This will go down as Reds’ record defeat against the men from across ‘the bay’ but shouldn’t be used as a yardstick for their prospects for the new season. They won’t meet the calibre of Morecambe in the Northern Premier League and, on the evidence of this performance, the Shrimps will be ready for their debut campaign in League One.
The bottom line was that both managers, Steven Rudd and Stephen Robinson, felt it was a good workout for their team in terms of fitness and match sharpness with plenty of aspects to work on in the weeks ahead – good and bad!
Reds certainly competed for the opening thirty minutes and, although it was tough going in the second half, they did try to play their normal game with a line-up which included three players named as ‘Trialist’ on the team sheet
In fact, there was an early opening for Reds which almost produced the first goal. Dav Symington’s clever reversed pass released Iyrwah Gooden through the inside right channel but his shot took a deflection and the ball hit the upright before rolling out for a corner
Another potential opportunity fell to Scott Allison but a good defensive block averted the danger.
Cole Stockton’s shot on the turn was the start of a dominant spell by the visitors and it was the same player who grabbed the breakthrough goal ten minutes before the break. He received the ball with his back to goal, swivelled and converted in one swift movement.
And, just ninety seconds before the interval, Morecambe were gifted a second. A midfield trialist lost possession twenty five yards from goal and Alfie McCalmont advanced into the area and slotted the ball beyond Jim Atkinson.
The other outfield Trialist, who has played for Reds previously, had a chance to reduce the arrears almost immediately but his low shot lacked the power to trouble Jokull Andresson.
But Reds were back in the game nine minutes after the restart when they were awarded a penalty after Gooden had been nudged in the area. Like England, Reds have failed from the spot recently but Allison is usually reliable and was on this occasion, blasting the ball confidently past Kyle Letheren.
This appeared to jolt Morecambe into action and three goals in just over ten minutes handed them complete control.
They made it 3-1 after fifty nine minutes, punishing Reds with a set piece. Wes McDonald curled an inviting cross into the box which Morecambe’s Trialist met to head beyond Atkinson.
Provider McDonald then helped himself to a well taken goal just two minutes later. He jinked past a couple of defenders and placed the ball beyond Atkinson’s outstretched left hand and into the corner of the net.
Jonathan Obika then concluded the scoring with a fifth goal twenty minutes from time.
It was then time for Reds to introduce their substitutes with just four of the starting XI completing the full ninety minutes.
Workington: Atkinson (Trialist), Symington (Howarth), Charlton, Wordsworth (Clarke), Lightfoot L, Trialist (Hubbold), Gooden (Burns), Carroll (Lightfoot C), Jerome (Hebson), Allison, Trialist.
Morecambe (first half): Andresson, Mellor, O’Connor, Delaney, Gibson, Wildig, Jones, McCalmont, Gnahoua, Stockton, McPake.
(second half): Letheren, Pye, Lavelle, Mensah, Leigh, Diagouraga, McLoughlin, Price, McDonald, Obika, Trialist.
Referee: Anthony Backhouse