There has been no shortage of excitement on the 18th February in previous years with Reds winning plenty of matches, losing frequently too but, generally, doing enough to justify this unique strong feeling for the club…….
2020 Droylsden (away) 4-0 Twelve months ago, we were operating under normal circumstances but weren’t sure for how much longer.
We had to contend with rain, hail, sleet and a strong wind, not to mention opponents Droylsden, yet, somehow, managed to record a best ever win at the Butcher’s Arms – scoring twice in each half – following a strong team performance.
Dav Symington and Scott Allison were on target in a dominant first half display with Brad Carroll, skipper on the night, and debutant, Mwiya Malumo, adding to the tally in the second.
The win was good enough to regain top spot which is where we stayed for the remainder of the curtailed season.
2017 Stafford Rangers (away) 2-3 A bad day at Marston Road where Reds had two men sent off in an eventful encounter against Rangers. Already a goal down when Jake Simpson was given a straight red in the 25th minute, it became 2-0 soon after his departure.
But we restored parity before the interval thanks to a Josh Calvert header and a penalty converted by Dav Symington. Within seconds of the restart, though, Stafford were back in front, scoring a 46th minute winner.
To compound a frustrating afternoon, Reds had to play the final twenty minutes with only nine men when Conor Tinnion was sent off for a display of petulance following a poor decision from an assistant referee.
2012 Stalybridge Celtic (away) 3-1 Kick-off was put back to 3.30pm after the Reds team coach had been snarled-up in a ninety minute delay on the motorway – just a few miles from the ground.
Celtic’s preparations had obviously been disrupted but it was still a surprise when we raced into a 3-0 lead by half time, Jonny Wright, netting a couple, and Gareth Arnison doing the damage with the pair celebrating a 100 goal partnership in the Conference.
Celtic ‘won’ the second half but the points were heading back to Cumbria via a trouble free return journey!
2006 Northwich Victoria (home) 5-2 Despite going into the game without the injured quartet of Edmondson, Cowan, Arnold and Goulding, Reds recorded their best Nationwide North win of the season thanks to a superb hat-trick from Matthew Berkeley. In only his third game at that level, Matthew scored after 5, 45 and 69 minutes to claim the match ball. Lee Hoolickin and Gareth Arnison (his first league goal) also contributed to the scoring as the Vics suffered their heaviest Borough Park reverse.
1996 Keswick (away) 3-1 Reds had played a league game twenty four hours earlier then completed a busy week-end with a Cumberland Cup semi-final, including extra time, at Keswick.
The Westmorland League leaders opened the scoring thanks to a cracking Stephen Bragg goal but Gary Messenger levelled matters just three minutes later. It needed an extra thirty minutes to determine a winner with Reds finally gaining control in that period. Ian Milburn headed us in front for the first time then Graham Caton sealed a hard fought win with a well taken third.
Keswick announced a gate of 540, three times as many that attended Borough Park the day before!
1995 Congleton Town (away) 3-1 We were involved in yet another scrap to avoid relegation but an important victory at Booth Street eased the pressure slightly. Town were ahead after just five minutes but Reds equalised almost immediately through Martin Henderson. A penalty, converted by the latter, gave us the lead in the second half and Steve Watt’s late strike secured the points.
1990 Eastwood Town (away) 0-1 An 11am kick-off followed a game at Alfreton the previous afternoon but, once again, Reds rarely looked liked scoring and Eastwood, who weren’t much better, got the winner via a 46th minute penalty.
Not a good day for the referee either and, after complaining of chest pains, he had to leave the field soon after awarding the spot-kick!
1984 Rhyl (away) 1-3 Reds scored twice in the first half but, unfortunately, one was an own-goal conceded by Keith Sawyers. John Smith also netted leaving Reds level at the interval.
Andy Jones, a future Welsh international who went on to play for five clubs in the Football League, took control of proceedings in the second half and his two goals swung the game in Rhyl’s favour.
1978 Gainsborough Trinity (home) 4-1 Walter Gillott wrote himself into the Workington history books by becoming the first Reds player to score a hat-trick in the Northern Premier League – one goal in the first half, two in the second. He was joined on the score sheet by player manager, Dave Wilson, in an emphatic victory.
A fortnight later, we lost the return (0-2) at The Northolme.
1970 Chester (home) 1-1 One of Tommy Spratt’s seven league goals helped us to a point at Borough Park in a season when goals were hard to come by. Indeed, Tommy finished the campaign as our top scorer.
1967 Bristol Rovers (home) Rovers’ legendary manager, Bert Tann, obtained his first win at Borough Park at the third attempt in what was his eighteenth and final season as their boss.
Local lad Stan Herbert played his one and only league game for Reds that day.
1961 Crewe Alexandra (away) 2-1 Reds (8th) and Crewe (9th) finished level on points (49) with the win at Gresty Road important in that sense. Our two leading scorers, Tommy Dixon and Frank Kirkup shared the goals and would finish the campaign with 17 and 14 respectively.
1956 Bradford Park Avenue (away) 0-4 The value of home advantage was illustrated perfectly by this heavy defeat in Yorkshire. We had recorded a 4-0 home win over Avenue earlier in the season!