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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Second half Harrogate goals sink Workington Reds

Harrogate 2 Workington Reds 0: Two second-half goals undid Workington Reds in their final Blue Square Bet North away game of the season.

Shaun Vipond photo
Shaun Vipond, left

But it was a familiar story for the west Cumbrians as they had been the better side, created the opportunities and were unable to take them.

Harrogate, who had caused few problems in the first-half, played with more width after the break and started to pose questions and they took the chances that came their way.

The home side had been unbeaten in 10 games before Saturday’s 5-1 drubbing at Droylsden and there might have been a hangover from that as Workington bossed the first 45 minutes.

The Reds closed down well, played some decent football and went closest to breaking the deadlock.

After two early efforts from Shaun Vipond and Gareth Arnison, straight at home keeper Mark Cook, the best football of the half almost produced the first goal.

Jonny Wright intercepted a Harrogate pass in midfield and after playing a clever one-two with strike partner Gareth Arnison, found himself free in the box. With one touch to set-up the shot he lashed a powerful drive goalwards only to see Cook make a brilliant save, touching the ball over the bar.

Wright was denied on that occasion by a super stop but he should have done a lot better when the next chance arose midway through the half. This time Mark Sloan lifted a clever ball into the box and Wright was clear, only eight yards out, but as the ball dropped for him he didn’t get a good enough connection and it was virtually a back pass to Cook.

At the other end Aaran Taylor only had to contend with routine stuff until just before the break when he had to be alert and well positioned to hold a Wayne Phillips free-kick over his defensive wall.

But Workington did not resume with the same gusto or confidence and instead it was Harrogate who started to play with more purpose and freedom, noticeably spreading the ball wide where Phillips and Danny Wright were both tricky customers.

It was Wright who created the opening goal on 51 minutes when he lifted the ball over Stephen Swinglehurst and Kyle May into the path of Richard Marshall who steered the ball in off the foot of the post.

Taylor saved well from Phillips but the rebound came back to Marshall who should have done better than fire yards over the bar. Graham Armstrong, a summer target for Reds, headed just past the post and young Swinglehurst, who had a solid game at left-back, made an important block as Marshall fired one in. Reds weren’t creating the space or opportunities they had earlier but in a big finish almost got back on terms.

First Wright cut in and fired in a strong, low shot which Cook seemed to fumble but as Andy Murray-Jones arrived late the keeper held on.

Then the industrious Vipond broke into the area and burst past the last defender before squaring the ball across goal. Unfortunately both Murray-Jones and Jonny Blake arrived a fraction early and the ball flew harmlessly behind them.

To add insult to injury Harrogate broke and scored the clinching second goal on 87 minutes. Phillips got away from Andy Langford and a fierce cross was parried at full stretch by Taylor, but it flew conveniently in the air for Armstrong to head a simple goal from close in.

Star man: Shaun Vipond – worked busily and effectively in the middle of the park.

Workington Reds: Taylor, Langford, Swinglehurst, May, Andrews, Vipond, Main (Rudd 88), Hewson (Murray-Jones 80), J. Wright, Arnison, Sloan (Blake 80).

Referee: Matthew Dicicco, Middlesbrough

Crowd: 339

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