Workington Reds boss Danny Grainger heaped praise on his players after they produced a professional performance to dispatch fellow NPL North West Division side Mossley 2-0 at Borough Park.

Despite the manager making seven changes, Reds did not drop their performance levels and eased into the third round of the Integro League Cup thanks to a glanced header from Charlie Bowman after three minutes and a second goal to seal the game from substitute Nathan Waterston late in the second half.

Grainger said: “I said at the start of the game that as long as we were in the hat at the end that was all that mattered.

“The lads that came in did themselves justice and have given me a headache for the weekend.

“Chaz has worked so hard and waited for his chance.

“Tonight he was absolutely fantastic, ran his legs into the ground and held his hands up after an hour and said that he was done.

“We’ve scored some great goals this season but that was something as simple as putting the ball into the right area and Chaz was there to head it home.”

Aidan Howarth, who came into the side at right back, looked fierce in the tackle and a potent threat when bombing down the wing in an all-action performance.

But despite his obvious admiration for the teenager, Grainger is keen to ensure he develops correctly rather than just throwing him in.

“He’s a fantastic player, he really is,” Grainger said.

“He wants to learn, he listens to everything you say to him and I think he’s got a big future ahead of him.

“We’re trying to manage him through; he’s been out at Whitehaven playing a few games there, he’s going to go to Cleator Moor and get a few games there.

“It’s very tempting to throw him in at times but I want to make sure that he’s ready and I think when you looked at him there, playing against a good Mossley team and some very experienced players, he didn’t look out of his depth at all.

“It’s something I believe in, bringing the young lads through.”

Shot-stopper Jim Atkinson also earned compliments for his sublime leaping save to deny Mossley’s Jamie Rainford in the second half when Reds were holding onto a one-goal lead.

“Jim was, when called upon, fantastic,” Grainger said.

“That’s obviously back-to-back clean sheets for him and that’s something he prides himself on.

“With a goalkeeper like Jim who I’ve got a lot of belief in, if a team get an odd chance I’m confident he’ll keep them out.

“Barring a little spell I thought we were quite dominant tonight.”