On this day – 27 April

A look through the archives to see what was happening to Reds on the 27th April in years gone by………

There was an end-of-season thriller for the Borough Park regulars, and a few hundred extras, in 2004 with a Cumbrian derby in the NPL President’s Cup Final (pictured).

It was a two-legged affair with Barrow holding a 3-2 advantage from the Holker Street contest three weeks earlier.

A crowd of 1,598 was announced for what was only our second NPL related final, the other, in the same competition (different format), had been twenty years earlier.

And credit to both sides for their gung-ho approach which ensured a cracking end-to-end contest, keeping the spectators entertained for 120 minutes in a seven goal encounter.

Gavin Knight scored an early goal for the Bluebirds but Reds were back in the game when Craig Johnston equalised from the spot. We then went in front on the night but level on aggregate when Matt Henney made it 2-1 in our favour.

Michael Rankine restored Barrow’s advantage with a goal six minutes from time only for Paul O’Neill to restore our slender advantage three minutes before the end of normal time.

At that point, it was 3-2 to Reds and 5-5 on aggregate with extra time to follow.

The place erupted when Robert Ennis scored our fourth goal on the night but our celebrations subsided when Neil Campbell scored a third for our south Cumbrian neighbours.

So, after two hours, the match finished in a 4-3 Workington victory but the tie was level with a 6-6 aggregate score meaning Barrow won the cup on the ‘away goals’ rule!

Five years earlier, in 1999, Reds’ dramatic North West Counties League campaign was just three games away from glory. Our last away match of the season was a Tuesday night fixture at Atherton Collieries, and despite picking up a few niggling injuries and completing the game with only ten men, we won 2-0, our twelfth victory on the trot! Matt Swailes and Grant Holt grabbed the all important goals.

The matter was in our own hands – victory in our two final home games and the title was ours. How often have we been able to say that over the years?

Workington’s best Football League win on this day was back in 1957 when we concluded our home programme with an emphatic 4-1 success over Accrington Stanley who had beaten us at Peel Park the previous week.

Ted Purdon netted twice that day with Jimmy Dailey’s 25th of the season and Ernie Talbot’s first Borough Park goal completing the scoring.

Dave Helliwell’s goal on this day in 1971proved sufficient to see off promoted York City at Borough Park but there was a more satisfying 1-0 win at the Old Showground in 1974.

Reds had gone all through the ’73-74 season without an away win then, on the last day, emerged victorious against Scunthorpe United thanks to Brian Heslop’s goal.

Penalties have featured often in the past with mixed success.

Marc Green and Craig Johnston were successful from the spot in the early 2000s, with the former’s goal securing a 1-0 victory over Lincoln United at Borough Park in 2002 and the latter ensuring we won by the same score at Whitby Town in 2005.

But David Hewson’s farewell (pictured) at Solihull Moors lacked the fairytale ending when his penalty skimmed the top of the bar in our end-of-season 2-2 draw in 2013. Jonny Wright and Jordan Connerton did manage to find the target in open play.

And, twelve months ago, Luke Ivison was given the ball at Scarborough Athletic after he had been tripped in the box. He bravely stepped forward but Tommy Taylor hadn’t read the script and kept out Ivo’s spot kick before Kieran Maguire slotted home the rebound.
It was all in vain as we lost 5-1 on the east coast.

Not much joy in the East Midlands either, back in the nineties.

We lost 4-3 at Alfreton Town in 1991 despite the best efforts of Craig McCutcheon, out seventeen year old debutant goalkeeper, and having equalised three times through Graeme Nicholson, Peter Harbach and Andy Walker.

Then at Worksop Town in 1996 we squandered a 2-0 lead and had to settle for a point after conceding twice in the last four minutes.

Graham Caton

Graham Caton (inset) had netted with a header and a superb chip over the ‘keeper to put us in the driving seat but the harsh dismissal of Nigel Dustin proved a turning point.

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