A well taken Brad Carroll goal, after just three minutes, separated two weary sides in this NPL West Division encounter.
The two demanding cup ties left the teams looking jaded long before the finish and the classic contest we witnessed on Tuesday was never in danger of being replicated on a warm afternoon at Borough Park.
There was nothing between the teams over this ‘getting to know you period’ – neither deserved to lose any of the matches but probably didn’t do enough to win more than once.
So a draw and a win for each side was probably a fair outcome over the three games and Workington were delighted to claim the points in view of an alarming injury list that beggars belief.
Match winner Carroll was one of three players who hobbled away from the ground post match whilst Conor Tinnion and Dan Wordsworth also headed for home in some discomfort.
But Anthony Miley’s plight was even more distressing. The Marine defender sustained a lower leg injury and was stretchered off, before the mid-point of the first half, and looked in some discomfort as he was sportingly applauded from the field.
Workington had gone into the game without Ceiran Casson, Steven Rigg, Nic Evangelinos and Reuben Jerome whilst Liam Lightfoot and Robbie Hebson were already declared long-term absentees before the season started.
So manager Chris Willcock acted quickly on Friday and two new recruits, Rowan Roache and Kyle Harrison, played a part in the hard fought win.
Roache did ever so well to complete the full ninety and defender Harrison came on for the final half hour.
The early goal was a tonic and an advantage Reds never looked like losing. Matty Clarke did well down the right and his low pull-back into the area, although initially missed by Scott Allison, found by Iyrwah Gooden who returned the ball across the face of goal and Carroll sweetly converted.
Marine responded, saw plenty of the ball but were unable to cause much damage with it and the chances created by both sides in the first half could have been counted on one hand.
If anything, Neil Young’s team probably shaded the second half but Clarke’s two defensive clearances immediately after the restart epitomised Workington’s spirit not to concede.
Jim Atkinson wasn’t stretched at all and Owen Watkinson’s late header and James Barrigan’s shot from distance were officially listed as efforts on target but lacked the power to trouble the ‘keeper.
Reds, who won the first of their only two corners in the seventy-sixth minute, didn’t trouble Bayleigh Passant either but a great opening saw Brad Hubbold release the excellent Clarke down the right and his assist was about to be converted by Scott Allison. But James Devine’s superbly timed clearance meant more nail-biting for the home crowd over the later stages of the game.
Unless the two sides are paired together in the Trophy or fancy a mid-week friendly, they won’t see each other again until Easter and, in the nicest possible way, both clubs will be happy with that!
Workington: Atkinson, Clarke, Charlton, Wordsworth, Smith, Hubbold, Gooden (Harrison, 63), Carroll (Symington, 25), Allison, Tinnion (Howarth, 85), Roache. Substitutes – Burns, Eccles (not used).
Marine: Passant, Devine, Joyce, Lynch, Miley (Shaw, 12), Raven, Watkinson, Doyle (Reilly, 72), Cummins (Kengni, 60), Hughes, Barrigan. Substitutes – Winnard, Wignall (not used).
Referee: Chris Porter, Preston
Bookings: Clarke, Symington (Workington), Lynch, Doyle (Marine)