Danny Grainger and Stephen Rudd were on a spying trip at the weekend ahead of this afternoon’s Match of the Day in the NPL North West Division.

The Workington Reds boss and his assistant travelled to the North East to watch promotion rivals Pontefract Collieries win 1-0 at Dunston.

Pontefract are the only team left with matches in hand on the Reds who could go past them by winning them.

Grainger said: “Dunstan had a man sent off and Pontefract won with a penalty but in the end they saw out the game comfortably.

“We know what they are about and it will be a big challenge. They will try and turn it into a battle but we have to stick to what has brought us success so far, keep our discipline and organisation.

“I believe in the players we have at the club and I am confident that if we play like we are capable then we will get the result we will be looking for.”

Dunston had lost 4-1 at Borough Park on Boxing Day before going down on Saturday to the Yorkshire side.

Reds have only lost twice in the League so far, at Clitheroe and Mossley, while their other two defeats were in knock-out competitions against Newcastle Benfield (FA Cup) and Farsley Celtic (FA Trophy).

Reds should have virtually a full squad to pick from, although Ryan Charters has gone back to Carlisle United and Gari Rowntree has announced his retirement. Ash Kelly is a long term injury concern with a knee problem while Jordan Little is unavailable for New Year’s Day.

Brad Carroll, who is being nursed back to full fitness after several weeks on the sidelines, is likely to play a prominent role this afternoon after being left on the bench on Boxing Day.

Grainger said: “Brad is a key player for us and we have been trying not to rush him back too quickly. He will be involved for this one though.”

Workington, who are unbeaten at home in the League, are back at Borough Park on Saturday when they entertain Trafford as they look for a double having won 1-0 there early in the season.

“It would be nice to get back home on Saturday with a good result at Pontefract under our belts,” said the manager.