Workington moved smoothly into the next stage of the FA Trophy with a clear-cut win at Pontefract Collieries, which earned them £2,250.

But progress in the bread-and-butter of NPL football is of immediate concern as they stage the NW Division’s match of the week tomorrow night at home to Clitheroe.

Certainly progress in the knock-out competition will have boosted confidence, not just with the result but the fact that three of five recently injured players, had good game-time.

If there was any disappointment for manager Danny Grainger it was that the team did not get through by claiming a clean sheet.

Pontefract got their consolation from the last attack of the game in the fourth minute of stoppage time although Grainger claimed there had been a blatant push at the corner before Damian Reeves headed home.

After taking the lead on four minutes the Cumbrians produced some excellent football, played at a brisk tempo and were 3-0 clear at the break, controlling the game.

They took the lead on four minutes when a deep corner saw Sam Smith coming round the back and after he fired back into the mix, an initial scramble was blocked but Charlie Bowman followed in to drive the ball home from close range.

Workington continued to control the game with the hosts only mounting spasmodic attacks and any threats they posed came from dead ball situation where they could throw forward their big defenders.

Reds’ second goal came on 23 minutes. Reuben Jerome made it with a great run, cutting in from the left to make the by-line and his low cross was slotted home by Brad Hubbold.

Like the first, the third goal was also timed perfectly, arriving on the stroke of half-time. Again it a case of hitting the by-line, delivering the right cross and bingo! Two different players were involved in a virtual play-back of the second goal with Liam Brockbank providing the service and Bowman the finish.

Pontefract probably had their best spell at the start of the second half when Atkinson made a flying tip round the post to keep-out a 25-yarder from Reeves.

At the other end Emery made two flying saves to keep out fine hits from substitutes Conor Tinnion and Dav Symington and Jerome found the side netting after another penetrating run.

Reds only goal of the half came on 58 minutes- a powerful header by Dan Wordsworth who got on the end of a Tinnion corner.

There was the chance for a brief cameo from Brandon Robertson, a rookie with clearly some ability, before Pontefract scored their last gasp consolation through Reeves’ header.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s NPL clash, Grainger said: “Apart from one player who is away it’s almost a full squad and that’s going to provide assistant Stephen Rudd and me with a headache over team selection. There was a bit of rotation in the Trophy. We thought one or two players had looked a bit tired last week, and we’ve also had the chance to bring players back from injury. The end product is that players have responded and given us questions to ask each other about the team on Tuesday. But as I’ve said right from the first day, we have a squad at Workington and I wouldn’t swap any of them for other players in the League.

“It is a great dressing room with some terrific lads in there and I think they all know by now we are in it together and we are not going to be successful with just 11 players.

“Everybody knows that Tuesday is going to be a massive game for both teams. Like us they are unbeaten in the League and in many ways have been touted as favourites for the way they’ve put this team together.

“But we are really looking forward to the test it will be a great game for our fans to get behind the team and provide that extra backing which is so vital in games like these.”

Pontefract: Emery, Nebard (Bailey 64),Gordon, Basi, Clare, Claxton, Smith (Tingle 87), Keane, Modeste, Reeves, Ibrahimi (Rothery 69). Subs (not used): Cable, McKenna.

Goal: Reeves (90 + 4)

Workington: Atkinson, Clarke, Brockbank, Wordsworth, Smith, Casson, Holt, Hubbold (Tinnion 53), Jerome, Allison (Symington 59), Bowman (Robertson 76).Subs (not used) Kelly, Potts, Carroll, Little.

Goals: Bowman (4, 45), Hubbold (23), Wordsworth (58)

Referee: Ian Johnston

Crowd: 191