PATIENCE, they say, is a virtue and Workington needed it in abundance before they saw off the bottom side Pickering Town.

Reds were always the better side but were frustrated by a gritty Pikes side fighting for every point, until their superior skill and fitness saw them through with three goals in the last 16 minutes.

It mirrored the 4-1 home win which had launched the season and Danny Grainger’s managerial career back in August and was actually the third successive game in which Reds have struck four goals.

Without being at their best in the first half, Reds still controlled the game with more possession and territory than their hosts - yet they had to fight-back after conceding the first goal.

That came on 13 minutes when Reds were slack defensively at a free-kick on the edge of the area. Iwan Heeley swung in a curling cross and Jackson Jowett had too much space as the last man in the line to direct a downward header beyond the diving Jim Atkinson.

As the game developed, Pickering offered few if any threat from open play but on set-pieces they had their best moments, although after that early success they found the Reds marking a bit tighter.

Workington needed a quick response and they got it on 18 minutes. Dan Wordsworth stayed forward after a corner and when the ball was returned to the box he was clearly impeded in his leap and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Scott Allison stepped up and hammered the ball to the left of the diving keeper Harrison Foulkes.

Young Foulkes then kept Pickering on terms with an outstanding save to palm away a low, curling free-kick from distance by Conor Tinnion, and he also did well to keep out a stinging shot from Nathan Waterston.

There was always the feeling at the break that Reds could still step up a gear for the second-half and that was exactly what happened.

They went close with curling shots from Matty Clarke and substitute Brad Hubbold just wide of the target, while Wordsworth skied one over the bar from a very good position.

Pickering were stubborn and committed in defence but had to soak up pressure as Workington controlled every aspect of the game. Moving the ball quicker than they had earlier, Reds just needed a breakthrough to put them on their way.

So it proved, and again it was a penalty on 78 which put Reds on their charge to victory. Allison was tackled from behind as he ran across the box to meet a pass and there wasn’t much doubt about the second award.

This time Allison sent Foulkes the wrong way and, in the last 12 minutes, plus four more added, it was a question of how many.

Reds virtually laid siege to the home goal and on 81 minutes Allison completed his hat-trick, the fifth of his Workington career. He was there to sweep the ball home after Hubbold had seen his shot blocked.

The scoring was completed on 88 minutes with a clever Wordsworth header which beat Foulkes to go in via the post with Sam Smith arriving late to make sure if it had come back off the upright.

It was a comfortable win in the end, with a number of outstanding performances for the west Cumbrians, spear-headed by skipper Tinnion, teenage midfielder Cieran Casson, new central defensive partners Wordsworth and Jordan Little, and of course, hat-trick hero Allison.