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Sunday, 21 September 2014

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Workington Reds gain point in dull game at Hucknall

Hucknall Town 0 Workington 0: A point away from home is always regarded as a decent effort, even though Workington went into the game believing it was one they could win.

Adam Collin photo
Adam Collin

Hucknall had started the season poorly, but a win in mid-week at fellow strugglers Fleetwood Town was enough to provide them with more confidence and resolve.

As a result it was a harder test than it might have appeared a week ago for the Reds and the point was solid enough reward for their efforts.

Manager Darren Edmondson said: “I was optimistic beforehand but the way the game panned-out I thought a draw was a fair result.

"Mick Galloway had obviously got them fired up after a first win on Tuesday and he would want to do well against us as a former Workington player.

“I was looking for three points but it was important to get something out of it when we couldn’t manage the win.

“I thought we were comfortable and did well in the first-half but I was a little disappointed we didn’t pose much of a threat in the second half.”

It wasn’t an eye-catching display by the Reds, who only rarely produced the fluent football of which they are capable, and all the medals were handed out in defence.

Beforehand Edmondson had to make an important choice in his team selection. Did he stick with Kyle May and Dan Kirkup, who had done well in a 2-1 home win last week, or did he bring back Lee Andrews, Reds’ best player so far this season who had been attending a wedding.

“I thought long and hard about it because I had tried to instil into the players that they have to earn the shirt through performances and I couldn’t fault them for the response last Saturday.

“On the other hand Lee has been our best player and in the end I went that way. The fact that we got a clean sheet away from home and Lee had another outstanding game vindicated that decision,” said the Reds boss.

May and Andrews were immense at the heart of the back four – and they literally had to be, with big 6ft 4ins Gary Rickets posing an obvious aerial threat.

Behind his shield, goalkeeper Adam Collin dealt confidently with anything that did come his way but like his opposite number James Lindley was never seriously tested throughout the whole 90 minutes.

The one moment of alarm came early in the game when Dave Kettle fired across the keeper but May was back first to clear the danger near the line before Rickets could close in for the kill.

After that his scariest moment came when he had to palm over an in-swinging corner with a posse of Hucknall players arriving to put him under pressure. Then late on he was down across goal as Rickets turned and shot from just inside the area but wasn’t needed as the ball flashed inches past the post.

Lindley was never extended with Workington unable to put in a telling shot throughout the whole game.

Gareth Arnison saw a dipping shot ripple the roof of the net after just scraping the top of the bar and Graham Anthony put in a typical volley from the edge of the area which just cleared the angle of post and bar.

Workington had looked at their best in a short 15 minute spell in the first half when there were glimpses of the promise the partnership between Arnison and Jonny Wright had shown at Borough Park a week earlier.

But the second-half was largely a disappointment at the sharp end of things. A couple of interchanges down both flanks ended with shots being blocked in the Hucknall box and really it was a game which rarely seemed to have a goal in it.

MATCH FACTS

Star Man – LEE ANDREWS – It really is becoming a little repetitive but he’s having such a fine run at the moment and justified his recall. Kyle May was also outstanding alongside as Reds eventually soaked up a fair amount of late pressure.

Reds: Collin, Hewson, Rowntree, May, Andrews, Vipond (Robinson 82), Anthony, Hopper, J. Wright, Arnison (Johnston 82), A. Wright. Subs (not used) Kirkup, McLuckie, Edmondson

Referee: R. P. Newman

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