Barrow Boys' Bonanza
It was a good night for Reds’ Barrow contingent with the four south-of-the-county based players getting their names on the score sheet in this opening pre-season leg-stretcher.
Jack Ryan led the way with a personal tally of four whilst Sam Joel, Nathan Waterston and debutant, Jamie Mellen, helped put Whitehaven to the sword.
Scott Allison, scoring in this fixture for the fourth year in a row, managed two with Anthony Wright concluding matters with a last minute penalty.
But Reds weren’t the only winners, with the local polio charity benefitting by almost £400 as this traditional curtain raiser was played in memory of Shaun Hocking, a stalwart of both clubs in bygone years.
Joel started the goal spree in the tenth minute with a fine left-footed cross shot finding a way into Stuart Petitt’s net.
Within two minutes, though, Whitehaven were level with a fine goal of their own. Reds failed to defend a cross from the right and Chris Moore’s finish flashed in at Aaran Taylor’s near post.
It got better for Craig Lewis’ side who took a fourteenth minute lead when defender Adam Tubman ventured forward to finish from close range.
Allison, the top scorer in this fixture, restored parity after eighteen eventful minutes clipping the ball over the advancing Petitt for another well taken goal. And it was Allison, again, who gave Reds a narrow advantage five minutes before the break when he latched onto Conor Tinnion’s perfectly weighted pass before confidently scoring his second.
Rob Wilson and home player, Tom Pavell, both saw efforts rebound of the woodwork as the shirt-sleeved crowd enjoyed the end-to-end entertainment.
Reds had the luxury of fielding a completely different XI for the second half and it was this strength in depth which changed an even, competitive game into a one-sided stroll.
The fourth goal, five minutes after the restart, effectively distinguished any thoughts of a comeback from the hosts with luck favouring Reds on this occasion. Anthony Wright had met Dav Symington’s cross from the right but his shot was clearly going wide until Ryan reacted quickly to deflect the ball into the net.
Ryan certainly had more to do for a superb second which extended the lead to 5-2 in the seventieth minute. He cleverly plucked the ball out of the air, advanced on goal and finished with aplomb.
Josh Calvert and Nathan Waterston both squandered a couple of chances each and Cameron Carter then saw another effort rebound off the goal frame.
Whitehaven, who hardly tested Tom Fowler in the second half, were brushed aside in the final ten minutes with Reds adding five further goals.
Jamie Mellen capped a lively debut by heading home a Symington corner at the near post and then Ryan completed a fine hat-trick with a sublime chip after being released by Waterston’s pass.
Ryan side-footed home his fourth, via another Symington corner, making it 8-2 with four minutes remaining.
Waterston made it nine when he accepted a gift to bag the goal he deserved and there was just time for Reds to reach double figures with a last minute penalty. Wright’s progress into Haven territory was unfairly checked and he took the subsequent spot-kick himself to make it ten, seconds before the final whistle.
A good work-out for both squads, despite the gulf in ability.
Whitehaven Petitt, Pears, McNally, Holliday M, Tidy, Tubman, Dryden, McGuire, Holliday K, Moore, Pavell. Substitutes – Straughton, Byers, Sloan, McClure, Rutherford, Docherty, Robinson.
Workington Taylor (Fowler), Simpson (Douglas), Cham (Symington), Henderson (Calvert), Wordsworth (Smith), Earl (Carter), Jolly (Johnson), Wilson (Wright), Joel (Ryan), Allison (Waterston), Tinnion (Mellen).
Referee Adam Pattison, Workington