Workington Reds made the perfect start to their pre-season preparations with a 7-2 win at Whitehaven AFC.

New manager Danny Grainger played almost completely different sides in each half at the County Ground as he got his first look at his players in match action.

And he would have liked what he saw as the visitors were dominant from start to finish and Whitehaven were grateful to ex-Reds goalkeeper Tom Fowler for keeping the score down.

Captain Conor Tinnion pulled the strings in the first half and produced a classy pair of assists but he made way for Dave Symington in the second half as the former Carlisle United man, who was a team-mate of Grainger's with the Blues, put on a masterclass and left with a hat-trick of top-class goals.

Centre-back Josh Calvert opened the scoring for Reds when he nodded in after one of his team-mates struck the bar, but despite their control of the game, Reds were made to wait for their second.

It was Sam Smith who eventually provided the cushion as his head met Tinnion's cross and the ball found the back of the net.

The skipper had another assist just before the half-time whistle when he played in Brad Hubbold for the influential midfielder to slot past Fowler.

Whitehaven came out looking to make their mark in the second half and they did so early on when a mistake at the back allowed them to pull one goal back.

It wasn't long before Symington announced his arrival with a brilliant solo goal which saw him beat a man, twist past another and fire a low strike into the far corner from outside the box.

Sheldon Mossop was wasteful in front of goal despite sniffing out chances frequently, but he made no mistake when Fowler couldn't keep hold of a stinging Symington shot and the striker had an empty net to tap into.

Another rasping Symington effort put Reds 6-1 up before long as he continued to wreak havoc down Whitehaven's right-hand side but the hosts soon hit back with a goal of their own.

The comeback wasn't on as, once again, Symington darted into the box from the left and sent an unstoppable thunderbolt into the top corner to restore Reds' five-goal lead and wrap up his hat-trick with minutes left.

A slick performance from a well-drilled Reds team earned them victory in the Shaun Hocking Memorial game and Grainger's side looked fit and sharp from the beginning in an encouraging start to life under the new boss.

A minute's silence was held before the game for Bill Robson Snr, a legend of both clubs who died on Wednesday, and the home side wore black armbands.