Workington Reds lead 1-0 at home to Pontefract Collieries after a fast-paced first half which saw Scott Allison nod his side ahead.

The league leaders have been value for their lead and showed no sluggishness despite the delayed start before Scott Allison finally opened the scoring with a deft header back across goal in the 28th minute from a Jay Kelly cross.

David Symington was a constant threat for the hosts down the left wing and should really have been on the scoresheet when Ash Kelly picked the pocket of his marker, charged in behind and pulled the ball back for the winger to send a wayward shot into orbit.

Michael Dunn has threatened for the visitors and thought he should have had a penalty at one stage but Jim Atkinson in the Workington goal had very little to do in the first 45 minutes.

Symington drew the first save out of Pontefract goalkeeper Sebastian Malkowski after a magnificent lofted pass from Jay Kelly switched the play for him to drive inside, beat his man and fire a low shot straight at the stopper.

The tricky winger was at the heart of everything good about Reds’ play early on and he almost fashioned an opening in the 17th minute when he edged past Jake Picton and fired in a dangerous low cross which was snuffed out by the Pontefract defence.

The first golden opening came when Ash Kelly muscled his way in behind Pontefract from a long ball forward from the back but Symington didn’t realise how much time he had when the striker cut the ball back to him on the edge of the box.

Tempers flared between both dugouts as an intense game unfolded in front of them but on the pitch Reds stayed cool.

Pontefract’s Michael Dunn appealed for a penalty as he twisted inside and out and felt he was fouled by Jay Kelly but the referee was having none of it.

Seconds later Reds took the lead as Scott Allison looped a wonderful header back across goal from a delightful ball.

An unusual attack saw Reds’ centre-back partnership maraud forward next, with Smith getting on the end of a teasing cross from Tinnion and tapping it back across for Dan Wordsworth to nod over the bar when it was harder to miss.

Liam Brockbank did well on the overlap and was played in by Symington to send another inviting ball into the box and Malkowski almost fumbled it into his own goal as he tried to tip it over.