The best passage of football throughout this feisty contest earned Reds a replay and the FA Cup Preliminary Round tie will now be settled at Crosby on Tuesday evening.
It was a tough battle over ninety minutes, horrible at times, with both teams guilty of skulduggery and certainly no place for shrinking violets. At the end, though, I think both teams had more respect for each other than they had before kick-off.
Marine had reached the interval with a one goal advantage but parity had been restored early in the second half and that’s the way it stayed.
Reds’ equaliser was certainly the highlight of the game for the football purists – a long spell of possession and passing football culminating in Scott Allison’s clinical finish at the Town End of the ground.
It was Allison’s eleventh goal in the FA Cup and saw him reach a personal milestone as he overtook Gareth Arnison’s tally for the club. He now has 128 league and cup goals to his credit and is third in the all-time list of Reds’ goal scorers.
James Barrigan became the most famous refuse collector in the country earlier this year ahead of Marine’s historic cup tie v. Tottenham Hotspur and it was his goal which separated the sides at half time.
Reds had been guilty of some rubbish defending and Dan Wordsworth’s mistimed tackle on Owen Watkinson presented the visitors with a penalty.
Tough on debutant goalkeeper, Danny Eccles, but Barrigan had no sympathy and confidently blasted home the opening goal.
Marine had made the better start but Ben Hughes deflected the ball wide when meeting Neil Kengi’s assist from the left.
Gradually, though, Reds eased their way back into the game and Marine ‘keeper, Bayleigh Passant dealt with a Charlie Bowman effort before pushing away a Brad Hubbold strike.
Sam Smith’s looping header, via a Conor Tinnion corner, saw the ball land on the roof of the net as Reds sought an opening goal.
It was against the run of play when the goal came at the other end. James Devine’s free kick into the area caused the panic, the penalty was conceded, then scored and Marine left the field to hostile abuse but a goal up.
Workington, although not as fluent as they had been in their previous game, were better in the second half and that forty-eighth minute leveller was just the tonic for another 600 strong crowd.
To their credit, Marine stayed resilient when Reds enjoyed their best spell with Passant proving his worth as a ‘keeper when called upon, denying both Ceiran Casson and Matty Clarke.
Marine created more in the second half than they had earlier with Watkinson and Alex Doyle both missing the target with good opportunities. And Eccles made an important save to thwart Kengi as the game became more open.
Allison, who did well to complete the full ninety on his return to the side, had an opportunity to settle the tie on the day but scooped a half chance over the bar after Passant, for once, fumbled a cross into the danger area.
Marine will probably start as slight favourites on Tuesday, in the second instalment of this mini-series, but the replay certainly won’t create as much interest as the previous cup tie at The Marine Travel Arena.
Workington: Eccles, Clarke, Charlton, Wordsworth (Evangelinos, 82) Smith, Hubbold (Jerome, 87), Casson, Carroll, Bowman (Gooden, 59), Tinnion, Allison. Substitutes – Lightfoot C, Paden-Gale (not used).
Marine: Passant, Devine (Shaw, 90), Joyce, Lynch (Reilly, 85), Miley, Raven, Watkinson, Doyle, Barrigan, Hughes (Wignall, 82), Kengni. Substitutes – Murphy, Mendes (not used).
Referee Matthew Archibald, Rochdale
Bookings: Doyle, Mendes (Marine)
Photos: Ben Challis