On this day – 5 April

A look through the archives to see what was happening to Reds on the 5th April in years gone by………………..

The Workington Reds of old haven’t fared too well on this particular day and, of twenty one matches played, have only won on five occasions.

And the solitary win recorded under the North Eastern League banner was probably the least expected.  Sunderland Reserves were our opponents at Lonsdale Park ninety six years ago, with the Reds of the day winning 2-0 thanks to goals from Jack Thom, on his way to finishing top scorer in the NEL, and Cyril Shaw.

It was a similar tale of woe in the five Football League matches played.

Heavy defeats were handed out at York City (1-5) in 1952 and at Lincoln City (1-4) in 1969 but at least there was some satisfaction for the respective scorers, Ted Cushin and Joe Wilson, who rarely found the target.

There was a ‘more respectable’ reverse following our 1965 visit to Queens Park Rangers where Kit Napier (inset) scored his 14th goal of the season in a 2-1 defeat.

We also played York City at home in 1958 but were held to a goalless draw and that was also the outcome of a 1975 trip to Doncaster Rovers at their old Belle Vue ground.

There was a surprise when the team arrived at the ground as manager Colin Meldrum (pictured) wasn’t on the coach.  He had been ‘relieved of his duties’ and was back at home.

All things considered, it was a good point.

Colin Meldrum

David Wilson was another manager under pressure towards the end of ’77-78 and a poor run of form included a 3-1 defeat at Bangor City where Barry Donaghy’s fine goal counted for nothing.

Logistically, that was a tough one as it took five hours to get to Bangor to fulfil the Wednesday night fixture!

And our players didn’t have it easy in 1981 and 1987either, playing ‘double-headers’ over the weekend.

In 1981, and having lost at Buxton on the Saturday, we got back on track with a Sunday success at Worksop Town winning 2-0 thanks to well taken goals from Graham Gill and Paul Handley.

We kicked off at 11am on a Sunday morning for the 1987 visit to Matlock having played at Oswestry the previous afternoon.  A decent performance was to no avail as we lost 2-1with Carl Burdon our scorer.

Bradford Park Avenue have beaten us twice on this day, doing so in Yorkshire in 1997 (0-1) and on home soil in 2014 (0-2).  Our 1997 defeat didn’t make the sporting headlines but that was the day the Grand National was cancelled because of ‘security concerns’.        

We had an Easter Monday trip to Barrow in 1999, not for a match at Holker Street but for the North West Counties League clash at Rakesmoor Lane, home of Holker Old Boys.  A 2-0 win completed a league double with Mathew Henney and Lee Taylor sharing the goals.

Dave Helliwell had enjoyed a superb afternoon in the aforementioned clash at Doncaster Rovers but, prior to a home game versus Bishop Auckland in 2003, we were mourning his loss after his sad passing. 

We were 2-0 down against Bishops but salvaged a point thanks to an own-goal after a Craig Johnston strike had given us hope.

There was plenty of cheer in 2008 and 2010 with Reds winning both Conference North matches played on the 5th.

We recovered from conceding the opening goal at Hyde United in 2008 to win 2-1 with Jonny Wright and Michael Reed goals securing the points.

And, two years later, we got the better of league leaders, Fleetwood Town, thanks to Phil McLuckie’s first half winner at Borough Park.   

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