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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Five matches unbeaten as Workington Reds edge to safety

Workington Reds 3 Colwyn Bay 1: Records will be broken if Workington Reds are relegated after Darren Edmondson’s men beat Colwyn Bay 3-1.

Gareth Arnison photo
Workington players celebrate Arnison's goal

Two goals in as many second- half minutes guided Workington to a fifth game unbeaten.

No team has ever been demoted with 47 points – a haul Reds share with five other teams all vying to stay in the Blue Square Bet North.

Gareth Arnison, Kyle May and Phil McLuckie fired the goals to earn Workington a well-deserved win in a match they dominated.

Filthy Cumbrian weather awaited Colwyn, who made their first ever trek to Borough Park, and in ex-Jamaica international Frank Sinclair had a man with bags of experience.

The former Chelsea star started well, clearing most balls that came his way, but his lack of mobility was exploited by the quicker Workington attackers.

Colwyn arrived in west Cumbria on a terrible five- match losing streak, and never looked like bringing the disastrous run to an end.

With just four minutes on the clock Jordan Connerton came within inches of giving Reds the lead, but his stabbed effort was deflected for a corner off ‘keeper Connor Roberts.

The Crewe loanee reacted quickest to Dan Wordsworth’s flicked header from Anthony Wright’s free-kick.

Minutes later, May controlled and drilled an 18-yard effort on to the Colwyn Bay cross bar as Workington imposed themselves on their Welsh rivals.

The pace of Wright and McLuckie was too much for Colwyn, whose rigid defence struggled to cope with the fleet-of-foot wide boys.

Arnison led the line well, but failed to hit the target when captain David Hewson played him through one-on-one with Roberts.

Hewson, who starred in the middle of midfield, dispossessed Sinclair before sliding the perfect ball for Arnison, who smashed over. The striker made amends less than 60 seconds later when he latched onto a loose ball by Colwyn captain Luke Denson, and, at the second attempt, rolled the ball home.

Roberts did well to stop Arnison the first time, but the ball rebounded kindly for the tall striker, who made no mistake poking into an empty net.

Six minutes later, and against the run of play, Colwyn levelled in emphatic style.

McLuckie headed away an in-swinging corner, but only to Karl Noon, who took aim from 20 yards and smashed home a stunning strike through a crowded penalty area.

Unsighted Aaran Taylor stood no chance as Noon’s pin-point shot found the back of the net.

That was as good as it got for Colwyn, who never really tested the Workington shot-stopper again.

It was also the kick of the backside Workington needed, and became the spark that reignited their dominance.

Wright should have given Reds the lead again on 28 minutes, but headed wide from six yards.

The winger’s first time effort came after Mark Boyd stung the hands of Roberts, and with nothing but the net to hit, Wright looked certain to score.

Unfortunately, he failed to get a decent connection and the ball hit the side netting.

Since joining from League Two side Crewe, Connerton has continued to impress, and the striker had two chances to score before the break, but both headers went wide.

Two devastating minutes after the restart gifted Workington the win they deserved.

First, on 50 minutes, May swept home Boyd’s corner after Arnison had let the ball run to the defender 15 yards out.

Then, 90 seconds later, McLuckie ghosted in to stab home after a mix-up in the Colwyn defence allowed the winger to finish Arnison’s hopeful centre.

Carlisle youth product Mark Beck and Saint Kitts and Nevis hit man Matthew Berkeley were both given game time.

And both strikers could and should have made the score even more emphatic.

On 77 minutes, Beck’s back-post header was cleared off the line from a Wright corner, and Berkeley raced clear on 84 minutes, but ‘keeper Roberts was equal to his effort.

It was a much-needed win for Workington, and saw Reds move to 15th, level with five other teams who are also on 47 points.

Edmondson’s men remain two points ahead of Histon in the final relegation place, with just three games left.

Workington Reds: Taylor, Andrews, Flynn, May, Wordsworth, Boyd (Berkeley 75), McLuckie, Hewson, Connerton (Beck 63), Arnison, Wright. Subs (not used) Rowntree, Green, Sloan.

Attendance: 514

Referee: Graeme Fyvie

Star man: David Hewson put in a captain’s performance to help Workington to all three points. The midfielder worked tirelessly throughout.

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