An important win, after two games without one, has set up Workington for two crunch challenges coming-up.

Marske and Ramsbottom, who are likely to be major rivals in Reds bid to take the league title, are next-up for Danny Grainger’s men.

Grainger was relieved to get the show back on the road after a defeat at Pontefract and a home draw to Trafford.

But it was a deserved victory, achieved in difficult conditions, which keeps the west Cumbrians one point clear at the top.

It got so bad that referee Barry Lamb played only a second over the 90 minutes and, if the rain had started earlier, it probably wouldn’t have been completed.

A match at nearby Barnoldswick was abandoned at half-time and, when the players left the field at Colne, there was standing water in a number of areas.

Reds had played against the wind and up the slope in the first-half, but Colne had it worse after the interval when they also had to face driving rain.

Chances were few and far in the first half and neither keeper had a serious save to make, although probably Eli Hey had the best opportunity for the home side. He turned smartly in the Reds box and his shot was just past the foot of the post.

That effort came shortly after Reds had taken the lead on 38 minutes. It stemmed from a persistent chase by Scott Allison when a long ball was played into the corner. Goalkeeper Hakan Burton was also there trying to shepherd the ball behind and the two tangled.

Allison wanted to take a quick corner after he knocked the ball against Burton and it went behind. The keeper pushed him and the end product was the referee producing a yellow card for both of them.

But Reds got their reward from the subsequent corner. Conor Tinnion delivered a curling ball in and although both Sam Smith and Dan Wordsworth got their heads on it they couldn’t find the target.

However, Burton’s efforts to claim the ball weren’t positive enough and when it ran free, Brad Carroll scrambled home the opener at the foot of the far post. Not the most eye-catching goal Reds have scored this season but so vital at that stage of the game.

Indeed, with Colne facing the rain and wind in the second-half, the fact that Reds doubled their lead inside two minutes was equally decisive. Brad Hubbold swung over a fine cross from the left and Allison produced an assured finish from ten yards.

It was the seventh successive league game in which the Reds centurion has scored.

The third goal came on 62 minutes and involved the first two Workington substitutes. Jordan Little sent a long, testing ball forward which Alex Coleman tried to head back to his keeper. Burton was wrong-footed in any case and Nathan Waterston, with his first touch went on to score easily.

A third substitute, new recruit Cole Lonsdale, was given 25 minutes and he almost marked his debut with a goal.

Lonsdale scored a free-kick for Clitheroe against Reds early in the season and when he was given responsibility for one in the 76th minute a curling effort from 30 yards almost deceived Burton before he tipped over the bar.

Jim Atkinson had not been tested until the closing stages when Colne, to their credit kept going, and both Brad Lynch and Hey had strong efforts well stopped by the Reds keeper.

Match Facts

Colne: Burton, Hollins, Poscha, Coleman, Makinson (Knox 52), Coveney, Wilson-Heyes (Lynch 69), Brownsword, Hey, Hasler-Cregg, Chippendale. Subs (not used) Azam, Hughes.

Workington: Atkinson, Hebson, Brockbank, Wordsworth, Smith (Little 56), Casson, Hubbold, Carroll, Allison (Waterston 61), Bowman, Tinnion (Lonsdale 65). Subs (not used) Symington, Grainger.

Goals: Carroll (38), Allison (47), Waterston (62)

Referee: Barry Lamb

Crowd: 214

Star Man: Brad Carroll