Lee Andrews is banking on Workington Reds’ improved away form to boost their survival chances.

The 1-0 home defeat to Mickleover Sports in midweek left the Cumbrians four points adrift of their two rivals in distress.

The trip to Witton this afternoon (3pm kick-off) is the first of three away matches against sides in the top 10. Witton are the lowest-ranked of them in 10th and Reds still have to visit Buxton, who have crept into fifth, and Scarborough who have slipped to seventh.

Workington boss Andrews, a former Carlisle United player, said: “Our away performances have been generally good, although it took us until Boxing Day to get the first win.

“We now have five, with the last one on our most recent trip to Whitby where we played very well.

“It was very disappointing to lose against Mickleover but we do feel we are capable of going to Witton and getting the win.

"It isn’t too long ago since we played them and they won 2-0 at Borough Park but that was a game badly affected by the wind and rain, as well as by the fact we had Dan Wordsworth sent off at the end of the first half.

“The bottom line is there are 18 points to play for and we still believe we can get out of trouble.”

Whatever happens today in Northwich, the Reds have a stiff task waiting for them on Tuesday night in the shape of the re-arranged home game with South Shields. The North-East side have just been named the Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division’s Club of the Month for March, having hit form at just the right time of the season.

Shields got themselves firmly back in the play-off race with a total of 13 points from a possible 15 last month, as well as gaining three points on their rivals after the expunging of North Ferriby’s playing record.

They had crashed 3-0 to North Ferriby early in the season – one of only two victories they managed before the club was liquidated. They started the month with a 1-1 draw at home to Buxton, but followed that with a 3-1 win at Mickleover, with Ben Harmison, brother of former England cricketer Steve, scoring twice.

They beat Marine home and away, 2-1 and 3-1 respectively, either side of a 4-0 thumping of Hyde.

Lee Mason scored in four of those five games, as Shields now boast a significantly better goal difference than anybody else in the league.

But that’s to come.

What matters first for Reds is a win against Witton Albion to revive their escape chances after the disappointment of Tuesday’s home defeat by Mickleover.