A fifty-eighth minute wonder goal from Reece Webb-Foster paved the way for Clitheroe to register their first ever league win at Borough Park as Reds’ early season crisis deepened.
The much travelled striker was given all the time and space he needed to send a thirty yarder past Danny Eccles for the only goal of this NPL West Division encounter, condemning Workington to their third defeat in five outings.
It was Clitheroe’s only serious shot on target in the second half but they emerged deserved winners, overall, after a dominant opening to the game.
Danny Grainger again made changes with six players drafted in to the side who didn’t start at the weekend whilst the welcome return of Sam Smith was greeted enthusiastically by team mates and supporters alike.
But it was Clitheroe who dominated the early exchanges although a combination of some good goal keeping from Danny Eccles and Reds’ dogged resilience resulted in a goalless first half.
Somehow, Reds were still in the game but well behind on points.
Jamie Edwards was the first to test Eccles and, although the deputy ’keeper could only parry the ball, James Hooper was on hand to complete the clearance. Bailey Sloane was next to try his luck but his angled twenty five yard effort cleared the bar by inches.
Max Cane then brought another fine save out of the overworked Eccles before Cameron Lancaster and Sloane, again, went close to breaking the deadlock.
Other than staying in contention, Reds rarely threatened Chris Thompson’s goal with Smith coming closest to scoring, heading narrowly wide via Conor Tinnion’s free kick.
Workington weren’t much better after the interval, giving plenty of effort and graft but very little in the way of creativity or guile.
Ross Dent got behind Reds’ back line but he then miskicked with only Eccles to beat.
The rare sight of Reds passing their way through Chorley lines culminated in
Matty Clarke rolling the ball into David Symington’s path but Cameron Lancaster’s wonderfully timed tackle averted the danger.
Symington, and fellow second half substitute Reuben Jerome, scored twenty three league goals between them last term but neither looked confident of finding that elusive equaliser. Jerome’s only effort, a shot on the turn, was mishit and comfortably gathered by Thompson.
Grainger felt the performance wasn’t ‘good enough’ and he apologised to the supporters for such a poor display.
The players owe their manager a performance and the Cup tie at South Shields this weekend would be a good place to deliver.
Workington: Eccles, Clarke, Smith, Wordsworth, Coker (Mahone, 80), Casson, Rigg, Hooper (Symington, 52), Reilly, Allison (Jerome, 46), Tinnion. Substitutes – Birch, Palmer (not used).
Clitheroe: Thompson, Cummings, Sloane, Baker, Lancaster, Priestley, Cane (Gonzales, 87), Wilkins, Webb-Foster, Dent, Edwards. Substitutes – Byrom, Leigh, Pugh (not used).
Referee: Daniel Ranson, Gateshead
Bookings: Coker, Smith, Tinnion (Workington), Baker, Sloane, Wilkins (Clitheroe).