ON THIS DAY: 27 March – Farce at Lincoln United & a Paul Stewart standing ovation

Historical matches on this day have included encounters against Lincoln City and Lincoln United as we reflect on Reds adventures from the 27th March in years gone by…….

2004   Lincoln United (away) 0-1   This game was an unnecessary inconvenience and should not have been played, leaving a sour taste with Workington supporters who take the fair play stance seriously.  Reds followers don’t mind losing (it comes with the territory) and this wasn’t a case of sour grapes, more an example of being hoodwinked.

The game was originally staged a couple of months earlier on 17th January but ended in complete farce when the referee sustained an injury before abandoning the contest after seventy five minutes with, surprise, surprise, Reds leading 2-1 at the time.

The Lincoln management team refused to allow either one of Reds’ staff (a qualified referee) or a local volunteer to deputise as an assistant referee and when informed by the League that the match had to be completed, they claimed several of their players had already showered and left the ground.

Lincoln had been the better team overall although Reds scored two cracking goals, through Rob Ennis and Graham Goulding, and were in the ascendency when the referee was injured.

At a hearing in February, the NPL charged Lincoln United with failing to fulfil the fixture and imposed a £500 fine, ordered the match to be replayed with Lincoln also having to pay our travel expenses second time around.

And so to the ‘replayed’ game which, inevitably, we lost.  United won thanks to a second half header from skipper Bren McDaid in what was a strange afternoon, a somewhat frosty atmosphere, with some Reds officials boycotting the Ashby Avenue Boardroom.

Johnny Martin

1971   Lincoln City (home) 2-1   Workington were also ahead (2-1) in the Fourth Division encounter against City and, thankfully, no injuries to any of the match officials saw the game duly completed.

Our overall record against the Imps was poor and we only managed two successes in twenty four meetings against them.

This proved to be our only victory at Borough Park and helping us achieve the rare win were Johnny Martin and Tommy Spratt who scored the goals that day.

Tommy Spratt

1967   Scunthorpe United (away) 1-4   Tommy Spratt was also on target for Reds in a heavy Easter Monday defeat at Scunthorpe’s Old Show Ground when he had the satisfaction of scoring against future Liverpool and England goalkeeper, Ray Clemence.

But the main topic of conversation on the day revolved around the Scunthorpe ‘skipper, Keith Burkinshaw – a former Workington stalwart with well over 300 appearances as a Red to his credit!

Matches during the eighties on this day seemed to be high-scoring affairs but, sadly, not always in our favour.

1982   Lancaster City (home) 3-2   Reds trailed (1-2) at half time with skipper John Reach on the score-sheet, after conceding an own-goal.

But John Smith, who would manage City in later years, scored twice and another from Martin Harris guided us to a welcome and, eventually, deserved victory.

1984   Oswestry Town (home) 3-4   I suppose for the neutral this would have been a cracking game but not sure how many neutrals would attend a Tuesday night fixture between Workington and Oswestry.

From a Reds perspective, it was kamikaze football – good going forward but poor defensively.  Sharing the goals were Graham Gill, Wayne Harrison (who converted a penalty) and John Reach the latter scoring at the right end on this occasion.

1989   Bishop Auckland (away) 0-4  Another Easter Monday thumping with a makeshift Reds line-up no match for a good Bishop’s side who would finish the season as runner-up.      

Kinsway, Bishop Auckland

We were three goals down at the interval but, thankfully, just one more was added in the second half.

Paul Campbell

1993   Eastwood Town (away) 1-0   This was Reds’ third of four away games in nine days and part of a double header which saw us play at Eastwood on the Saturday and Shepshed Albion next morning.

But the busy weekend got off to a bad start with another breakdown on the motorway culminating in a late arrival (1505) at the ground.  The game was underway twenty minutes later and, despite the lack of preparation, we somehow managed to win with Paul Campbell scoring the only goal of the game.

1999   Maine Road (home) 2-0   I think after the harrowing BBC documentary, Football’s Darkest Secret which aired this week, we should include a positive Paul Stewart story and we got one during our North West Counties League title winning campaign.

Paul Stewart

Paul emerged as ‘man-of-the-mach’ in the home clash against Maine Road and scored a cracking second goal in what was a very comfortable victory.  He left the field to a standing ovation from an appreciative home crowd as Reds took another step towards the championship.  Darren Wilson had opened the scoring that day.

Our last Football League encounter on this day was at AFC Bournemouth, which we lost to a first half Steve Buttle goal, whilst our most recent NPL fixture was at Warrington Town three years ago where we salvaged a point thanks to a Dav Symington equaliser.

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