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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Ten-man Workington Reds win to go top of the table

Hyde United 2 Workington Reds 3: A blistering first half show by the Reds was enough to see them through to a second successive victory and top spot in Blue Square Bet North.

But for the second time in just over 48 hours the west Cumbrians had to endure a nervous finale as the opposition cut the deficit to just one goal with another 89th minute strike.

Three excellent goals in the first half put Darren Edmondson’s men firmly in control but Hyde responded to a verbal assault from their boss Neil Tolson during the break and made a fight of it on the resumption.

The fact that Workington conceded a goal, then had skipper Dave Hewson, sent off for a second yellow card, meant it was even harder to stay in front as they battled for the last twenty minutes with just ten men.

Edmondson said: “We seemed to be well in control but I could hear Neil giving his side what-for during the break. He’s normally a pretty calm individual but he was really fired up and I told my players to expect a different side in the second half.

“Certainly we had to with stand some strong pressure and after losing ‘Dabber’ I was pleased with the grit and determination we showed in seeing it through to collect the win.

“ I wasn’t happy at the way we conceded the two goals and the second coming late on put us under extra pressure for the four minutes that were added on.”

Remarkably it was Workington’s eighth straight away win in the league - seven in a row last season to help the Reds into the play-offs - with the last two coming at Hyde albeit four months apart.

After seeing his side battered 5-0 at Telford in the opening game one can only imagine what boss Tolson was feeling at half time, having shipped another three goals in 45 minutes.

As for Edmondson he isn’t getting carried away with his view from the summit. He asked for a positive start to the season following only one win in the first nine games a year ago, and has had a fine response from his players but there’s a lot of hard work ahead.

Reds didn’t start particularly well with Hyde enjoying more possession early on and Workington giving the ball away cheaply.

But all that changed after 19 minutes when some neat play out on the left involving Anthony Wright and Gareth Arnison ended with the ball being teed-up for Dave Hewson to hit an absolute screamer from 25 yards which beat the diving Craig Mawson to flash into the net off the inside of a post.

That got Workington going and for the rest of the half they were the dominant force scoring two more eye-catching goals to enjoy a substantial lead at the break.

The second came on 24 minutes when Andy Langford knocked the ball up to Arnison and a clever lay-off found Jonny Wright on the right hand side of the area. He looked up to view the possibilities before drilling a low shot across Mawson into the far corner.

When Workington scored again on 42 minutes the game looked over. Mawson came out too far to the right hand edge of his area and Phil McLuckie calmly saw his opportunity to lift the ball over the keeper and into the vacant net before any covering defender could get there.

But if Workington were expecting to continue their dominance into the second half they were given a rude awakening as Hyde responded well to their manager’s dressing down.

Reds were under pressure from the first minute as Hyde played more directly, getting the ball forward much earlier than they had in the first half.

Three early substitutions seemed to help as well and former Barrow winger Carlos Logan, on his debut, started to have an influence.

Michael Taylor headed just wide from a corner; Jonny Wright headed off the line from another flag kick and Aaron Taylor made two excellent stops to deny Logan and Lee Rick.

Workington just weren’t seen as an attacking force and on the hour Hyde were given heart when they scored. Logan did well to get round the back on the left and his low pull back was slotted home by one of the subs Scott Mooney.

It was still all Hyde when Workington suffered a further setback on 70 minutes with a second yellow card for Hewson following a mis-timed tackle.

Yet at 3-1, and down to 10 men, Workington could have made the game safe. McLuckie made a 70 yard break into the Hyde area and although his shot was mis-cued it fell to the unmarked Arnison, only a few feet from goal but somehow he contrived to steer it the wrong side of the post.

Workington were restricted to break-outs and were generally forced onto the back foot where they needed an inspirational display from the dependable Kyle May to hold them together.

Just when it seemed they had done enough to hold on the home side scored again in the 89th minute.

Substitute Lee Pugh was given too much space out on the left and he cut in for goal before unleashing a rocket across the diving Taylor and into the far corner.

Fortunately Hyde couldn’t get as close again in the four minutes of added time and Workington left the field as league leaders.

Star man over the 90 minutes Kyle May, particularly for an inspirational performance in the second half when Workington were under real pressure to hang on to their lead.

Shaun Vipond and Jonny Wright worked hard throughout while full backs Andy Langford and Gari Rountree had been outstanding in the first half.

Reds: Taylor, Langford, Rountree, May, White, Vipond, McLuckie, Hewson, Jonny Wright (Tymon 81) Arnison, (Hindmarch 76) A Wright (Tinnion 67). Subs (not used): Ruttledge, Main.

Referee: S Lucas

Attendance: 372

Star Man: Kyle May



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