Reds have often struggled against FA Cup minnows in the past but not on this occasion as they cantered through to the next round with comparative ease.
And the luck you need to progress in knockout football was certainly against the North West Counties League outfit. An unlucky deflection led to Workington’s opening goal, they had a man sent off with less than twenty minutes on the clock, conceded a penalty then had a consolation goal denied them – twice by the woodwork and once by an amazing Jim Atkinson save.
Overall, then, it was not Prestwich’s day but they certainly left Cumbria with their pride intact as they remained competitive throughout.
From a Workington perspective, there were plenty of positives. Lewis Reilly continued his rehab and also grabbed a coupled of goals, Keelan Leslie scored his first goal for the club and a handful of players got their first experience of FA Cup football then, to cap a great day, Scott Allison weighed in with his ninth hat-trick for the club – his second in the Cup.
Reds got off to a good start with the opening goal scored after just five minutes. Connor Hammell’s goal-bound shot was blocked with the ball deflecting conveniently into Reilly’s path, leaving the striker with the simple task of guiding it past the wrong-footed Jordan Hadlow.
Kayle Power and Matthew Davies had efforts at goal as did Dav Symington, one going narrowly going wide of the far post and the other, a thunderbolt, pushed away in unorthodox fashion by Hadlow.
Then came the decision that probably ended all hope for the visitors. Regan Brown got the wrong side of Symington and, in preventing a goal scoring opportunity, was asked to leave the field for the red card offence. The sending off left Prestwich to cope with a man down for over seventy minutes
Greg McCaragher was unlucky not to get on the score-sheet when, after a quick sortie down the right, his shot struck the upright before rebounding to safety.
After twenty-seven minutes Symington was tripped again, this time in the area, and Reilly converted to double Workington’s advantage, the number nine driving the ball down the middle as Hadlow dived to his right.
Reilly went close to completing his hat-trick early in the second half only for Hadlow to palm away his close-range header.
Workington went off the boil for a twenty- minute spell and conceded territory to the visitors. A Power free kick sailed over Atkinson’s bar and top scorer Davies saw another decent effort hit the upright.
At the other end, Lewis Moore was wide with his first shot at goal in the competition and Matty Bell’s angled drive was tipped over by Hadlow although the officials failed to award the corner.
Not sure if it was due to Prestwich tiring in the afternoon sun or Workington making better use of the ball, perhaps a combination of both, but the closing stages made for an exciting finale!
Hammell and Leslie combined to good effect down the left to create Workington’s third goal in the seventy-seventh minute. Allison read the situation well and netted his first from close range.
And two minutes later, following a similar build-up, Leslie converted his first goal for the club when he reacted to Hadlow’s partial save which kept out a Moore shot.
Allison made it five after eighty-one minutes with the prolific talisman dinking the ball over Hadlow to score a sublime goal.
Back came Prestwich and a passage of play which deserved a consolation goal. The adventurous Power cracked a great shot from well outside the area which struck the underside of the crossbar without crossing the line. Davies looked odds-on to net the rebound but was thwarted by a stunning recovery save from Atkinson who scooped the ball off the line, preserving his clean sheet in the process.
But it was Allison who had the final say, completing his second hat-trick of the season with another fine finish. Hammell, who had an excellent ninety minutes, provided the assist from the right and there was Allison to stab home the sixth from close range.
Prestwich, who included former Red, Darcy O’Connor, in their line-up, will have enjoyed their FA Cup exploits this season and earned plenty of respect from their first visit to Borough Park.
Reds will welcome the fact that no further injuries were sustained and a free week will enable them to prepare for the return of league action next week.
Workington: Atkinson, McCaragher, Bell, Wordsworth (Tait, 80), Smith, Casson, Symington, Hubbold (Leslie, 59), Reilly (Moore L, 64), Allison, Hammell. Substitutes – Benson-Lester, Rigg, Martin, Wallbank (not used).
Prestwich Heys: Hadlow, Power, Jacobs, O’Connor, Lee, Brown, Daniels (Barlow, 58), Howell (Haigh, 30), Coor (James, 55), Davies, Khamidov. Substitutes – Sixsmith, Nicholls, Bartram-Conway, Slaven (not used).
Referee: Richard Holmes, Preston
Booking: Davies (Prestwich Heys)
Red card: Brown (Prestwich Heys)