A decent, entertaining NPL West encounter in the late summer sunshine at Borough Park with a hard earned three points for Reds sending the majority of the crowd home happy.
Workington certainly dominated the first half and the one goal lead was scant reward for their efforts. Skelmersdale recovered and staged a gallant come back at the start of the second period and were on top for a twenty minutes spell. But Reds found their feet in the later stages, grabbed that deciding goal and, generally, were worthy of the victory.
Once again, the manager had to shuffle the pack with two of last week’s heroes, Ceiran Casson and Jordan Palmer away on holiday whilst Lewis Reilly picked up an injury in the warm-up and was considered unfit to start.
The hosts thought they had opened the scoring in the eleventh minute but an assistant referee’s flag saw what looked a good goal disallowed. David Symington cut in from the left flank and a thumping shot hit the foot of Andrew Coughlan’s right -hand post and rebounded conveniently into Reuben Jerome’s path and he side-footed the ball into the net.
Skelmersdale also found the net after one of their first attacks but Elliot Morris’ effort was disallowed, too, again because of an offside in the build-up.
Symington was looking lively, and is always difficult to contain when in such form, and it was he who got the breakthrough just before the half hour mark. He received the ball after good work from Scott Allison, shuffled past a couple of defenders and beat Coughlan at his near post with a powerful drive.
The visitors were first out of the traps on the restart, pressing to good effect and Reds were camped in their own half for long periods.
Their fifty-eighth minute equaliser was a cracker and Jordan Southworth’s twenty-five yarder had goal written all over it as soon as it left his foot. Jim Atkinson had no chance of saving the shot but he certainly kept Reds in the game thwarting Darren Brannigan and Morris soon after.
It was slightly against the run of play when Reds restored the lead after sixty-six minutes. Steven Rigg’s flicked header sent Symington in the clear down the middle but his initial attempt was parried away by Coughlan only for the ball to rebound to Jerome and, this time, his follow-up goal was allowed to stand.
A third goal would have eased the usual anxiety on the terraces but Rigg saw a header saved and a shot blocked by a defender with Symington, once again, denied by a smart piece of goalkeeping from Coughlan.
There was one final scare for Reds when the lively Morris broke through but Matty Clarke saved the day with an important challenge to prevent what looked a potential equaliser.
Efficient at the back, mobile and energetic in midfield and creating chances up front, Reds deserved the three points but credit to Richard Brodie’s side for pushing them all the way.
The experienced players got the job done although the two youngsters – defender Charlie Birch and midfielder Keelan Leslie – also made excellent contributions throughout and there was even the bonus of seeing Louis Webster make his league debut, as a substitute, just before the end.
Workington: Atkinson, Clarke (Moran, 90) Birch, Wordsworth, Smith, Leslie (Mahone, 80), Symington (Webster, 88), Allison, Rigg, Jerome, Tinnion. Substitutes – Reilly, Eccles (not used).
Skelmersdale United: Coughlan, Gerrard (Hunt, 55), Griffiths, Lees, Grogan, Strickland (Benaly, 82), Morris, Devine (Djalo, 75), Brannigan, Clair, Southworth. Substitutes – Herbert, Brodie (not used).
Referee: Chris Joyce, Gateshead
Bookings: Birch, Jerome (Workington), Gerrard, Devine, Brodie (Skelmersdale United).