Workington Reds' runs in the two main knock-out competitions this season have been life-savers for a club floundering near the bottom of the Evo-Stik Premier League. 

Reds have so far banked £12,250 from the FA Trophy with power to add, while another £15,000 was netted from the FA Cup run. 

Without those extra incomes, the club admits it would have been in a perilous state, given that the average crowds have fallen to their lowest level in six years. 

After nine home league games the average attendance is just 324 – around 200 less than the break-even figure which has not been achieved yet in an Evo-Stik fixture. 

The only time that was reached came in the FA Cup tie when 558 watched the home tie with Kidsgrove Athletic which finished 0-0. Reds lost the replay 2-1 after extra-time. 

When Reds were relegated from National North at the end of the 2013/14 season, the average attendance was 356. For the first time since then, it has fallen below that figure this season. 

The average home crowd in 2014/15, when Reds finished runners-up in the league, was 548. A year later, when they again made the play-offs, the average crowd was 517. 

A third play-off followed in 2016/17 and the average crowd had dipped to 450, disappointing but manageable. 

The decline in attendances continued last season when Reds slipped from second in the league at Christmas to finish 11th in the final table and the crowds had dwindled to an average of 381. 

Although the league position is the one that needs to be improved with a string of good results, the club clearly has to have an eye on the home game with Ramsbottom on December 15 when the FA Trophy first round proper tie offers £6,000 to the winners. 

Victory then would take Reds’ knock-out earnings over the £30,000 mark and, in view of the falling attendances, it’s value cannot be over-estimated. 

Only 301 watched Reds produce their best second-half performance so far, turning a 2-1 half-time deficit into a 4-2 win on Saturday. 

Best supported club in the league this season is South Shields, newcomers to the competition, who can boast an average home crowd of 1,418. They are followed by Scarborough Athletic on 1,177. 

If Reds could pull home gates like those, their financial problems would be taken care of.