Set piece woes for the Reds youngsters
Reds came up against a powerful Shildon outfit in the FA Youth Cup, falling at the first hurdle at Dean Street in the Second Qualifying Round.
Given a bye to this stage after earlier opponents withdrew from the competition, Workington certainly knew they had been in a contest on this occasion.
The visitors were made to stand in the tunnel for five minutes before kick-off, after the referee insisted the hosts make adjustments to their kit. And nothing seemed to go right for Workington thereafter.
Goalkeeper Karl Skelton sustained a nasty facial injury, Sheldon Mossop had to limp from the field being the victim of a dangerous tackle and Leo Holliday had a second half penalty saved.
Then to compound matters, Shildon were simply too good with several of their players surely impressing EFL representatives Fulham, Wolves and Sheffield Wednesday.
The Cumbrians survived until the eighteenth minute when Joe Shepherd opened the scoring, powerfully heading home in a crowded area via Callum Banki’s well flighted corner.
It contrasted with Reds’ first corner soon after when Mossop met the ball at the far post but directed his header over the bar.
Shildon doubled their advantage five minutes later with Reds, once again, undone by a set piece. Oliver Dowling’s header, following another corner, found its way into the net despite Holliday’s agile attempt to clear off the line.
There was the briefest hint of a Reds revival at the start of the second half but it petered out when Cai Docherty’s shot missed the target after a promising build-up.
And in the fifty-third minute, Shildon put the game beyond Reds with a well worked third goal. Some slick passing saw the ball reach Dominic Harrison on the left flank and he finished in style with a crisp low shot.
An opportunity for a Workington consolation goal was squandered.
Weatherill’s through ball sent Mossop in on goal but he was taken out by home ‘keeper, Thomas Gillett. The referee awarded the penalty but Gillett escaped further punishment.
Shelton was forced to retire then, to rub salt into Workington wounds, Gillett saved Holliday’s weak spot-kick with his legs.
Reds never seriously threatened after that and might have conceded more goals had it not been for battle-scarred Skelton. He made a couple of fine saves, thwarting Harrison twice, to keep the score respectable.
No disgrace for Reds’ youngsters, they just came up against a side technically better and physically stronger.
Shildon Gillett, Wymer, Dowling, Shepherd, Bowman, Crocher (Freeman, 84), Hallimond (Howard, 67), Banki (Hodgson, 77), Harrison, Pearn, Sproston. Substitutes – Hobson, Wayper (not used)
Workington Skelton, Harker, Sinclair, Atkinson, Hetherington, Crake, Porthouse (Davidson, 53), Docherty, Mossop (Sharp, 55), Mitchell (Weatherill, 46), Holliday. Substitute – Winthrop (not used).
Referee David Holmes, Northallerton
Bookings: Banki (Shildon), Atkinson, Weatherill (Workington)