Mossley 0 Workington Reds 1

Workington produced a fine team performance at Mossley to win the top of the table clash 1-0.

Substitute Reuben Jerome grabbed the only goal on 81 minutes to round off a dominant second-half display,

Chris Wilcock’s side have experienced a recent blip, with two defeats and a draw which has seen them drop to third in the NPL West table.

But new leaders Mossley rarely troubled the Cumbrians – apart from hitting the post in the first half – and could have no complaints that Reds went home with the three points.

A clean sheet, a well-earned win against top three rivals and – whisper it – no more injuries, made it a good day all round, as this was more like it from Willcock’s men.

The only bad news had been delivered beforehand with confirmation that both full-back Kieran Charlton and midfielder Rowan Roache had left the club.

Charlton has obtained new employment, which means he can’t train, and has subsequently been released to play for Sunderland RCA in the Northern League.

Roache has joined Atherton Collieries after finding the travelling too much.

On the day, however, Willcock was able to put out a strong starting 11 and a very good bench, with the result that Reds were more like their old selves.

The goalless first half was fairly even, and although Mossley did strike the post, Workington probably just shaded it on points in boxing terms.

Dav Symington had two typical blockbusters from range but his sights weren’t properly set and they flew wide. Ceiran Casson and Brad Hubbold both let fly from the edge of the area and each time both rose over the bar.

There were a couple of goalmouth scrambles which Reds couldn’t profit from. Keeper Jordan Hadlow saved with his feet from Brad Carroll while Steven Rigg, slipped in by Nico Evangelinos, scooped his effort past the keeper but a defender was back to clear.

Two moments of anxiety for Reds saw Mossley go close. Defender Devon Matthews, up for a corner, saw a glancing header slide just past the far post and that same upright was rattled by Jordan Butterworth when he got away down the right.

Mossley had looked tidy at times but in the second half they were completely dominated by the Reds and were reduced to aimless long balls just to get them out of their own half.

For Workington it was a question of being patient and taking the opportunity when it came. Nobody was on hand to tap in a corner when it fizzed across the face of the goal and brave blocks by home defenders snuffed out other efforts.

It had looked for a while like a first-goal-wins-it and Workington finally made the breakthrough on 81 minutes.

Symington hit one from inside the area, through a ruck of defenders. Hadlow got down and parried the shot but Jerome was in quickly to fire home the loose ball – and earn his side the win.

Hubbold, back in the midfield after injury, provided energy and guile in the midfield alongside the hard-working skipper Brad Carroll and Ceiran Casson, who had his best game of the season.

Reds are back in action again on Tuesday at home to Maryport Athletic in the County Cup but, at the moment, don’t have a league game on Saturday.