Workington strengthened their grip on top spot with a comprehensive victory over their Cumbrian rivals.

A patient, controlled performance in the first half which only earned a single-goal lead was followed by a ruthless display which killed off the Kendal resistance.

While three Reds goals were from wicked deflections, and another from the penalty spot, there was no denying that they were far superior than their struggling hosts.

Skipper Brad Carroll led the way with his first-ever hat-trick in senior football, but there were solid performances wherever you looked in this Reds team.

The game had been in doubt, but fortunately the rain eased at the right time and although very heavy by the end, everyone got through it unscathed – apart from Kendal’s pride.

Reds dominated the opening half, and had several long-range shots in a rampant opening quarter, but none were on target, and then top scorer Scott Allison saw a shot come back off the bar with keeper Morgan Bacon getting an vital touch.

A delightful move followed, as Allison was played in and seemed to have done everything right, lifting the ball over the advancing Bacon, but the ball came back off the foot of the post and was scrambled clear.

Just when it seemed as though Kendal would get to half time level, Reds grabbed the lead in the second minute of the two added on at the end.

A central free-kick just outside the area seemed a perfect opportunity for Dav Symington to try one of his thunderbolts. But it was Millenic Alli who hit it and the ball took a big deflection off the wall to leave Bacon stranded.

It was a vital breakthrough at the right time, but after a controlled showing, never departing from the Danny Grainger script of possession, passing and patience, Reds had the foothold they needed.

Strangely, although Kendal did see a little more of the ball in Workington’s half after the turnaround, it was Reds who found the back of the net on five more occasions.

Carroll, a constant source of measured control in midfield, scored a rapid-fire hat-trick after he grabbed Reds’ second goal on 61 minutes.

Again it was Liam Brockbank rampaging down the left, linking with Symington, and supplying a great cross which was missed by at least one Kendal defender before reaching Carroll who hammered into the roof of the net.

His second goal followed five minutes later, and for the second time, Reds were grateful for a fortunate deflection. When the ball was worked into the area Carroll tried his luck and the ball flew off defender Alex Parr, beyond the stranded Bacon.

The ten-minute hat-trick was completed on 71 minutes when another surge down the left from Brockbank ended with a vicious, low cross which saw Carroll sliding in at the far post to force home.

It was now a question of how many, and the fifth goal duly arrived on 82 minutes after Ceiran Casson lifted a ball into the box where it cannoned off a defender beyond Bacon and Dan Wordsworth thundered through to hammer into the net.

The victory was rounded off in the final minute of the 90 when Wordsworth was clearly tripped in the box. Allison thumped the penalty into the bottom corner to complete the rout.

Kendal, however, are still fighting for their lives and have two matches against Reds’ title rivals Ramsbottom coming up.