Reds inflict blues on the greens
With impeccable timing, Reds eased into the fifth and final play-off berth and one more win will see them qualify for the knock-out deciders.
This was the ultimate team performance against a very good Nantwich side and completing a league double over the Cheshire outfit is a notable achievement. And, depending on results in the final week of the season, they could meet yet again in the quest for promotion.
Squad rotation has never been an option for Reds but such is the strength of the current group, management were able to name a very strong bench boasting nearly 1,200 club appearances.
If that doesn’t boost confidence, nothing will.
Both teams had half chances in the early stages with Tom Peers’ shot partially blocked by Josh Calvert and easily gathered by Aaran Taylor with the latter then dealing with Matt Bell’s curler. Reds responded through two Rob Wilson efforts, the first a low angled drive and the second a shot which bobbled, neither of which troubled Krystian Burzynski.
The visitors then applied a vice-like grip on defensive matters and strangled the life out of one of the league’s most potent attacks.
With five minutes of the first half remaining, Reds netted what proved to be the decider. Jake Simpson angled in one of his trademark free-kicks and Jack Ryan pinned his marker before heading powerfully into the net.
Town had a chance to level before the break but Taylor gathered Peers’ well struck free-kick at the second attempt.
Nantwich upped the tempo on the restart but, a team renowned for its passing abilities, couldn’t prize open Workington’s outstanding defence which didn’t even include Messrs May and Rowntree!
Vinny Mukendi sent Wayne Riley clear through the inside right channel but another defensive block averted the danger at the expense of a corner.
Then skipper Taylor pulled off a match winning save to keep out a Curtis Jones effort, via a tempting assist from the right.
Steve Jones then broke through but the veteran screwed his shot wide and his next attempt at goal was blocked by the outstanding Sam Smith.
Most of the play was now in Reds’ defensive half of the pitch and they dealt with everything with assured calmness, but there was moment of panic when Dan Wordsworth dragged down Ibou Touray a foot outside the area.
The Dabbers wasted the subsequent free-kick and their frustration became more evident as they ran out of ideas.
And it was Wordsworth who saw the game through to a satisfactory conclusion with three or four vital clearances in stoppage time. His return to the side has coincided with four consecutive clean sheets.
The final whistle was greeted with elation by the Workington faithful who followed last away game tradition by turning up in fancy dress – a wonderful collection of sheikhs, film characters, prisoners and pirates!
Nantwich Town Burzynski, White, Touray, Jones C, Harrison (Stair, 25), Hall, Hancock, Riley, Peers (Mukendi, 55), Bell, Mwasile (Jones S, 55). Substitutes – Brooke, Abadaki (not used).
Workington Taylor, Simpson, Smith, Wordsworth, Calvert, Earl, Allison, Wilson, Ryan (Waterston, 61), Joel (Wright, 70), Tinnion. Substitutes – Rowntree, May, Symington (not used).
Referee Peter Gibbons, Wirral
Bookings: Calvert, Taylor (Workington)