It means another lengthy lay-off for the record goal scorer who is now likely to miss the start of the season.
In a game where United’s trialist goalkeeper, George Sykes-Kenworthy, hardly broke sweat, Workington toiled away on the hottest day of the year to no avail. They rarely looked like scoring but worked hard throughout and it was the fitness levels which gave temporary manager, Steven Rudd, the most satisfaction.
“We expected to be up against it and credit to Carlisle who made us work for the full ninety minutes. From that point of view, it was a worthwhile exercise and another good, hard competitive game.
“It was very warm and some of the lads played the full ninety and it was good to see Ceiran Casson and Conor Tinnion back on the field after missing most of the pre-season action so far,” he added.
“We want to play higher-ranked teams, rather than easier opponents when you have it all your own way and, although the score lines don’t look good, we got what we wanted in terms of work rate and application.”
Rudd also hinted that the protracted managerial situation is a cause for concern and would prefer a solution sooner, rather than later. “Time is ticking over,” he concluded.
Beech must have been happy with his side’s domination and their work rate throughout. Most of the team played for the duration, which was his intention, hence two smaller squads pressed into service on the same day, giving more field time for each individual.
The United manager was making his first appearance at Borough Park and so too was Zach Clough, a talented summer recruit whose career seems to be back on track after an unforeseen hiatus.
He had an excellent afternoon scoring the opening goal and being heavily involved in the other two. It was the former Bolton Wanderers and Nottingham Forest player who broke the deadlock in the fourteenth minute.
Gathering the ball just outside the box, he didn’t quite connect sweetly with the ball but it still found a way past Jim Atkinson – possibly deflecting en route.
It was then his juggling skills on the right which led to the second with his assist controlled by trialist, Manasse Mampala, before the mobile front man turned and sent the ball into the net.
Reds gradually eased six substitutes into the game during the second half and the disruption, a water break and general fatigue meant the game looked over as a contest by the hour mark.
It certainly was when Taylor Charters capped a good afternoon’s work by completing the scoring with the goal of the match after sixty five minutes. And again it was Clough who was instrumental in creating the opportunity.
His clever reverse pass wrong-footed the Reds’ rearguard and the Maryport midfielder, who spent a loan period at Borough Park in 2019, finished with aplomb.
Clough was given generous applause when he left the field just before the end and four goals in a week suggest he is adapting well to life in Cumbria.
In contrast, Reds are finding pre-season goals hard to come by with just two netted in four outings and the scorer of both is now facing a spell on the sidelines.
Workington: Atkinson, Clarke, Charlton (Hebson), Wordsworth, Lightfoot L (Howarth), Hubbold, Symington (Gooden), Trialist (Casson), Rigg (Jerome), Allison, Tinnion (Carroll). Substitute – Eccles (not used).
Carlisle United: Sykes-Kenworthy, Whelan, Feeney, McDonald, Armer, Charters, Guy, Riley, Alessandra (Taylor), Mampala, Clough (Garvey). Substitutes – Tanner, Simons (not used).
Referee: Anthony Backhouse
Photo credit: Ben Challis