Walker opens his Reds account
Reds used nineteen players in their first of eight scheduled friendlies and, on the evidence of this promising start, several could be in contention for a shirt when the league campaign gets underway next month.
They were given a purposeful workout by a City side whose season starts a fortnight earlier than their west Cumbrian neighbours.
David Hewson made a welcome return to the technical area after last season’s enforced absence and he was well pleased with the contribution of the new recruits and triallists.
“It was a very pleasing work-out and we got out of it what we planned. Everyone got through it, played at least forty-five minutes and managed to avoid any injuries, knocks or niggles.
“There were quite a few performances that stood out for me and I was impressed with the debuts from the likes of Kieran Maguire in the second half and the midfield trio – Brad Hubbold, Jamie Mellen and Niall Cowperthwaite – in the first. Jason Walker showed his obvious quality so pleasing all round. A mention too for the young boys who did so well for us last season – Cameron Harker, Leo Holliday and Sheldon Mossop – they played the full ninety minutes and carried on from where they left off.
“There were only positives to come out of the game, it was a good test for us and it’s always nice to get off to a winning start.”
Reds created the better chances in the first half with Mossop’s two efforts missing the target, Mellen’s well struck shot shaving the upright and Walker seeing his first effort comfortably saved by Michael Ballantyne.
And it was Walker who opened the scoring on the half hour, cashing in on a wayward back pass from ex. Red, Lee Hoolickin. He collected the loose ball, rounded Ballantyne and walked the ball into the empty net.
City made a positive start to the second half and had the ball in the net soon after the restart but, without the use of VAR, the goal was disallowed on the intervention of a good old fashioned assistant’s flag.
Tom Lucock had a couple of chances for the Sky Blues but his first cleared the bar and the second saved by Reds’ substitute ‘keeper, Lewis Casson.
But Reds took the game away from the hosts with two goals in the space of three minutes. Maguire’s fine solo effort doubled their lead when the midfielder waltzed through a static defence and placed the ball beyond City’s second half ‘keeper, Kyle Townsley, son of former Workington boss, Derek, who was watching from the sidelines.
And it was Maguire, again, who made it three from the penalty spot after Mossop had been impeded in the box.
James Earl had the satisfaction of scoring City’s deserved consolation goal after seventy six minutes with a crisp finish from fifteen yards.
The action concluded with both substitute keepers making fine saves in the closing stages. Townsley kept out a well hit Harker shot whilst Casson thwarted City’s Carl Carr with a god block just before the final whistle.
“We are looking to build on last season’s retained squad and by, the look of things, the lads we are bringing in to assess have made a very good first impression. I’m looking forward to seeing them progress through pre-season and play more competitive games but the early signs are very positive indeed,” concluded an upbeat Hewson.
Carlisle City Ballantyne, Allison, Heath, Hoolickin, Nixon, Greenslade, Lucock, Johnstone, Shiel, Earl, Hickey. Substitutes – Foster, Carr, Slack and Townsley (all used).
Workington Jamieson (Casson), Harker, Pearson (Rowntree), Smith (Hetherington), Tidy (O’Brien), Mellen (Winter), Mossop, Cowperthwaite (MacDonald), Walker (Pattinson), Hubbold (Maguire), Holliday.
Referee John Mulligan, Carlisle