ON THIS DAY: 20 March -Only ever visit of Shaw Lane & Skelton winner at Gretna

A look through the match diaries to see what was happening to Reds on the 20th March in previous years…….

Matty Douglas

2018   Shaw Lane (home) 2-0   The fiftieth season of the Northern Premier League had its usual batch of comings and goings via promotion and relegation –  a system which, in normal circumstances, works well in English football.

Every so often, though, a club ceases to exist or requests a ‘voluntary’ relegation and, no sooner than making their mark in a particular league, they disappear off the face of the earth just as quickly.

Barnsley based Shaw Lane were one such club that enjoyed three unbelievable seasons in the Northern Premier League and in the third of those became opponents of ours for the first time.

But their first visit to Borough Park proved to be their last and the club folded at the end of that season.

They were promotion contenders on their arrival in West Cumbria and had beaten Reds in Yorkshire earlier in the season.

But they were second best on this particular Tuesday night and there was no doubt who deserved the points.

There was some doubt about the two goals we scored, however.   Matty Douglas claimed both, one in each half, but a school of thought suggested we benefitted from two own goals.  After more analysis, Matty was credited with one as his header was going into the net regardless but his second attempt was registered as an own-goal because it was going wide until deflecting into the net via a Shaw Lane player.

They finished 6th some distance ahead of Reds in 12th.

Ryan Bowman

2010   Eastwood Town (away) 2-1   A similar scenario happened at Eastwood Town a few years earlier when a well established club became more ambitious than they could afford.

They were still operating as ‘normal’ when we visited Coronation Park eleven years ago for a Blue Square North fixture when two late goals secured a Workington win.  Town were a goal up at the break and Ryan Bowman’s headed goal after 83 minutes looked as though it was the equaliser we deserved after a steady fight-back.

Gareth Arnison

It got even better, though, and a rather fortunate penalty in our favour was confidently despatched by Gareth Arnison for the late decider.

2004   Matlock Town (away) 0-4   Gale force winds made for an uneasy journey to Derbyshire and a very uncomfortable ninety minutes followed on the pitch with the hosts on top in all aspects of the game.  Reds were poor, conceded two goals in each half and finished a well beaten team with old foe, Danny Holland, helping himself to a hat-trick.

A tree in the club car park blew down damaging five cars in the process, the flood light pylons were visibly moving, the roof sheeting was rattling and Reds were simply blown away!           

2001   Gretna (away) 2-1   This cross-border raid saw Reds come from behind in a Unibond League encounter against another club who would run into difficulties.

There was great rivalary between the clubs at the time and we probably won on Scottish soil as often as we did at Borough Park.

Mark Dobie’s penalty was duly converted to give Gretna the lead with his 22nd goal of the season, before Marc Green equalised with a looping shot which appeared to wrong-foot the Gretna ‘keeper.

Gavin Skelton, who became the bedrock of the Raydale Park club during their halcyon days in the Scottish League, then chose that moment to score his first Workington goal, slotting the winner direct from a free kick. 

1999   Atherton Laburnum Rovers (away) 2-1   Reds completed a back-to-back North West Counties double over LR thanks to goals from Mathew Henney and Darren Wilson and, although both were well taken efforts, they were bettered by the home side’s consolation goal – a goal of the moth contender!

Atherton Laburnum Rovers

1993   Congleton Town (away) 3-0  Not often have Reds been able to say we dominated a game from start to finish, but that was the case on this occasion as we recorded a first win at Congleton’s Booth Street ground.

Our ‘Geordie’ trio of Paddy Atkinson, Paul Campbell and Danny Wheatley shared the goals as we completed a league double over the Cheshire club.

1982   Burton Albion (home) 2-2   Albion’s Eton Park ground was one of those venues which gave us little joy in terms of points so this entertaining draw was more than acceptable.

Barry Diamond and Ian Innes contributed with our goals whilst Bob Gauden netted both for the hosts.

1976   Rochdale (home) 0-0   This was the fourth meeting of the season between the two clubs and Reds failed to win any of them.  Both league meetings finished all square and we also met twice in the FA Cup – a draw at Borough Park followed by an extra time defeat in the replay!

1972   Cambridge United (away) 0-0   Cambridge were into their second campaign in the League and had emerged surprise winners at Borough Park earlier in the season.

We were hoping to win at the Abbey Stadium for a second successive season although a point, and a clean sheet, on a Monday night has to be considered a satisfactory result.

Ken Wookey

1971   Aldershot (home) 4-0   This was probably Ken Wookey’s finest ninety minutes in a Workington shirt  with the former Newport County and Port Vale front man scoring twice in a comfortable win over Aldershot.  He was joined on the score sheet by Brian Wood and Tommy Spratt.

Although he was top scorer for the Reserves that season, Ken’s first team opportunities were limited and he moved on in the summer linking up with Yeovil Town.

Sadly, Ken passed away at the tender age of 45.

1965   Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic (away) 0-4   The south coast club were so named for the best part of fifty years and emerged emphatic winners in the Third Division encounter at Dean Court.

Reds’ John Chapman headed the opening goal – unfortunately into his own net – and it just went downhill from there.

It was a long weekend for the Workington party who had left Borough Park on Friday morning then stayed in the south for a match at Exeter on Monday evening, pre-motorways of course!

Chris Simmonds

1954   Mansfield Town (away) 2-0   A welcome away win was recorded at Field Mill with Chris Simmonds and Ernie Whittle scoring the goals against a Town side who had been quite strong at home that season. They eventually finished 7th with Reds avoiding the bottom four for the first time as a FL club!

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