A look through the diaries to see what was happening to our beloved Reds on the 8th March in bygone years…….
2016 Salford City (away) 3-5 With both teams chasing a play-off spot this was a crucial fixture as the Evo-Stik Premier Division campaign entered the final stages.
Darlington and Blyth Spartans were the two main contenders for the title whilst Salford, Ashton United, Stourbridge and ourselves were hoping for a top-five finish.
In view of the importance of the fixture, the outcome was a big disappointment with Reds’ ‘kamikaze’ defending proving costly. We came out on the receiving end of a free-scoring game which, I’m sure, the neutral spectator would have thoroughly enjoyed.
But we struggled with several aspects of Salford’s play – the missile-like long throws being one of them – and finished second best.
Sam Smith, Joe McGee and Kyle May did score our goals but Derek Townsley apologised for the performance afterwards.
Paul Scholes, one of Salford’s new owners, was amongst the 500 (plus) attendance.
Remarkably, this was a low-scoring affair compared to some of the bizarre results recorded elsewhere that night including:
Droylsden 0 Warrington Town 9
Kendal Town 5 Prescot Cables 5
Spennymoor Town 9 New Mills 0
Chester 8 Aldershot Town 2
Carlisle United and Barrow, meanwhile, were both involved in goalless draws.
2014 Boston United (home) 1-0 A red letter day for Workington as we finally managed to obtain a home league win against Boston – at the seventh attempt! But luck was on our side for a change because Boston dominated for long periods of the game. Indeed, Danijel Nizic, our Australian on-loan ‘keeper was nominated ‘man-of-the-match’ keeping us in contention with a string of fine saves.
After surviving eighty five minutes of the game, Ben McKenna then popped up to score a well taken, most welcome winner.
2011 Vauxhall Motors (away) 2-1 There was a dramatic end to this Blue Square Bet North fixture which was still goalless after eighty five minutes. Vauxhall opened the scoring in the 88th minute only for Reds to equalise sixty seconds later then grab a sensational stoppage time winner.
And it was two of our substitutes who claimed the glory. Conor Tinnion levelled matters and Andy Murray-Jones claimed the last-gasp decider, both scoring their first goal for the club.
2008 Stalybridge Celtic (away) 0-3 We enjoyed many successful visits to Bower Fold but, sadly, this wasn’t one of them.
Kyle May was missing, and that was after 113 consecutive appearances for Reds in the Conference, with Graham Anthony wearing the captain’s armband for the first time.
The supporters took the defeat on the chin but Darren Edmondson’s post-match complaints to the referee earned him a two match touchline ban from the FA.
2003 Belper Town (away) 0-1 Despite winning the corner count 15-4, Reds failed to score for the first time in sixteen matches and left Derbyshire pointless.
There was a familiar face drafted into the squad for the day – Andy Walker was registered eleven years after his previous stint with the club!
1997 Harrogate Town (home) 0-2 Town’s goalkeeper, Wayne Baker, failed to turn up so they were forced to play an outfield player between the ‘sticks’ which made Reds’ defeat even harder to take.
And to rub salt into gaping wounds it was former player Eamonn Elliott who scored the first and created the second against an-out-of-sorts home side.
Ironically, Reds also finished the match with an outfield player in goal. Tom Shepherd donned the green jersey after Lee Copeland was sent off!
1986 Worksop Town (away) 2-1 Reds were seeking revenge having lost to Worksop at Borough Park earlier in the season. And, despite going behind to a goal after just ninety seconds, they managed to do so.
Billy Gilmour equalised in the first half and Allan Carruthers netted the winner with a well struck half volley as the squad completed the first part of a weekend double. Next morning they would be playing at Burton Albion.
1980 Worksop Town (home) 3-0 A more straightforward victory over the Tigers had been obtained on home soil a few years earlier.
Billy Witherspoon made a pleasing debut in this game having joined the club from Newcastle Blue Star. He opened the scoring with the established duo of Barry Donaghy and Graham Gill adding further goals after the break.
1975 Newport County (home) 3-1 An explosive opening half hour saw Reds score three goals, all at the Derwent End, but it didn’t turn out to be the comfortable win we all expected.
County reduced the deficit before half time and dominated the second period to such an extent that Reds were mightily relieved to hear the final whistle.
Dave Helliwell, Eamon Kavanagh and Dave Murray capitalised on the bright start with three excellent goals.
1965 Watford (away) 2-3 This was Ken Furphy’s first ‘reunion’ with the club he had served so well previously. He had played in Reds victory over Watford earlier in the season but was now an opponent in the return fixture at Vicarage Road having moved south in November.
Ken joined the Hornets as player-manager and an early piece of business saw Dave Carr follow him to Hertfordshire with Ken Oliver moving in the opposite direction as part of the deal.
But Carr picked up an injury and was still awaiting his home debut and missed the Workington game.
It was an entertaining ninety minutes but, ultimately, we lost.
Ken Oliver actually scored one of Reds goals, against his former club, with Barry Lowes also on target. Watford obtained the points, though, thanks to goals from Jim McAnearney, Ron Saunders and George Harris.
Keith Burkinshaw had taken over the managerial reins at Borough Park which meant both teams fielded a player-manager in their line-ups.
1958 Oldham Athletic (home) 4-2 There was a debut goal from Reds’ Joe Armstrong in this high-scoring win which avenged a 4-1 defeat at Boundary Park.
Armstrong had joined the club from Barrow and was one of four individual scorers with Billy Robson, Clive Colbridge and Des Jones also netting against the visitors.
1952 Darlington (away) 1-2 Reds and Darlo would occupy the bottom two places on completion of the 1951-52 Third Division North campaign and, unfortunately, it was us who claimed the wooden spoon. Matches finished in favour of the home side with Chris Simmonds our scorer at Feethams.