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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

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Fans miss a cracker as Workington Reds go so close

Worcester 1 Workington Reds 1: It was almost the perfect response to last week’s FA Trophy debacle at Ossett Town. Workington could have shaded this exciting Blue Square North clash at St George’s Lane after going a goal behind in the first-half.

Jonny Wright photo
Jonny Wright

But returning home with a point from a side enjoying a run in the league’s top five was an honest return after a committed display pleased manager Darren Edmondson.

Admitting it had been his worst week in football management, the Reds boss praised his side for the way they had bounced back after the Ossett defeat.

“That was more like what we are capable of and I thought it was an excellent performance against a side going well in the promotion places. With some sharper finishing we would have won the game,” he said.

The majority of the 60 fans who gave Edmo and his team such a rough ride after the Ossett game weren’t there this time, which was a pity because this was a much more palatable exhibition, and one that they would have enjoyed.

The last 20 minutes or so, in fact, were quite thrilling when both sides went for the win in exciting fashion. A series of counter-attacks meant the game swung from end to end, yet it was always Workington who looked the more likely to snatch a winner.

Joe Mwasile, who had rarely been involved during the first-half, a frustrated observer on the edge of the game, burst into life late on and was very close to being the Reds hero.

Slipped in by Gareth Arnison, nimble feet took him past the last defender but then he snatched at an instant shot from just inside the box and skied the ball over the bar.

Watch match highlights. Article continues below...


Jonny Wright, who was at his imperious best, leading the attack in the style of an old fashioned centre-forward, saw a goal bound shot strike a defender with the keeper beaten – and it flew to safety.

Kyle May, outstanding in a very good Workington back four, headed over from a corner when he should have, at least, hit the target and Mwasile pulled a low shot on the run just outside the foot of the far post.

These were all in the final frantic 20 minutes and although Worcester broke dangerously as well they were never able to seriously unhinge the Workington defence. There was one curling shot from Mike Symons which saw Aaran Taylor flinging himself across to paw away, but the effort was already going wide.

Worcester had their best spell in the first half when Taylor did have work to do and they rounded-off that ten-minute period with their goal.

Full-back Tyler Weir started the move in his own half on 20 minutes, laying the ball forward to Matt Breeze. Then as the midfielder waited Weir continued his run and when he received the return pass he thumped a fine shot from the edge of the area beyond Taylor’s reach.

Reds should have been level almost instantly. James Bolton won the ball in his own half and then went on a run down the right wing before sliding in a perfect low cross. Unfortunately skipper Dave Hewson arrived on cue but fired high over the bar.

Then just before half-time Workington almost got on terms again. A free-kick from 30 yards by Will Vaulks was too hot for keeper Glyn Thompson to handle and he just palmed it past the post.

From the corner Wright got in a strong header but it was straight at Thompson on his line.

Vaulks, typically busy and purposeful in all he did, was signing-off after three good months with the west Cumbrians.

Hopefully, though, Reds might be able to swing a deal which could see him return permanently. Already a big fans’ favourite he would like to come back but talks are still on-going between Reds, Tranmere and the youngsters’ agent. Tuesday could be D-Day for any deal.

Reds equaliser on 57 minutes sparked the thrilling climax to the game. Although Workington had played some neat, passing football that leveller came from route-one, ale-house football.

Taylor’s long clearance beat the Worcester back line and Arnison was onto it quickly, confidently steering his shot past Thompson as he came out.

Before then Arnison had lifted a lob over the keeper onto the roof of the net and Wright headed wide from a good position. Worcester certainly weren’t as secure at the back after skipper Stuart Whitehead was stretchered off just before half-time.

Workington Reds: Taylor, Cowperthwaite, Rowntree, May, Bolton, Vaulks, McLuckie, Hewson, J. Wright, Arnison, Mwasile (Wraighte 88). Subs (not used) Connerton, Wordsworth, A. Wright, Andrews.

Referee: Simon Barrow, Staffordshire

Crowd: 817

Star man: Jonny Wright - A throw back in some way to another age but so important to the Workington side when he’s on song. Just shaded Kyle May, who was a commanding and calming figure for Reds, at the back.

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