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Friday, 25 April 2014

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Workington Reds see off Barwell in FA Cup

Workington Reds 2 Barwell 0: Workington waltzed into the final FA Cup qualifying round with a comfortable 2-0 win over Barwell.

Gareth Arnison photo
Gareth Arnison on the attack

Jordan Connerton and Jake Simpson fired the goals that secured Reds’ right of passage in a deadly last 13 minutes.

Former Crewe hitman Connerton slid the ball expertly past Liam Castle to open the scoring on 77 minutes.

It followed a sublime backheel by Gareth Arnison that allowed Connerton to stare into the whites of Castle’s eyes.

Simpson cemented Reds’ victory with a last minute volley as Barwell chased the game.

His back-post strike came after good work from fellow substitute, who raced clear down the right wing.

Workington were the better side throughout, as Southern Premier side Barwell struggled to keep up the relentless pace.

The Leicestershire minnows resorted to naughty challenges, culminating in a bust up after Nigel Julien went through Dan Wordsworth late into added time.

Workington’s win set up a mouth-watering clash with Blue Square Bet Premier side Mansfield.

Just 90 minutes separate Reds from a place in the first round proper, but in ex-Football League side Mansfield, they face dangerous opposition.

Darren Edmondson’s men have only made the first round once in the last 30 years – losing in 2007 to Bury.

In the third qualifying round replay, Barwell chased shadows for most of the match, but when in possession, switched defence into attack with vigour.

Paul Spacey hit the base of the post midway through the first half after a beautiful cross-field ball by strike partner Luke Barlone.

That was as good as it got for the visitors, as a Mark Boyd-inspired Reds began to take their opponents apart.

Boyd was handed the captain’s armband with David Hewson missing through injury, and played his new role well.

The midfielder’s passing ability and set piece delivery is a huge weapon in Workington’s armoury and Boyd took centre stage with a number of raking balls.

And it was the ex-Carlisle United man that fired the first shot in anger.

Unfortunately, his 24th minute effort was straight at Castle, who gathered at his feet.

Arnison was next to try his luck, but the striker again hit his shot straight at the goalkeeper.

After the break, Kyle May had a chance to make himself a FA Cup hero again, but unlike against Blyth Spartans in the previous round, the defender’s header was deflected wide.

The difference between the first half and second was the introduction of striker Wright, whose industry caused problems for the Barwell defence.

Despite the numerous attacking options open to Workington, it was full back Niall Cowperthwaite who threatened to open the scoring on 66 minutes.

The marauding defender jinked through the defence, before firing a warning shot from the edge of the box.

Stalemate didn’t last much longer as nine minutes after Wright’s introduction, the deadlock was broken.

Wright’s ball into the feet of Arnison saw the striker cheekily flick the ball into the path of Connerton, who took a touch below rolling the ball past the hapless Castle.

The goal sparked Barwell into life, and the visitors began to chase the game, Workington cemented their place in the next round.

Simpson, on for less than six minutes, had hardly touched the ball before slamming home at the far post.

Workington Reds: Taylor, Cowperthwaite, Wordsworth, May, Bolton, Vaulks, Boyd (Wright 68), McLuckie, Connerton, Arnison, da Costa (Simpson 84). Subs (not used): Scott, Hewson, Dixon, Wraighte, Brown.

Attendance: 386

Referee: Paul Davison

Star man: Niall Cowperthwaite continues to impress at right back. His defensive work and distribution help Workington at both ends of the pitch.

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