Workington Reds 1 Carlisle United 0: Workington got the better of a Carlisle side featuring several pros to retain the Fred Conway Cumberland Cup.

Scott Allison’s goal on the hour mark was the difference in front of 1,148 fans at Borough Park.

United could find no way back as they came unstuck against Danny Grainger’s Reds in the final.

It saw Grainger secure silverware for the west Cumbrian club in his penultimate game in charge as United failed to win the county senior cup after a five-year wait.

Allison hit the decisive goal when he converted a Dav Symington cross shortly after Anton Dudik had fluffed a great chance for the Blues.

The experienced Reds marksman had earlier come closest when hitting the post, while Sam Hetherington had shots well saved by Danny Eccles at the other end.

News and Star: Scott Allison (No10) fires the only goal in the 60th minuteScott Allison (No10) fires the only goal in the 60th minute (Image: Barbara Abbott)

United, though, were unable to create anything significant after Reds’ opener and a mix of senior players and youth prospects left Borough Park empty-handed – while there was also an injury blow as defender Jack Ellis went off early in the game.

Carlisle involved six professionals in their starting XI, with a likely swansong appearance in goal for Tomas Holy as well as outings for Jordan Gibson, Jayden Harris, Ellis, Josh Emmanuel and Dudik among an otherwise youthful group.

Grainger also selected a blend of old heads and young prospects, and things got under way after a minute’s applause in memory of Fred Conway, the late Cumberland FA chairman after whom the competition is now named.

In a game watched by four members of United’s ownership family, the Piataks – Tom, Patty, Tom II and Alice – Workington made the better of the early running with Sam Christian unable to make the most of a Symington cross, and Holy having to be alert to deny Scott Allison.

At the other end, Gibson, from the left, supplied Romeo Park, whose shot was blocked by Sam Smith, while Jake Allan was unsuccessful with a series of shots from outside the box.

The latest injury in a season of such problems then hit United when Ellis had to go off after 15 minutes, youth team player James Murray taking his place as Josh Emmanuel moved into the centre of defence and Allan the right.

Dudik couldn’t make the most of further United opportunities before Hetherington, fed by a combination of Gibson and Dudik, shot low and forced a sharp stop from Eccles.

News and Star: Reds' Zach Walker challenges United's Jake AllanReds' Zach Walker challenges United's Jake Allan (Image: Barbara Abbott)

Carlisle had the lion’s share of the ball in this spell but Workington defended doggedly to deny them clear chances – and then came agonisingly close to an opener when a Conor Tinnion ball from the right found Allison, who dinked the ball past Allan then shot past Holy but saw the ball come back off the inside of the right-hand post.

Carlisle then started the second half on the front foot, Eccles again denying Hetherington, before O’Brien blocked a Rigg shot as Reds tested United further.

The final then spun on two chances in the space of a minute as, first, Harris beat several Reds players with a skilful run but, when he teed up Dudik, the Ukrainian forward mishit the chance.

Workington then went up the other end and took the lead as Symington fired the ball in low from the right and Allison got in front of the United defence to steer it past Holy.

News and Star: Scott Allison celebrates the winner with Dav SymingtonScott Allison celebrates the winner with Dav Symington (Image: Barbara Abbott)

It was a 156th goal for the Reds frontman, taking him second in the club’s all-time goalscoring chart ahead of his retirement this summer.

Symington later went close to a second, seeing his shot deflect across goal on the break, after a spell of United pressure did not deliver good enough chances, a later Harris run again supplying Dudik but once more the forward’s touch letting him down in the box.

Holy’s near-post save denied Symington a late Reds clincher and Carlisle couldn’t find a way back as Workington celebrated.  

Reds: Eccles, McCaragher, Walker, Howarth, Smith, Casson, Symington, Christian, Rigg, Allison, Tinnion (Hubbold 64). Not used: Martin, Bell, Schofield, Atkinson.

Goal: Allison 60.

Booked: Casson.

United: Holy, Ellis (Murray 15), Fitzpatrick, Emmanuel, O’Brien, Harris, Hetherington, Allan, Park (O’Donoghue 64), Gibson, Dudik (Hopper 86). Not used: Randall, Fleming.

Ref: Scott Henry.

Crowd: 1,148.