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Saturday, 29 November 2014

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Draw a fair result as Workington Reds grab vital point

Droylsden 1 Workington Reds 1: How important this point will be, or conversely how damaging the loss of two extra points might have been, will only be clear in three week’s time.

Dan Wordsworth photo
Dan Wordsworth

Certainly it was a game that Darren Edmondson’s team could have won to ease their relegation concerns, yet over the 90 minutes a draw was probably a fair result for what in general terms was an even contest.

Both teams had their periods of ascendancy but in pure chance-creations Workington did set-up the better opportunities.

The nature of this remarkably tight fight to avoid the drop is that teams have to go about their business and then take stock of how their rivals have done. There will be good and bad news in the shelter of the dressing room.

That’s the way it’s been for several weeks now and as we enter the final straight in the race to avoid the third relegation berth up to 12th-placed Colwyn Bay could still be considered vulnerable to any severe collapse over the final four games.

So it’s any one of nine for the drop to accompany Blyth and Eastwood who have been doomed for weeks.

With two of them Colwyn Bay (12th and 48pts) and Histon (20th and 42pts) still to visit Borough Park Reds have two must-win home games when victories would go a long way to propelling them to safety.

Apart from an early goal, Edmondson couldn’t have wished for a better start from his side at the Butcher’s Arms. They were busy, determined and playing the brighter football for the first 15 minutes.

Then, such was the nature of the game, Droylsden had a good 15 minute spell when they created two of their best chances.

The half ended with a flurry of end-to-end fare when Workington went closest to taking the lead.

Anthony Wright had seen a low, curling shot from the edge of the area skim wide of the post beyond the diving Danzelle St. Louis-Hamilton. Another Wright effort, of a similar trajectory, cannoned off a surprised Jordan Connerton and went just wide.

But the best opportunity came when Mark Beck, given his first senior start, found Phil McLuckie with a good head and was then back in the danger area to meet his accurate cross but put his header over the bar.

Dale Johnson had two good openings for Droylsden but saw one flicked effort well blocked by Aaran Taylor, while he couldn’t get enough on a second attempt on goal; and the Reds keeper saved easily.

A clever free-kick just before the half-time whistle saw Droylsden work an opening for top-scorer Dan Gardner who fired into the side netting.

It was Gardner who broke the deadlock after 57 minutes with his 14th goal of the season.

Taylor went to punch a Carlos Logan corner but it wasn’t a conclusive clearance. Gardner controlled the ball on the edge of the area and then fired a smart, low shot through a forest of legs beyond the unsighted Taylor into the bottom corner.

To their credit Workington came back and a first Blue Square North goal by young Beck put them back on terms ten minutes later.

Droylsden, as is their style, play from the back but when St. Louis-Hamilton rolled the ball to Nat Kerr on the edge of the area we expected a square pass to ex-Reds defender Andy Langford.

But Kerr dwelt on the bal and Beck closed him down well. He robbed him and then went on to slide the ball past a startled St. Louis-Hamilton to put Reds back on terms.

In the final 20 minutes Workington had the best chance to clinch all three points. Gareth Arnison, one of their best players on the day, latched onto a long ball over the top but shot tamely and St. Louis-Hamilton gathered easily.

Taylor had to go down smartly to save shots from Gardner and substitute Alirou N’sangou but the home side didn’t seriously trouble a solid Workington back four.

So, it’s on to Easter Monday and the crucial visit of Colwyn Bay when victory, and good fortune with results elsewhere, could see Reds move significantly up the table.

Workington Reds: Taylor, Andrews, Flynn, May, Wordsworth, A. Wright (Simpson 88), McLuckie, Hewson, Connerton (Berkeley 87), Arnison, Beck. Subs (not used) Boyd, Main, Sloan.

Referee: Ian Hussan, Liverpool

Crowd: 245

Star man: Dan Wordsworth - Has settled in really well at right-back since the arrival of the excellent Adam Flynn and as well as being solid in defence was also at times an excellent attacking option.

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