Arnison spot-kick seals points for Workington Reds
Last updated at 12:43, Monday, 30 November 2009
Workington Reds 1 Eastwood Town 0: Goal ace Gareth Arnison capped off a man-of-the-match performance by firing the winning goal from the penalty spot against 10-men Eastwood Town.
Arnison’s 35th minute strike was enough to sink second place Eastwood in a thrilling encounter at Borough Park.
The striker won the spot kick himself when Craig McAughtrie hauled him down as he was about to shoot.
The former Carlisle United defender was shown a straight red card as he was adjudged to be the last man by referee Gordon Johnson.
Arnison picked himself up and coolly slotted home, sending keeper Jan Budtz the wrong way.
The striker could easily have bagged himself a hat-trick but a goal-line clearance and the Eastwood cross bar denied him.
Reds boss Darren Edmondson decided to stick with the same side that comprehensively beat high flying Corby last time out, which meant club captain Tony Hopper had to settle for a place on the bench.
Forest Green loanee Paul Lloyd played on the left of a three-man attack force with Arnison and skipper-for-the-day Jonny Wright.
Reds started the match brightly, playing some lovely flowing football but the visitors were first to strike a ball in anger.
Ross Gardner latched onto a poor clearance from fullback Gari Rowntree, but his shot was weak and Tony Caig was able to get down low to his left to deny the midfielder.
Reds dominated the play for large chunks but were not helped by referee Johnson, who infuriated the 296 fans inside Borough Park with a number of questionable decisions in favour of Eastwood.
Johnson was under the spotlight when he failed to give Reds a penalty on 32 minutes when Arnison was bundled over by Budtz inside the box.
A huge roar from the fans and protests from the Workington players failed to convince the man in black, who waved away their cries.
Three minutes later, Johnson had no choice but to point to the spot when Arnison was again hauled down as he was about to shoot for goal.
The red card for Eastwood’s McAughtrie was a must and the striker did his bit to put the home side in front.
Minutes before the break, Arnison, who was magnificent throughout, had a chance to double the lead but his overhead kick went over the bar.
The on-fire striker picked up where he left off after the restart when he was played in on goal by partner Jonny Wright. His run was perfect and he rounded Budtz but Jimmy Turner was on the line to clear the danger.
On 49 minutes Phil McLuckie had a great chance to find the net, but his shot from 18 yards was inches past the post.
Reds, who were on top throughout the match, were almost given a helping hand from Eastwood’s Paul Robinson.
Rowntree’s wicked cross from the left was headed onto his own bar by Robinson, who was under pressure from Arnison.
Eastwood reminded Reds they were still in the game, despite being a goal and a man down and battled hard for the last 25 minutes.
They had a chance to level the tie but captain Martin Foster headed over from Paul Riley’s cross.
Edmondson brought Lee Andrews on with 20 minutes left to give the defender much-needed minutes on the pitch.
Arnison, who was at the centre of everything good about Reds attacking play, had a glorious chance to score again but he hit his shot from 10 yards straight at Budtz. Anthony Wright following up hit his shot wide of the target.
Reds custodian Caig made sure he kept an eighth clean sheet of the season by saving from Foster. His shot from the edge of the box was good but Caig gathered comfortably.
Arnison had one final chance to get his name on the score sheet again but the Eastwood cross bar stood strong. The hitman’s vicious shot deserved to find the net but it wasn’t to be.
Tony Hopper replaced Shaun Vipond with 15 minutes left as Edmondson looked to add a bit of experience to his midfield.
Caig made sure he got his clean sheet bonus with a world-class save to deny substitute Peter Knox.
Knox’s shot was heading into the top corner before Caig flung himself to his right to tip the shot away.
Star man: Reds put in a great team performance with Tom Aldred, Kyle May and Anthony Wright all deserving a mention but Gareth Arnison showed his class with an expertly taken penalty. His all round game play was excellent.
Reds: Caig, Langford (Andrews 69), Rowntree, May, Aldred, Vipond (Hopper 76), Lloyd, McLuckie, J Wright, Arnison, A Wright.
Subs not used: Ruttledge, Edmondson, Taylor.
Referee: Gordon Johnson.
First published at 11:22, Monday, 30 November 2009
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
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