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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Poor Workington Reds undone by strugglers Solihull

Solihull Moors 2 Workington 0: Late goals at the end of each half undid Workington, as their run of consistent form was ended by one of Blue Square North’s genuine strugglers.

Even in recent defeats against Gateshead and Wrexham, Workington have played well enough but this was their poorest effort over the last three months.

The timing of the goals was crucial too for the PA announcer’s confirmation of the scorers was immediately followed in each case by the time which was being added on.

Strikes by James McPike and Waide Fairhurst were timed as the 45th and 90th minutes, changing both the half-time team talk and the mood on the long return journey.

Manager Darren Edmondson said: “I think we probably hadn’t realised how much Saturday’s efforts had taken out of the team, while Solihull were going into the game fresh.

“It was a disappointing performance and probably with hindsight we should have changed one or two things.”

Reds had actually started with some promise and for ten minutes there were indications that the Cumbrians could build on their recent good run of form and continue their significant climb up the table.

Solihull looked uncomfortable and leaden-footed at the back as a cross-shot from Dan Robinson was tentatively pushed round the post by keeper Daniel Crane. Then another good low pull back from Robinson was just behind Gareth Arnison as the striker made his run a fraction too early and was denied a simple goal.

“Very often in matches like these the first goal is so important and unfortunately on this occasion we couldn’t get it,” said Edmondson.

The Moors gradually came into the game and were encouraged by a couple of near-misses which had Workington starting to question their own vulnerability.

First Adam Collin flung himself across goals to block a close-range shot from skipper Jake Edwards and as Simon Travis ran in to finish off Gari Rowntree produced a splendid last-ditch tackle.

From a subsequent free kick just on the edge of the area Workington were almost undone and Theo Streete hit the bar before referee Andy Barney spotted an infringement.

Midst Solihull’s improvement came one very good chance for Workington but Robinson snatched at a shot from ten yards and fired wide.

The half appeared to have been goal-less until Solihull snatched the lead at the death. Again it was a free kick into the box which caught out the Reds and a near post knock-on found McPike at the far one, where he was able to force it home from close range.

Too often in the second half Workington fed high balls into Solihull’s back four where the central defensive pairing of Streete and Tom Bonner successful and largely untroubled headed clear.

Workington were almost undone by a fierce 25 yarder from Lee Downes which cannoned back into play off the post, yet almost drew level with their one real chance of the second-half.

New recruit Andy Cook could have marked his debut with a vital goal but his late header from a delightful curling ball in from Andy Langford bounced just the wrong side of the post.

The second Solihull goal to secure the points came from route one football.

Keeper Crane’s long clearance was headed on by Edwards and substitute Fairhurst, on loan from Doncaster Rovers raced clear before finishing crisply past Collin.

MATCH FACTS

STAR MAN: Andy Langford

Reds: Collin, Langford, Rowntree, May, Andrews, McLuckie, Vipond, Hopper, Robinson (Cook 69), Arnison, A. Wright (Dorney 74). Subs (not used) Anane, Edmondson.

Referee: Andy Barney, Coalville

Crowd: 183

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