ON THIS DAY: 23 March – Victory at Wetherby Road & Kendrick’s 40 yard lob

We reflect on Reds activities from the 23rd March in previous years – a day when we have met three of the Welsh clubs, travelled to Kendal and London plus various places in between and enjoyed some satisfying victories along the way…….

Conor Tinnion

2019   Whitby Town (away) 1-0   A sublime hooked volley from Conor Tinnion on the hour secured victory and three well deserved points but the winning margin should have been more comfortable with Reds dominating long spells of the game.

Jason Walker saw one header rebound off the crossbar and, after he had been fouled inside the area, Dav Symington blasted the subsequent penalty high over the bar.

It proved to be the final victory in the Premier Division with Reds concluding a disastrous campaign with eight consecutive defeats, culminating in a painful relegation!  

Phil McLuckie

2010   Harrogate Town (away) 2-1   Interesting to compare the fortunes of both clubs since our win at Wetherby Road eleven years ago with Reds now two levels lower than they were then and Town two levels higher and making a good job of establishing themselves as an EFL club.

Also interesting to compare the money spent at Borough Park to the investment at the Envirovent Stadium, not to mention the budgets handed to various managers.

On this particular day, though, we pieced together another of several wins recorded there, coming from behind to do so.     

Played in heavy rain throughout and on a mud-bath surface, Town made a whirlwind start and had a goal disallowed, converted a penalty and hit the woodwork before Reds realised the game had actually started!

But a very special Phil McLuckie goal restored parity and Gareth Arnison netted what proved to be the winner on the stroke of half time to secure three deserved Blue Square North points.

Joe Kendrick

2007   Nuneaton Borough (home) 2-0   It was international weekend so Reds opted to play on the Friday night (just like the old days) with a decent crowd (804) turning out to witness a first ever win over Nuneaton.  It was a thoroughly deserved victory which saw us end the evening in 3rd position in Nationwide North.

No great celebrations when Craig Johnston opened the scoring via a first half penalty but the second goal – a spectacular forty yard lob from Joe Kendrick – will be talked about for years.

Tony Hopper had missed the game through injury but he accompanied John Walsh to commentate on what was a cracking game for local radio.

Glenn Murray

2004   Chorley (home) 4-0   After losing by four goals at Matlock a few days earlier, Reds responded superbly and inflicted a similar score line on the Magpies at Borough Park.

Applying themselves far better than their previous outing, Reds were two ahead at the break thanks to a Glenn Murray brace – his final two goals in a Workington shirt.  Steve Archibald and Rob Ennis added further goals in the second half to complete a comprehensive victory.

Current Chorley boss, Jamie Vermiglio, played for the visitors that night and picked up a booking.

Twenty four hours later, Reds Reserves won 4-3 at Chorley!

2002   Stocksbridge Park Steels (away) 0-0   I suppose Reds were the happier of two poor teams after recording a first clean sheet in eight outings.  We had the better of the first half, Steels shaded the second, but it was the defenders who shone with Will Varty and Craig Lewis, in particular, impressive for us.

Mike Bailey

2001   Kendal Town (away) 0-2   After five successive victories over Kendal, all by a 2-0 margin, we lost to our south of the county neighbours by the very same score line in a rare Friday evening fixture at Parkside Road.

Future Workington player, Nick Rogan, scored one of the goals for Kendal while former Town midfielder, Mike Bailey, came closest to netting a consolation for us.

Billy Barr, current head coach of Blackburn Rovers U23s, was one of few Reds players to impress in a disappointing defeat.

Tony Fyfe

1996   Whitley Bay (home) 1-0   A good disciplined performance helped Reds to the second of three wins we inflicted upon Bay that season.  We had already knocked them out of the FA Cup before going on to complete a league double at their expense.

Substitute Tony Fyfe netted the late winner with his first goal for the club.

Paul Campbell

1993   Netherfield (away) 2-1   The Kendal club hadn’t gone through their various name changes at that time and were outplayed by Reds in a Tuesday night fixture.  Paul Campbell and Graham Caton had scored the goals which established a comfortable lead spoiled only by the late consolation goal we gifted to the hosts.

Graham Caton

1991   Bridlington Town (away) 1-2   Reds were bemoaning their luck, or rather the lack of it, as they lost by the odd goal in three in East Yorkshire.  A bright, positive start resulted in Graham Caton netting the game’s first goal but the hosts got back on terms with a controversial penalty.

And the winner was rather fortunate it has to be said.  Wayne Noteman knew very little about the decider as a wayward shot from a colleague struck him and deflected past Keith Hunton and into the net.

Keith Hunton

1985   Bangor City (away) 1-1   Keith Hunton was also mentioned in despatches in this mid-eighties visit to Bangor’s old Farrar Road ground (now an Asda supermarket).  He picked up the first yellow card of his career inside the first minute and that remains the quickest ever caution administered to a Workington player.

The team sheet revealed four players called Williams were playing – three in the home side and Vaughn Williams, an Englishman, for Reds.

But it was a Carruthers we had to thank for our second half equaliser – Allan, in fact!   

Keith Skillen

1974   Brentford (away) 1-1   A crowd of over 5,000 turned up for this Fourth division encounter which kicked off at 3.15pm.  They witnessed a competitive draw with Roger Cross scoring for the Bees and Keith Skillen replying for blue-shirted Reds.

There was an interesting piece in the match-day programme with Brentford claiming they had become the first club to use the Football League’s facsimile machine to register a transfer!

1970   Swansea Town (away) 0-0   Reds had stayed in South Wales over the weekend, having played at Newport on the Saturday, and completed their successful mini-tour with a hard earned point in a Monday night encounter at the Vetch Field.

The Swans were chasing promotion and had the backing of a 10,910 crowd but Reds held firm and Mike Rogan’s clean sheet left them well pleased with their efforts.

1968   Wrexham (home) 1-2   There was also a strong Welsh theme when Wrexham visited Borough Park on this day fifty three years ago.  It meant we faced Welsh opponents for the third successive home game with Swansea Town and Newport County having travelled to the far north-west earlier that month.

It proved third time unlucky because we lost to the North Wales outfit having collected point(s) from the other two!    

Wrexham included Gordon Livsey in goal and he would become Reds’ first post Football League manager, player-manager in fact, in 1977.

He was beaten by George McLean’s late goal but the points were already in the bag at that stage with Wrexham two goals ahead.

1963   Darlington (home) 2-0   This mid-table clash was decided in Reds favour thanks to goals from Barry Lowes, his seventh goal of the season, and Mike Commons who scored his twelfth of a successful personal campaign.

1957   Hartlepools United (away) 1-2   It was unusual to see both ‘Pools’ and Reds at the top end of the table and even more remarkable that this Third Division (North) encounter attracted a 11,794 crowd (including a large contingent from Workington) to the Victoria ground. Ken Chisholm, our former Sunderland player, scored the goal in a frustrating defeat.

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