Workington 2, Mossley 0

By John Walsh

A THIRD successive victory confirmed that Workington are going to be serious contenders for the NPL NW.

It was another victory for their all-round team ethic – the hard work allied to the belief that patient, possession football is the template needed to succeed at this level.

It wasn’t the most eye-catching of performances from the Reds, who have played better, but it was effective.

As manager Danny Grainger suggested afterwards, there were some players who looked tired from the demands of early season fixtures which come on the top of regular day jobs.

The good news is that Reds have a free week before an FA Trophy date at Pontefract Collieries, and then only a big clash with Clitheroe next Tuesday before the mid-week games end.

As always Grainger will look at the clean sheet and regard that as an important bonus after complaining earlier of silly mistakes costing them.

In truth, for the second game in a row, Reds were mean when it came to offering opportunities to the opposition. Jim Atkinson only had one save to make – an angled shot which he had covered and smothered at the second attempt.

The best chance fell to Matty Waller but from the edge of the area, he screwed his shot wide.

Reds’ back four offered great cover to Atkinson and all of them had individual nominations for man of the match from the fans.

Jordan Holt, Brad Hubbold and Scott Allison were others who were touted for the award, a sure indication that it had been a solid all-round team effort.

The hosts could have taken the lead on five minutes after a superb run by Reuben Jerome. From just inside the Mossley half he beat two players down the touchline, went past another two in the area and pulled back an inviting ball.

It was half-cleared and Liam Brockbank hit a strong shot but which was always rising over the bar.

The breakthrough came on 21 minutes. A free kick on the right-hand edge of the area from Brad Hubbold came back off the wall. Hubbold followed up with an under-hit shot which deflected off the wall into the path of Allison, who cleverly flicked the ball into the far corner wrong-footing keeper Liam Lovell for his 126th goal for the club.

Another Hubbold free-kick was deflected onto the roof of the net; Louis Potts found the net only to be ruled off-side; and Potts was too far underneath a wonderful cross from Brockbank and couldn’t make contact.

It clearly needed a second goal to make the game safe and the difference in the second-half was 18-year-old goalkeeper Lovell. He produced two superb saves to keep it at 1-0. The first was an acrobatic tip over from Holt’s edge-of-the-box shot and the second a flying stop to deny Allison a second goal when he connected well from ten yards.

Yet Lovell might have been culpable for Reds second goal on 82 minutes.

Dav Symington took a free-kick 30 yards out, and although a daisy cutter and not one of his better-struck efforts found the bottom corner with Lovell slow to get down.

Workington: Atkinson, Kelly (Clarke 58), Brockbank, Wordsworth, Smith, Hubbold (Lightfoot 84), Wooding-Holt, Carroll, Jerome, Allison, Potts (Symington 70). Subs not used: Casson, Bowman.

Goals: Allison (21), Symington (82).

Mossley: Lovell, Kilner, Mason (Butterworth 72), Hickman, Grundy, Evans, Mulvey, Keogh, McLaughlin, Kershaw (Shenton 64), Waller (Fitzgerald). Subs (not used) Stringer-Moth, Hadlow.

Referee: Ian Walsh

Crowd – 400