Sublime Earl goal levels against League leaders
Workington found draws hard to come by last season and it took them until their final home match to register the first. The problem then was not being able to convert a defeat into a draw.
Now they are emerging as the league’s draw specialists and they cannot convert a string of ‘one pointers’ into wins.
Manager David Hewson is confident that will change and his upbeat mood afterwards suggested how pleased he was with the effort, commitment and good football produced against a very capable Warrington side.
It was a tonic of a performance and a great response to Saturday’s disappointing Cup exit.
But Warrington displayed great resilience when under constant Reds’ pressure and took the lead with their first attack of note, very much against the run of play. It took a sublime James Earl (pictured) equaliser early in the second half to salvage a well-deserved draw.
It is sometimes worrying when a team has nothing to show for a dominant performance and Reds’ supporters must have been concerned over their half time cuppa or pint.
Town had survived a first half battering and were a goal in front. It was probably Reds’ only defensive lapse of the evening when they allowed, of all people, Tony Gray time and space to collect a cross from the right and send a superbly struck low shot into Aaran Taylor’s net.
Taylor had saved well earlier to keep out a Connor Hughes effort. Faced with a one-on-one with the Town player, Taylor stayed on his feet until the last moment then blocked the shot much to Hughes’ frustration.
Other than that, most of the traffic was flowing in the other direction yet despite good movement and decent service into the box, Tony McMillan and central defenders James McCarten and Phil Baker repeatedly caught and headed the ball clear.
Scott Allison was denied by a comfortable McMillan save, Josh Calvert’s header narrowly cleared the bar while Jack Ryan and Jake Simpson saw a goal bound shots bravely blocked.
But Reds were back on terms eight minutes after the break. Allison touched the ball into Earl’s path and he delightfully clipped the ball over McMillan and into the top corner of the net from the edge of the area.
A Dan Wordsworth header was kept out by a fine reflex catch by McMillan as Reds tried to turn one point into three.
There was a petty fracas involving Town’s Bradley Barnes, Calvert and Wordsworth on the hour mark. This resulted in the Warrington midfielder being rightly booked but Calvert appearing to be punished for Wordsworth’s intervention.
With the keenly fought encounter appearing to be heading towards a draw, both teams survived a late scare.
Taylor, keen to launch a quick counter attack, saw his clearance hit former Red, Joe Mwasile, with the ball rebounding towards goal. Taylor and Gray chased the loose ball with the ‘keeper making amends for what could have been an embarrassing blunder.
And Taylor was relieved when Gerard Kinsella’s late effort crashed into the side netting from an acute angle.
Ryan, Calvert, Simpson and Douglas all made outstanding contributions for Reds but the sponsors nominated Tinnion as a deserved man-of-the match. His timely return to form coincided with Reds best ninety minutes of the season.
Workington Taylor, Simpson, Symington, Wordsworth, Douglas, Calvert, Holt (Joel, 66), Earl (Mellen, 74), Ryan, Allison, Tinnion. Substitutes – Rowntree, MacDonald and Williams (not used).
Warrington Town McMillan, Goulding, McKeown, Barnes (Kinsella, 74), McCarten, Baker, Vassallo, Williams, Gray (Jerome, 79), Hughes (Mwasile, 68), Richards. Substitutes – Carden A, Sanogo (not used).
Referee Nat Cox, Blackpool
Bookings: Calvert (Workington), Barnes (Workington)