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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Workington Reds pay price for poor finishing at Stalybridge

Stalybridge 2 Workington Reds 2: Workington should have had the points wrapped-up in the first quarter, although they would probably have settled for a point before a ball was kicked.

It was Reds inability to take charge on the score-sheet when they were in the ascendancy early on which ultimately saw them share the spoils instead of coming home as winners.

Dan Shannon (twice), Anthony Wright and Jonny Wright all had good opportunities to open Workington’s account in the first 20 minutes but all the chances were spurned.

Up to that point Tony Caig had been a spectator but he was in action on 25 minutes with an excellent stop. A long throw by Richard Battersby wasn’t cut-out and Joe O’Neill was able to turn eight yards out and get in a shot which saw Caig going full length to tip round the foot of the post.

Celtic did show more in the closing stages but the first-half had clearly belonged to Workington.

Stalybridge manager Steve Burr left the pitch in a dark mood and he responded by making two half-time changes – the significant one being the introduction of 17-year-old striker Connor Jennings.

The youngster brought a spark to Celtic and his lively, skilful bursts posed Reds problems.

It took Workington just five minutes to regain parity, and Wright made amends for his own goal with the successful finish.

Anthony Wright’s shot from outside the area appeared to be going nowhere but Jonny Wright stuck out a foot to cleverly wrong-foot the keeper and send the ball into the opposite corner.

Then Anthony Wright had a great opportunity to put Workington firmly in the driving seat but he seemed to dwell too long on the ball when left unmarked in the area and Phillips came out well to make a fine block.

Reds went in front in the 73rd minute. Jonny Wright was brought down in the area by Michael Carr and Gareth Arnison sent Phillips the wrong way from the penalty spot

Within minutes Celtic were level, and again they scored from a corner.

This time Smart’s flag-kick reached the far post where O’Neill managed to get there first with his head and direct it into the net.

A good diving save from Caig kept Reds on terms and it was end-to-end in the closing ten minutes without either side being able to grab the winner.

Reds: Caig, Langford, Rowntree (Hardman 70 mins), May, Andrews, Vipond (McLuckie 81 mins), Henney, Hopper, J. Wright, Shannon (Arnison 18 mins), A. Wright. Subs (not used) Ruttledge, Taylor.

Crowd: 343

Referee: Steve Oldham, Poulton-le-Fylde

Star Man: Kyle May - Back from his head injury was strong and determined as usual at the heart of the defence, although admitted to getting tired towards the end.



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