Workington Reds have to pick themselves up tonight after the bitter disappointment of losing out on the NPL West title at the weekend.

Their failure to beat the bottom club Market Drayton means they have to go through the lottery of the play-offs to join Warrington Rylands in the NPL Premier.

First in line are Marine, who will be squaring up to the Reds for the fifth time this season (Borough Park, 7.45pm) having beaten them 2-1 on Merseyside as recently as ten days ago.

So far it’s an FA Cup draw followed by a replay win after extra time to Marine, a league win to Reds and that Easter Saturday league success to the Liverpool side.

But while Reds have to recover from the shock of Saturday’s failure to land the championship, Marine have lost twice since beating the Cumbrians.

An Easter Monday defeat at Bootle (2-0) was followed by Saturday’s 3-1 home reversal to Leek Town. They had also suffered the embarrassment of three docked points for fielding an ineligible player early in the season.

So two sides low in confidence from recent outings, and it will be the side that who copes best with the pressures that the play-offs bring and can find some form who will surely triumph.

Unfortunately, as has been the case for most of the season, Reds have injury issues with vice captain Brad Carroll already ruled out with a thigh strain which left him limping away from the Market Drayton ground.

Kyle Harrison, injured in Reds’ last good performance – a 4-0 win at Bootle – has missed the last four games with a hamstring problem and is rated only 50-50 to return tonight.

And Steven Rigg, on the team sheet as a substitute at Market Drayton, had to be replaced by reserve goalkeeper Danny Eccles, after pulling up in the warm-up.

Workington have been backed by excellent crowds this season – second best behind Marine in the NPL West.

They will be expecting similar strong backing from the terraces tonight and after two void seasons when they were well placed to gain promotion under Danny Grainger (lying first and then third) they surely can’t miss this opportunity to gain the promotion the squad richly deserves.

The war cry at the start of the season was “we have unfinished business to attend to” – and a full-blooded response tonight to Saturday’s disaster can keep them on track.