It was just the pre-Christmas tonic needed ahead of the second half of the season. They reached the half-way point of their programme with this emphatic victory but the ’Grove were architects of their own downfall after losing their discipline soon after the interval.
They comfortably held Reds at bay in the first half and had gone close to opening the scoring but, within five minutes of the restart, were two goals down and found it tough thereafter.
It might have been different had Kieran Brown scored in the sixteenth minute but his firm shot struck Jim Atkinson’s left-hand post before deflecting out of play.
Reds had begun well, moved the ball about efficiently but were just starting to run out of ideas when they netted the opener seconds before the break. Nic Evangelinos was on hand at the far post to score from close range after a cross from the right had been flicked on by Brad Carroll..
That might have been the turning point of the game, but there was no way back for Kidsgrove after an incident in the fiftieth minute.
Conor Tinnion and Alex Morris were chasing a loose ball in the area and there was a hint of a foul from the Workington skipper. The referee saw nothing untoward but, when Tinnion got goal-side of Morris and was dumped on the turf, he promptly pointed to the spot.
Kidsgrove, with some justification, argued a free-kick should have been awarded in their favour but the penalty was given and to compound their frustration Morris, as the ‘last man’, was sent off.
Steven Rigg kept his cool until the hullabaloo eased then confidently despatched the ball past ‘keeper, Ryan Brown.
One could empathise with Morris to a degree but there was no excuse when the visitors were reduced to nine men with over half an hour to play. Kingsley Adu-Gyamfi got involved in a verbal altercation with the assistant referee and promptly followed Morris to the dressing room after venting a tirade of foul and abusive language.
So, an opportunity was there for Reds to cash in on Kidsgrove’s misdemeanours and they did that with three further goals.
Connor Gaul made it three on the hour mark, Evangelinos bagged his second, Reds fourth, and David Symington side footed home the fifth with quarter of an hour to go.
There was more ill-feeling late in the game when Brad Hubbold was kicked in an off the ball incident and Chris Willcock substituted the midfielder to prevent a potential yellow card.
It was also a good opportunity to get all three substitutes into the game and provide them with some much needed game time.
Workington: Atkinson, Harrison, Clarke, Wordsworth, Carroll, Hubbold (Lightfoot, 82), Symington, Rigg (Lawrence, 75), Gaul, Tinnion, Evangelinos (Gooden, 67). Substitutes – Howarth, Eccles (not used).
Kidsgrove Athletic: Brown R, Byers, Morris, Lovatt C, Bergin, Lennon, Bromfield, Blake, Brown K (Cocks, 59), Malbon (Lovatt J, 59), Adu-Gyamfi. Substitutes – Parsons, Bell (not used).
Referee: Alex Beckett
Booking: Lovatt C (Kidsgrove Athletic)
Red cards: Morris, 50 and Adu-Gyamfi, 55 (both Kidsgrove Athletic)
[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”99″ display=”basic_slideshow”]Photos: Ben Challis