Burzynski thwarts the Reds
Traditionally slow starters, Workington put their supporters through another frustrating ninety minutes after suffering back-to-back defeats on their travels.
And, just like at Marine five days earlier, Reds contributed to their own downfall with another hit and miss performance. In a repeat of their previous outing, the west Cumbrians found themselves two goals down before asserting some authority on the game.
The stumbling block on this occasion was Dabbers’ goalkeeper, Krystian Burzynski, who kept Reds at bay with a man-of-the-match performance which saw him make five stunning saves, and a few ordinary stops, in the second half.
But Nantwich were already in front at that stage, with goals either side of the interval, and possessed a determination that would see them through to their first win of the season.
The former Crewe Alexandra stopper, who kept a clean sheet on his debut at Borough Park two years ago, denied Josh Calvert in the first half when the contest was still goalless. His agility came to the fore after the break and eye-catching saves denied Scott Allison, twice, David Symington, twice, and Sam Joel with the save from the latter probably the best of the lot.
Yet despite the goalkeeper’s heroics, Reds have to look at their own performance and, in particular, the art of defending. A strongpoint in recent seasons, the back four has struggled in the two away games to date and, with only one left sided player in the quartet, have looked slightly out of kilter.
It will be put right, I’m sure, but it has cost Reds dearly in successive away games.
The opening goal was a personal disaster for Sam Smith who firstly conceded a free kick for a clumsy challenge which earned him a yellow card. Then, when the subsequent free-kick was delivered into the area, the Reds’ defender’s punishment was doubled when he conceded an unfortunate own-goal.
Prior to that, Reds hadn’t looked in any real danger and had weathered the expected early onslaught without too many alarms. Matt Bell shot wide with one of two attempts and the other was comfortably gathered by Aaran Taylor.
Calvert, Smith and Jack Ryan all missed the target in what could loosely be called first half chances for Reds.
But after Smith’s error of judgement, Reds looked a bit fragile at the back at the end of the first and start of the second halves.
Town’s second goal, after forty-seven minutes, was a case in point. The green-shirted home side cut Reds open with a swift counter attack and the cross from the right was controlled by Forbes. He laid the ball into the path of Jordan Davies who finished calmly and confidently with Reds defenders conspicuous by their absence.
And after going two goals down, Reds played their best football of the game but that’s when Mr. Burzynski came into his own and his colleagues had enough nous to see out the game.
Reds manager David Hewson couldn’t hide his disappointment afterwards saying, “Had Scott Allison equalised at the start of the second half I’m sure we would have gone on to win, but he was denied by another excellent save from the ‘keeper and, two minutes later, we are chasing the game after conceding a sloppy goal.”
“But we remain positive and are confident the current squad will come through this spell and turn things around,” he added.
One of the positives to emerge was the return of Conor Tinnion who played the final half hour without suffering any post match reaction to his hamstring problems.
Nantwich Town Burzynski, Bourne (Cooke, 68), Morgan, Stair, Mullarkey, Hall, Hughes, Forbes (Anderson, 64), Clayton, Bell, Davies (Jones, 88). Substitutes – Webster, McDonald (not used).
Workington Taylor, Simpson, Smith, Wordsworth, Douglas, Wright, Symington, Calvert, Ryan (Joel, 73), Wilson (Tinnion, 63), Allison. Substitutes – Mellen, Carter, Fowler (not used).
Referee Tom Bishop, Stoke-on-Trent
Bookings: Bourne, Bell (Nantwich Town), Smith, Calvert and Wordsworth (Workington)