It was a red letter day for the Tinnion twins as they attended their first ever game at Borough Park.
The ten month old brothers, Jack and Louis, were in town to cheer on dad, Conor, and his colleagues in the final home game of the regular season when Kendal Town came calling.
Like the rest of us, the twins will have forgotten about the game already but what a fairy tale introduction to life on the terraces, having a goal dedicated to you by the Workington skipper. The two sublime goals from dad, one in each half, will be mentioned at every family gathering for years to come.
The two exquisite free kicks also kept alive Reds’ title aspirations with the Northern Premier League West Division prize on hold until the final Saturday of the season. Reds have to win at Market Drayton Town and hope Warrington Rylands fail to claim maximum points from their home clash against Bootle.
Any other scenario and Chris Willcock’s side will extend their season into the play-offs although, after guaranteeing a second place finish at least, will have home advantage in the knock out games.
This game will live long in the memory for its mediocrity, yet a blessing that such a poor opponent should be presented after the physically and mentally demanding fixture at Marine just forty eight hours earlier.
Once Reds had established the lead, there was never any doubt about the outcome but the performance didn’t match the occasion in front of a bumper, sun-drenched crowd.
However, it could have been so different just ten minutes into the game had the officials reacted differently to a controversial incident involving Town’s Tommy Grindrod and Reds’ Matty Clarke. The Kendal player clattered into Clarke from behind, prompting an uncharacteristic response from the ever-present Workington defender.
He retaliated with an intended head butt which saw the Kendal player drop to the turf. Whether the two officials got a good view of the incident is debateable because the supporters in the vicinity expected Clarke to be shown a red card.
A yellow was a fortunate reprieve for Clarke but probably the right punishment for Grindrod.
Ten minutes later, Workington took the lead to compound Kendal’s frustration.
Donte Thompson-Prempeh fouled Tinnion just outside the area in the twentieth minute, and the Reds skipper punished the visitors by curling a measured shot beyond James McClenaghan for a superb opening goal, Workington’s seventieth of the season.
Town should have levelled matters when Dan Wordsworth’s weak back pass was intercepted by Eric Yahaya but, with only Jim Atkinson to beat, the Town front man never looked confident of scoring and allowed the ‘keeper to smother the ball as he contemplated what to do.
That was the only scare, other than the Clarke incident.
Workington doubled their lead mid way through the second half with maestro Tinnion once again finding the net with a wonderful free kick – almost a carbon copy of the first. This was his 69th career goal and netted in the sixty-ninth minute, how apt.
Surely Reds would go on and put Town to the sword but McClenaghan had other ideas. He thwarted Dav Symington, Reuben Jerome and Clarke with routine saves and Tinnion squandered an opportunity to complete a hat-trick when he dragged the ball wide when breaking through unchallenged.
The focus now switches to Reds’ thirty-eighth and final league game of a superb season but even a win in Shropshire may not be enough!
Workington: Atkinson, Clarke, Leslie, Wordsworth, Smith, Casson, Symington (Jerome, 71), Rigg (Hubbold, 60), Fenwick, Tinnion, Evangelinos (Allison, 57). Substitutes – Lightfoot L, Lawrence (not used).
Kendal Town: McClenaghan, Gourley (Kinkela, 78), Basterfield, Dewhurst, Nightingale, Grindrod, Fagan, Huddleston, Makepeace, Thompson-Prempeh (Smith, 65), Yahaya (Wraighte, 52). Substitute – Cross (not used).
Referee: Sam Parnaby, Bishop Auckland
Bookings: Clarke, Rigg, Tinnion (Workington), Grindrod, Basterfield, Wraighte (Kendal Town)