Workington replaced Clitheroe in second place in the NPL North West Division table with a dramatic 2-1 win over the Lancashire side on Tuesday night.

Ruben Jerome scored a superb winner – his second goal of the night – in the 92nd minute, to complete a Workington comeback after they had trailed at the break.

Manager Danny Grainger admitted he was “buzzing” after the second-half performance gave his side an important victory over likely promotion rivals.

“I wasn’t very happy at half-time but the way the team responded in the second half showed just what this group of players is about," he said. "They are very talented and have a lot of spirit, which showed tonight.

“But I have told them that performance won’t have been worth it unless we follow up on Saturday with a win at Ossett."

There had been some concern ahead of the game when goalkeeper Jim Atkinson confirmed he would be away on working duties and unavailable.

Grainger added: “We are grateful to our friends at Blackburn Rovers, who came up with Ben Ascroft who is one of their former under-18s. He has just taken on the job of goalkeeping coach for Fleetwood Academy.

“In the end we couldn’t have found anyone as close to the sweeper-keeper role that Jim plays. I thought he did really well and fit in straight away. If we are ever stuck again and he’s free, I would have no hesitation in giving him a ring.”

Ascroft, 21, who has played NPL previously with Warrington Town, had been playing North West Counties with Charnock Richard when he landed the job with Fleetwood.

The young goalkeeper had actually made a good save to stop a shot from ex-Reds wing-back Cole Lonsdale on 20 minutes but in the scramble that followed Chris Smalley drove in the opening goal for the visitors.

Clitheroe had probably edged the first half in open play and although it wasn’t exactly the hair-dryer treatment from Grainger at half-time, he left his players in no doubt it hadn’t been good enough.

The equaliser came on 55 minutes, soon after a double substitution by Grainger. One of them, Conor Tinnion, threaded a lovely ball through the heart of the Clitheroe defence and Jerome ran through to hammer home.

Workington were the better side in what followed but clear-cut chances were few and far between – until a moment of brilliance from Jerome in the second minute of the four added on won it.

Jerome had the ball out on the left, glided past two defenders and held off a third challenge before curling a superb, angled shot beyond Thompson into the far corner for a great goal.