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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Workington Reds suffer biggest home league defeat for 17 years

Workington Reds 1 Bradford Park Avenue 6: On any other day, Jonny Wright’s exquisite volley would be the only talking point. Unfortunately for the Workington Reds striker, his outlandish skill was blitzed by a second half capitulation only comparable to Rory McIlroy bottling the 2011 Masters.

Joe Mwasile photo
Joe Mwasile attacks

The Northern Irishman’s disastrous final round of 80 in Augusta cost him a first major victory and a cool £900,000.

Losing just three points pales into insignificance when you study the wider evidence, but the outcome of Workington’s 6-1 defeat to Bradford Park Avenue was no less shocking.

At half time, none of the 397 in attendance could have predicted what was about to unfold.

Reds were dominant, wreaking havoc with some clever play, and creating chances almost at will.

Joe Mwasile was a livewire on the left flank, and with Wright and Gareth Arnison, Workington had an attacking trio capable of extending the five-game unbeaten run.

At 1-1 it was all going according to plan, until referee Gary Beswick blew his whistle to restart proceedings at 4pm.

Just 36 seconds later, Bradford’s incredible scoring spree began.

By 4.04pm it was 3-1, and on 66 minutes later, the game was slipping uncontrollably away.

Two further goals inside the final five minutes compounded the shambolic defeat.

It had started so brightly too, which made the abysmal second half non-performance so breathtaking.

Wright’s equaliser came two minutes after the visitors netted a low drive through Jordan Deacey.

The Workington talisman’s goal was a thing of beauty. A goal that football pundits would’ve purred over had Lionel Messi stood in his place.

Ghosting in at the far post, Mwasile’s floated cross-field ball was hit first time by the striker, from the tightest of angles.

Watching the ball come over his shoulder, Wright’s unwavering skill was perfect as he volleyed into the roof of the net.

And that, in a nutshell, was the only positive Darren Edmondson and his assistant Tony Elliott could take from the game.

Workington were frustratingly wasteful in front of goal again.

Mwasile, David Hewson and Gari Rowntree all saw shots saved by ex-Barrow keeper Tim Deasy, who was a man-mountain between the sticks.

In the second half, Deasy was hardly called upon as Reds were restricted to long-range efforts in a desperate bid to claw back the slimmest degree of respect.

To praise the opposition, Bradford played with swagger and style.

John Deacey’s young side were fit, composed, dogged in defence, and attacked with pace and purpose.

Their second half showing was ridiculously good, but magnified by Reds’ inability to complete the simplest of tasks.

Alex Davidson, Michael Duckworth, Danny Holland, Richard Marshall – from 25 yards – and Tom Greaves completed the rout as Workington conceded six goals in a league game at Borough Park for the first time in 17 years.

On that fateful day in February 1995, Radcliffe Borough ran riot, and only Barrow have managed to match that tally, netting six in a Holker Street clash in 2005.

Mortified Edmondson was as gobsmacked as anyone evaluating the head-puzzling 90 minutes.

“They players were shell-shocked,” he admitted.

“It looked like a performance from a team that didn’t care, but that wasn’t the case.

“The result was destroying for the lads, but it proved that if you don’t take your chances when you’re on top, this kind of result can happen.”

Workington Reds: Taylor, Cowperthwaite, Rowntree, May, Bolton, Vaulks, McLuckie, Hewson, J Wright, Arnison, Mwasile. Subs: Connerton, Wordsworth, A Wright, Andrews, Dixon.

Crowd: 397.

Referee: Gary Beswick (Hartlepool).

Star man: For scoring one of the best goals Borough Park has seen for some time, Jonny Wright.

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