Frustrating night for the Reds
Damian Reeves’ goal just after the hour mark changed the complexion of this game amid controversy and protests.
Receiving the ball in an offside position, the prolific marksman did what he does best – put the ball in the net, giving Shaw Lane a 2-1 lead.
But the protests which followed, all in vain it has to be said, disrupted Reds’ control of the game and with it went their composure and discipline. They were ragged for the remainder of the game and clearly rattled by a second debatable decision in consecutive away matches.
Assistant referee Gareth Thomas was adamant that David Symington had played Reeves on-side but seven or eight Cumbrians argued otherwise. James Earl’s blasphemous protests earned him a booking, others escaped punishment.
Not one to condone such behaviour, it was easy to understand the frustration.
For an hour, Reds were Shaw Lane’s equal and, at times, better but they fell into the trap of becoming involved in a battle as the hosts cleverly interrupted the flow of the game at every opportunity.
Three chances in the first three minutes suggested Reds were in the mood but Dav Symington’s hooked volley, Jack Ryan being inches away from converting a Conor Tinnion cross and Anthony Wright’s twenty yarder just going wide failed to produce that all important opening goal.
It was against the run of play when Lane went in front via Paul Clayton’s fine headed goal from Alex Byrne’s corner after twenty two minutes.
But Reds remained positive and Tinnion was thwarted by two extravagant saves from Jon Shaw, who also kept out a close range Dan Wordsworth effort.
Apart from their goal, the hosts had a flicked header cleared off the line, Aaran Taylor keeping out a Nicky Walker effort and Paul Ennis being outnumbered by defenders as he broke through on goal.
Then, at the end of a pleasing forty five minutes from a Workington prospective, came a deserved equaliser. Jake Simpson sent in a decent cross from a corner which Sam Smith, on as an early substitute, powering home a fine header.
David Norris tested Taylor soon after the restart but Reds were still playing at a good tempo.
That changed immediately Reeves’ restored The Ducks lead.
But Reds found a way back and were level after sixty-nine minutes in ironic circumstances. Stewart was killing time at every opportunity but was left rather red-faced when he deflected Tinnion’s corner into the net for a comical own goal.
Within three minutes, though, Lane were back in front and there was no way back for Reds on this occasion.
Wordsworth was tangling with Reeves and the referee blew for a free kick just as the latter lifted the ball into the net. The reprieve was short-lived as Byrne’s shot appeared to find a way through the defensive wall leaving Taylor flat-footed and helpless.
The win took the Barnsley outfit to the top of the table whilst Reds, languishing in mid-table, are conceding too many goals, dubious or otherwise, for a team with play-off aspirations.
Shaw Lane Stewart, Austin, Serrant, Norris, Lugsden, Qualter, Byrne, Harris, Clayton (Osborne, 79), Ennis (Reeves, 62), Walker (Hough, 90). Substitutes – Payne, Bacon (not used).
Workington Taylor, Simpson, Symington, Wordsworth, Calvert, Wright, Earl, Holt, Allison, Ryan (Smith, 14), Tinnion. Substitutes – Douglas, Mellen, Rowntree (not used).
Referee Darren Watling, Bridlington
Bookings: Earl, Allison (Workington)