A stunning goal from Junior Nsangou six minutes from time rubber-stamped a comfortable victory for Rovers as two very young sides clashed in the Borough Park sunshine.
He was a good thirty five yards from goal and deliberately drove the ball over Jim Atkinson for a sublime finish.
Reds took a while to get going in their first pre-season outing on home soil but, after a nervous opening twenty minutes, enjoyed a purple patch around the half hour mark. This culminated in the opening goal, a good one too.
One of Reds’ six players listed as ‘Trialist’ won the ball with the tackle of the match then fed the well placed Ben Hughes who had clear path to goal. The former Marine man steadied himself then drove the ball into the far corner of the net with Joe Hilton helpless.
But having worked so hard to get into that situation, Reds undid the good work with two defensive blunders in as many minutes and trooped off for the half time break in arrears.
Rovers’ skipper for the day, Sam Burns, netted both goals with confident close range finishes, after forty two and forty four minutes, adding to the hat-trick he bagged earlier in the week.
It knocked the stuffing out of Reds who had gone into battle without half a dozen senior players.
Their starting XI included six players yet to play a league game for the club and the only experience on the bench came in the shape of Scott Allison. But Danny Grainger, on his return to the club, had no qualms about filling the team sheet with trialists and members of the Development Squad.
Despite the introduction of nine substitutes at various stages of the second half, Reds competed well but rarely looked capable of grabbing an equaliser although a narrow defeat, in the circumstances, might have been considered a moral victory.
But Rovers made sure of the win with Nsangou’s late wonder goal and, in fairness, should have done so more emphatically. Dan Pike saw a shot rebound off the foot of an upright whilst the one trialist in blue and white squandered three guilt-edged chances.
Nevertheless, Workington boss Grainger had every right to feel satisfied with the spirited overall performance against a well drilled, talented Blackburn outfit.
Workington: Atkinson (Paden-Gale), Clarke (Trialist), Trialist (Whitehead), Wordsworth (Howarth), Lightfoot L, Trialist (Burns), Hughes (Lowrie), Leslie, Reilly (Allison), Trialist (Trialist), Tinnion (Trialist)
Blackburn Rovers U23: Hilton, Pike, Cirino, Weston, Saadi, Annesley, Baker, Harlock, Burns, Wood, Nsangou. Substitutes – Pratt, Montgomery, Gent, Trialist (all used).
Referee: Scott Taylor, Carlisle
Matchday photos: Ben Challis