A look through the match diaries to see what was happening to Reds on the 29th March in previous years and, apart from some North Eastern League victories in the Twenties and Thirties, it doesn’t make for pleasant reading. Indeed, Reds have lost games on this day conceding four, five, six and seven goals…….
2018 South Shields (home) 1-5 Both teams fielded younger, fringe players for this NPL Challenge Cup quarter final tie with Reds naming six teenagers in the line-up. One of those was Max Brown who celebrated his 19th birthday with a goal on his home debut, netting Reds’ equaliser in the first half.
But Shields’ young prospects looked much brighter than ours in the second half and they romped to an emphatic win to the delight of their supporters who had travelled over the A69 in good numbers.
2014 Solihull Moors (home) 0-0 The Reds’ team had very few local products included with just five Cumbrian born players, and one adopted local, representing the club. One of those was wearing the shirt for the first time with Aden Wainwright making his debut via the bench.
In a relegation season, any point is appreciated and this one certainly was after a good committed performance, resulting in a fifth consecutive draw against Moors.
2003 Trafford (away) 2-3 A goal-keeping crisis on Friday afternoon resulted in Penrith’s James Holland being drafted in for his debut but he was given very little cover by a defence who had an off day.
Tony Hopper opened the scoring in the first half and a Craig Johnston penalty was the final goal of the afternoon, just before the final whistle, but the problem was bottom-of-the table Trafford netted three goals in between!
1997 Droylsden (away) 1-3 Lee Bowen’s fine headed goal was Reds response to going two goals down but it didn’t trigger a fight-back and we were comfortably beaten by the Droylsden Reds.
The new stand was under construction and the players changed in a cramped portakabin.
1980 Frickley Athletic (home) 1-2 Probably a blessing that John Walsh didn’t have to commentate on this match with Workington naming a Gill, a Thompson and a Smith in their squad with Frickley fielding two players called Gill, a Thompson and a Smith in their line-up.
One of the Gill’s, Reds’ Graham, did head home an equaliser for the hosts after Dave Smith had opened the scoring for Frickley but John Woodall’s second half strike sealed the points for the South Elmsall side.
1975 Chester (away) 0-0 As had become the norm in the mid-seventies, Reds were fighting to stay out of the bottom four Re-election Zone whilst Chester, backed by a 6,000 crowd, were hoping to get out of the Fourth Division via the top end of the table.
We belied our lowly position with a good, confident performance and were a tad unlucky not to claim both points at Sealand Road.
Like the Borough Park contest just before Christmas, it finished goalless with Mike Rogan the less busy of the two ‘keepers.
1968 Southend United (away) 0-7 I don’t think there are many plausible excuses for such a heavy defeat but Reds’ boss, Frank Upton, did his best with his post match comments:
“We lost heavily against a top four side but it’s remarkable that whenever a top team meets one of the strugglers, the breaks always favour the former,” he said, adding, “Southend were a good side, make no mistake about that, but they weren’t seven goals better.”
It didn’t matter in the final analysis, though, Southend failed to win promotion after finishing 6th and Reds still ended next to bottom but, thankfully, were re-elected.
1965 Port Vale (away) 0-2 Reds opened their first season of Third Division football with an eye-catching 4-1 win over Port Vale but the Burslem club got their revenge with a comfortable win in the return.
Over 7,000 fans attended the Monday night fixture.
1958 Chester (away) 3-4 Our ’74-75 clashes against Chester were a mirror image of each other after both finished goalless. It was a similar scenario over the two encounters during the ’57-58 campaign with Reds winning a goal feast (5-3) at Borough Park but going down by the odd goal in seven at Sealand Road.
Clive Colbridge, who had also scored in the home match, netted one of the goals with recent recruits Joe Armstrong and Gus Alexander also finding the Chester net, albeit in vain.
1952 Bradford City (home) 0-1 City were one of nine clubs who inflicted a double upon us during our inaugural season in Third Division (North) – they won both matches by the narrowest of margins.
1948 Ashington (away) 0-6 There were numerous high scoring encounters in the first few months of 1948 and this heavy defeat in the north east was all the more remarkable because we had won 6-0 against Hartlepools United Reserves just two days earlier!
1937 Spennymoor United (home) 3-0 There was some cheer for Workington supporters – eighty four years ago! We hosted Spennymoor in the semi-final of the North Eastern League Challenge Cup with a crowd of 4,511spectators turning out at Lonsdale Park and generating gate receipts of £183!
Dougie Sewell scored twice that day with the long serving Tommy Carruthers also on target as Thirties Reds reached their second League Cup final.
A month later, Spennymoor returned to Lonsdale Park and inflicted a 1-0 defeat upon us in the league.
1930 Scotswood (away) 1-0 We have to delve back even further to find our last league victory on this day – ninety one years in fact! The prolific Jack Thom scored the only goal – one of forty two he netted in the NEL that season. With cup goals added, Thom finished with an impressive tally of 59 at the end of the 1929-30 season.