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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Quick-fire Wright scores after 37 seconds to net Workington Reds win

Workington Reds 1 Stalybridge Celtic 0: Most successful teams concede the fewest goals, and Workington are reaping the benefits of having the meanest defence in the Blue Square North.

Jonny Wright photo
Jonny Wright

Last night’s win at Borough Park extended their unbeaten run to 12 games and in 23 games they have just shipped 21 goals. This was their fourth clean sheet in the last six matches.

Perhaps Darren Edmondson might look at the goals for column and reflect that the tally of 21 scored is also the lowest in the League, but as long as his side defend as a unit then they are going to be difficult to break down and they can continue to make progress.

Up to tenth after this latest success, Reds still have a lot of ground to make-up on the play-off places even though they do have games in hand on most of the leading teams.

“We just have to keep working hard as we have been doing, building confidence and enjoy winning, and who knows where we might end up,” said the Reds boss.

This was an important win, for Stalybridge are a capable side who play measured football and in Warren Peyton have one of the top midfielders in the League.

It was often end to end, although Workington created the better chances and they did have the advantage of a goal on only 37 seconds.

That was created by Stephen Hindmarch, given his first Workington start after virtually a year out of regular senior football.

He did well out on the left, dancing past two defender and then cutting across the edge of the area before whipping in a low shot which goalkeeper Dave Carnell couldn’t hold. Jonny Wright was on the spot to poach his 12th goal of the season.

It was virtually the only handling error made by Carnell all night as he dealt confidently with everything else that came his way.

Jonny Wright and Anthony Wright both had strong shots saved by the keeper but the best chance fell to Gareth Arnison when slipped through by strike partner Wright. He tried a snap shot on the run but blazed well wide.

Stalybridge promised a lot with their build-up play but against some keen defending delivered little. Joe O’Neill did best, fining space in the area and turning to fire across Tony Caig but just wide of the far post.

O’Neill also headed straight into Caig’s arms from a good position while Gari Rowntree blocked a shot from Matty Barlow at the foot of the post, although Caig appeared to be across and down to cover.

The one real chance they got came on 52 minutes and was from the penalty spot. Lee Andrews had done really well to get back, overhaul and block O’Neill’s subsequent shot.

But in the melee that followed Kyle May was adjudged to have fouled Connor Jennings and referee David Holloway awarded the penalty.

O’Neill shot low to Caig’s right but the experienced keeper got down well to turn it aside for a corner.

Containing well in all areas of the field, Workington have pace to trouble sides on the break and that brought them a couple of opportunities in the second-half to make the game safe.

First Arnison was put away down the middle but with defenders closing from both sides he tried an early shot which Carnell held comfortably.

Then Andy Hardman didn’t get hold-of a shot from the edge of the area when left unmarked and the Celtic keeper was able to get across, block and save.

Stalybridge had to play the last 14 minutes (plus five minutes added time) with only ten men after defender Steve Woods was shown a straight red for a clumsy challenge on Jonny Wright.

Reds will complete this little run of three successive home games against Droylsden on Saturday, but then embark on three in a row on the road. The FA Trophy tie with Stalybridge is sandwiched in between trips to Derbyshire to play Alfreton and Ilkeston.

“We lost Jonny (Wright) with a hamstring injury near the end and to be fair it’s been troubling him since training last week. He could be out for a game or two so I am looking at bringing in another player before the week-end,” said Edmondson.

With a small squad, playing twice a week until the end of the season is going to be a severe test of Reds resources and more back-up will be required – even with a 12-match unbeaten record.

Reds: Caig, Langford, Rowntree, May, Andrews, Hindmarch (Hardman 70), McLuckie, Hopper, J. Wright (Ruttledge 89), Arnison, A. Wright (Vipond 88). Subs (not used) Main, Taylor

Referee: David Holloway, Blackpool

Crowd: 267

STAR MAN: LEE ANDREWS – along with his central defensive partner Kyle May was immense at the heart of the back four. Patiently waited to get back his place while Tom Aldred played so well on loan, and now reaping the rewards.

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