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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Workington Reds improve but cannot secure win

Workington Reds 1 Harrogate Town 1: Workington were forced to settle for a share of the points as Harrogate came from behind to draw at Borough Park.

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Back of the net: Tony Hopper celebrates after scoring against Harrogate last night

Boss Darren Edmondson demanded a big improvement from Saturday’s poor performance at Stafford and he got one with his side putting in a determined performance against their Yorkshire visitors.

Reds took the lead on 59 minutes when Tony Hopper fired home from close range. Hopper’s late run into the box was picked out beautifully by winger Mat Henney, whose cushioned header ran straight into the veteran midfielder’s path.

The lead lasted just nine minutes though as Harrogate broke down the right and Brian Dutton notched his first goal for the club sweeping in at the far post.

Reds started the match without striker Gareth Arnison, who failed a fitness test before the game. But his partner in attack Jonny Wright was given the all-clear to take his place in the starting XI.

Phil McLuckie made his first appearance of the season at right back in a patched up back four.

He slotted in alongside Andy Langford, who moved into the centre to partner Lee Andrews with Gari Rowntree on the left.

It was a sloppy first half with Reds giving away a lot of possession.

The greasy surface didn’t help matters, with a number of players losing their footing on the damp turf.

A neat move with just eight minutes on the clock almost gifted Reds an early goal. Jonny Wright and Anthony Wright played a good one-two down the left leaving Jonny Wright through on goal. The striker looked certain to strike the first shot but defender Matt Bloomer got back to block his effort.

Keeper Tony Caig had little to do but was alert when called upon on 17 minutes. Harrogate winger Luke Durham picked up a loose ball and surged towards Caig’s goal. He picked out striker Jon Moloney but his vicious shot was palmed away by the big keeper.

Shaun Vipond had Reds only shot at goal during the opening 45 minutes but he fired wide from the edge of the box.

Caig was called upon again midway through the half but he was equal to another Moloney effort.

Reds started the second half brightly and when Rowntree had a sight of goal he let fly, looking for his first goal for the club, but the ball was never troubling keeper John Lamb.

The second half threatened to erupt with a number of tough challenges verging on the nasty side.

Reds took the lead just before the hour mark and could have doubled their lead before Harrogate struck back.

Jonny Wright released Henney down the right, he raced to the byline before cutting the ball back for Wright, but he scuffed his shot.

After Harrogate equalised there was not much more to report and afterwards Edmondson said it was one point gained and not two points dropped.

He added: “I thought we were tentative when we had the ball at times and I don’t think we passed the ball as well as we can but on the back of Saturday’s result I don’t think that was going to happen.”

“I think everyone showed the spirit was better and they wanted the ball more but we still need to relax in important areas.

“We didn’t put too much pressure on their goalkeeper but credit needs to be given to Harrogate, who came here with a game plan.

“We had a lot of things going on with players not knowing what the team would be an hour before kick off and with all the injuries we’ve had then this was probably a point gained.”

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