Albion battle the elements to win a catch-up game
By Phil Chadwick
Match Report used courtesy of Paul Armstrong of the Workington AFC website.
Albion were again missing River Humphreys through his work and also travelled minus Will Booth who had been stretchered off the previous match. Newly registered loan signing from Crewe Luke Offord therefore started alongside Josh Wardle in central defence.
Workington, after the recent winning run which provided a glimmer of hope, it’s back to square one following successive home defeats. They went into the Albion encounter knowing a win would have lifted them out of the bottom two for the first time since mid-October. But a sluggish performance, another shoot-yourselves-in-the-foot moment and a general lack of urgency ensured a status quo scenario.
The mood of those who did turn out on an atrocious night, matched the depressing weather as Carl Macauley’s side maintained their excellent record against Workington. They have now won eighteen times in thirty seven league encounters, with the latest of those guaranteed as Reds pressed the self destruct button on the stroke of half-time.
Dan Wordsworth, who almost headed the opening goal a minute earlier, got himself sent-off on the stroke of half time for an irresponsible challenge on Albion debutant Luke Offord. For the second time this year, referee John Mulligan ensured the defender would be first in the showers.
Reds had struggled to come to terms with the conditions in the first half whereas the Cheshire outfit played their usual brand of give and go football. Neither goalkeeper had been seriously tested and most of the excitement came in a frantic few minutes before the interval.
Jason Walker’s close range effort was cleared off the line by Matthew Devine and, from Conor Tinnion’s subsequent corner, Wordsworth went close to heading home the first goal.
Instead of being one goal up, the hosts trooped off one man down. Influential midfielder, Brad Carroll was switched to the back four and that, in turn, weakened the engine room of midfield.
Carroll, himself, was lucky to escape a red card when he too slid in dangerously on goalkeeper, Greg Hall. The ‘keeper hurdled the challenge which effectively meant the yellow card was sufficient punishment.
It was backs to the wall in the second half and a case of how long Reds could survive. They did well for almost half an hour but the inevitable goal came after seventy two minutes.
Devine’s superb pass between two red shirted defenders created the opening for James Foley whose low cross was forced home at the near post by Will Jones, although with what part of his anatomy with then you’ll need to ask him!. Nonetheless 3 goals in the week's 3 games is some way to celebrate after making his 100th appearance seven days previous.
Reds had never looked like scoring in the second period but, to their credit, almost grabbed an equaliser only for substitute Sam Joel’s looping header to be cleared off the line by Danny McKenna.
But the win and the points were secured in Albion’s next sortie forward with Anthony Gardner’s superbly struck low shot torpedoing past Aaran Taylor and into the net. Amazingly this was Gard's first league goal in over 4 years and that was at Wincham Park on December 13th 2014, against - Workington!
Lee Andrews, who now has the unenviable task of lifting the squad for the Marine fixture, couldn’t hide his disappointment afterwards. “Yes, the sending off affects the game but we needed to start better. We were poor, let them dominate us and we can come out with all the excuses about the referee, this, that and the other but our slow start was crucial with one or two a yard off the pace. The conditions didn’t help but they adapted well and, overall, we were lacking mentally and our approach to the game wasn’t right.”
Workington: Taylor, Douglas, Rowntree, Wordsworth, Calvert, Carroll, Carmichael (Maguire, 59), Cowperthwaite, Walker (Joel, 68), Thompson (Symington, 71), Tinnion. Substitutes – Holt, Brotherston (not used).
Witton Albion: Hall, Gardner, Devine, Wardle, Offord, Smart, McKenna (Cobley, 89), Owens, Abadaki (Hopley, 80), Jones, Foley. Substitute - Lingouba (not used)
Referee John Mulligan
Booking: Carroll (Workington) Red card: Wordsworth (Workington)
Taken from the Match Report, where there is also the HIGHLIGHTS VIDEO, at:-