Workington bounced back after recent disappointing results on home soil with a convincing win, albeit one which only became comfortable after a couple of late goals.
Lowly Hanley gave a good account of themselves for over an hour but once they tired and Reds ‘released the handbrake’, the outcome was inevitable.
It was a goalless after a mundane first half – the hosts moving the ball about reasonably well but floundering in the last third, whilst Hanley sat deep but broke efficiently on the rare occasions they got beyond that broad white line across the centre of the pitch.
The game’s first opportunity fell to Town’s Reece Jones but he dragged his shot wide then Reds’ skipper, Conor Tinnion, saw a chance miss the target in similar fashion at the other end.
Two ‘on target’ efforts registered by the home side – a Reuben Jerome header and a Kai Nugent shot – were easily dealt with by Hanley ‘keeper, Dale Eve.
The tempo improved after the break and Workington got their noses in front after fifty-nine minutes. Lewis Reilly had been introduced to the game, via the bench, and he tapped home the opening goal with his first significant contribution. Eve had done well to parry a David Symington shot which came through a forest of legs but Reilly reacted superbly to net his first goal for two months.
Eve was left scrambling at his near post as a Symington effort, soon after, almost doubled the advantage.
A more open game ensued but Workington’s makeshift back four were in no mood to concede.
Tinnion’s free-kick after eighty-two minutes led to a second goal for the hosts, effectively securing the points. His cross into the area appeared to be handled by Jones but there was no whistle or signal from the referee and Jerome reacted quickly to the loose ball, sending an unstoppable shot into Eve’s net.
Hanley, to their credit, kept going and the hard-working Kieran Brown had the ball in the Workington net, only for the consolation effort to be ruled-out after an alert assistant referee had flagged for offside.
And it was Workington who netted the third goal of the afternoon with virtually the last kick of the game. Kai Nugent, who made another impressive contribution, released substitute, Steven Rigg, down the right and his low cross towards the far post was confidently put into the net by Reilly to complete a league double over the Potteries outfit.
The victory consolidated third position in the NPL West Division table as Reds reached the sixty points mark.
Workington: Atkinson, McCaragher, Birch, Wordsworth, Leslie (Reilly, 57), Casson (Clarke, 71), Symington (Rigg, 85), Carroll, Jerome, Nugent, Tinnion. Substitutes – Farmer, Allison (not used).
Hanley Town: Eve, Jones, Walford, Sanders (Bailey, 72), Stair, Shotton, Bell, Blake, Brown, Dodds (Turner, 72), Twyford. Substitutes – Chapman, Stair, Batt (not used).
Referee: Curtis Wood, Lancaster
Booking: Carroll (Workington)