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Friday, 25 April 2014

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Workington Reds ease into FA Cup next qualifying round

Workington Reds 3 Radcliffe Borough 0: Workington Reds eased their way to the brink of the first round of the FA Cup with a confident 3-0 win over Radcliffe Borough.

Workington Reds action photo
Reds’ Phil McLuckie and Radcliffe's Ben Manning

Gareth Arnison, Andy Hardman and Jonny Wright fired in the goals but Reds could have ended the game in double figures if they had taken their chances.

The win puts Workington just 90 minutes away from the first round proper of this year’s competition.

Phil McLuckie hit the post early on when he got on the end of Gari Rowntree’s in-swinging free kick. His downward header was firm but keeper Joe Brobbin got a hand to it and the ball deflected onto the woodwork and clear.

It was a quick start to the match with both sides trying to play good football and it didn’t take Workington long to find the net.

Mark Drew’s clumsy challenge on Wright gave the Borough Park club the perfect position to whip in a free kick. Rowntree’s delivery was good and Arnison rose highest in the box to head home the opener on 12 minutes.

Reds continued to have most of the possession and they almost doubled their lead when Shaun Vipond thundered a volley from 25 yards out. It was a well-worked move involving Arnison, Rowntree and captain Tony Hopper, whose cushioned chest to Vipond gave him the chance to blast at goal. Unfortunately his shot went straight down the throat of Brobbin.

Midway through the half, Hardman, who looked lively on the left wing, showed his intention to score but his half-volley from Wright’s cross clipped the top of the bar.

Five minutes later, Hardman had another chance but this stooping header from McLuckie’s cross went just wide.

Reds registered more than 20 shots on the Radcliffe goal and Arnison had two chances in the space on a minute to double the lead on 36 minutes.

First he was sent clear by Vipond. One-on-one with Brobbin, he sat the keeper on the backside but couldn’t take it round him.

Reds gained possession from a poor clearance and Wright crossed for his strike partner, he shifted the ball onto his right foot but Brobbin got low to his left to deny him a second.

Reds did manage to double their advantage before the break when Hardman headed past Brobbin from Wright’s right wing cross. The keeper did get a hand to it but couldn’t stop the ball crossing the line.

Radcliffe, who had been reduced to long range efforts that never really tested Tony Caig, did remind Workington that they were still there when Ben Wharton hit the angle of post and bar from 35 yards minutes before the break.

After the restart normal service was resumed with half-time substitute Dan Shannon, who came on for Arnison, raced clear of the Borough defence but couldn’t beat Brobbin.

Reds did get a third on 55 minutes and it was a great team goal. Vipond’s long ball down the left flank found Rowntree, his inch perfect cross was volleyed home by Wright to seal the win.

Even though the game was safe Workington refused to take their foot off the gas and Shannon should have netted a fourth on the hour mark.

The front man, who is gifted with blistering pace, left the entire Radcliffe defence in his wake.

The problem for Shannon was he had too much time to think about his finish and lifted the ball past Brobbin but also over the bar. The same man had another chance to open his scoring account for Workington but Martyn Forrest got back to block his shot.

Right back Andy Langford, who likes to get forward, went on a maraudering run down the right. His centre to Hardman was good but the little winger’s shot was saved.

The ever solid Langford then sent Shannon away again. As he advanced to goal he had to score but Brobbin was equal to his effort.

Reds played the final five minutes with 10 men, after Hardman left the pitch with a knee injury and boss Darren Edmondson said he was delighted with his side’s performance.

He added: “We had enough chances to win this by eight goals. We got in some brilliant areas but a lack of confidence from some of our strikers kept the score to just the three goals.

“I am pleased with how we went about our game today. It is important for us to keep momentum going and the win also brings extra cash into the club.

“I thought we were excellent at times and I lost count of the amount of chances we had.

“We want to be at home in the next qualifying round and then who knows, it could be another trip to a Football League side.”

Team: Caig, Langford, Rowntree, May, Aldred, Vipond (Ruttledge 63), McLuckie, Hopper (Henney 81), Wright, Arnison (Shannon 45), Hardman. Subs not used: Edmondson, Taylor.

Attendance: 318

Star man: The entire Reds squad were at their best with Andy Langford solid in defence, Tom Aldred assured as always, Andy Hardman lively down the wing but Jonny Wright’s all round game play was excellent and his goal was well deserved.

Referee: Martin Coy (County Durham)

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