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Thursday, 27 November 2014

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Workington Reds dump Rushden & Diamonds out of FA Trophy

Workington Reds 2 Rushden & Diamonds 1: Workington Reds caused a massive cup upset as they twice took the lead to topple Rushden & Diamonds.

Workington Reds action photo
Tony Hopper puts pressure on the Rushden defence

Darren Edmondson’s men put in a brave performance against the high-flying Blue Square Premier side and thoroughly deserved their 2-1 win.

An own goal by Diamonds’ defender Simon Downer and a coolly taken Andy Hardman strike settled the second round FA Trophy tie.

It was sweet revenge for the 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Diamonds in the FA Cup earlier this year and afterwards Edmondson said he was delighted with how his side equipped themselves.

He added: “The lads did everything myself and Viv (Busby) asked them to do. They put their bodies on the line and stuck in to make sure we got the result.

“I wanted us to start well and for the first 25 minutes we did that. Rushden got back into the game but we hung on to clinch a great win.”

Edmondson was forced to start without suspended pair Gareth Arnison and Phil McLuckie with Callum Ruttledge and Andy Hardman coming in.

Winger Anthony Wright, who was in hospital for 10 days prior to the match, managed to play, despite being a major concern before kick off.

Reds started brightly and could have gone ahead with less than 10 minutes on the clock. Lee Andrews’ free kick was knocked back across goal by Jonny Wright but Tony Hopper’s acrobatic flick was weak and Dale Roberts, in the Rushden net, collected the ball comfortably.

Anthony Wright was next to try his luck. He picked up the ball on the edge of the box after Shaun Vipond’s corner was only half clearer. He took one touch but fired wide of the post.

Reds had another chance to take the lead on 18 minutes, this time Andy Hardman pulled his shot wide from 20 yards when he should have done better.

Rushden looked all at sea as Reds continued to dominate and their pressure paid off midway through the half when Simon Downer headed past his own ‘keeper to open the scoring.

Minutes later Rushden showed they would be no pushovers when former Carlisle striker Craig Farrell’s free kick was not cleared and Mark Byrne hit a fizzing shot that smashed against the post. The rebound fell to Byrne but this time he shot over.

Rushden got more into the game as the half went on and with the energetic Lee Tomlin on the left wing they always looked a threat.

Tomlin almost set up a Diamonds equaliser but Jefferson Louis’ audacious effort somehow went over from six yards.

Reds’ custodian Tony Caig was then called into action when he managed to claw out Farrell’s header. The veteran ‘keeper hurled himself to his right and scooped the ball out from behind him.

Referee Scott Duncan did not endear himself to the Borough Park fans with a number of questionable decisions and that prompted Edmondson to remonstrate with him at half-time at the expense of a yellow card.

Reds started the second half with vigour and enthusiasm and within a minute found themselves two goals to the good.

Jonny Wright flicked the ball on and Hardman beat the offside trap to race clear of the defence. The pint-size front man went one-on-one with Roberts and cheekily chipped the ball over him to double the advantage.

After that it was a backs to the wall job as Reds looked to hold on to the lead.

However, their two goals cushion was halved three minutes later when Farrell riffled home a fiercely struck free kick.

Rushden continued to dominate proceedings and Louis, Byrne and Farrell all had glorious chances to level the tie but with Caig in inspirational form they failed in a late bid to take the game to a replay.

Encouragingly, Stevie Hindmarch came on for the last five minutes for his first game in a Reds shirt since his summer move from Shrewsbury Town. He replaced Jonny Wright as Reds held on for a famous win.

Reds: Caig, Langford, Rowntree, May, Andrews, Vipond, Ruttledge (Shannon 73), Hopper, J Wright (Hindmarch 85), Hardman, A Wright.

Subs not used: Edmondson, Main, Taylor.

Referee: Scott Duncan (Tyne & Wear)

Attendance: 252

Star man: Tony Caig’s world class save deserves a mention as does Gari Rowntree’s dogged defending but Jonny Wright takes the honour for his all round play in attack.

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