Witton's losing streak ends at Reds expense
It’s still a season of three steps forward and two back for inconsistent Reds with this latest offering epitomising the campaign so far.
They huffed and puffed all night but never seriously threatened to blow the house down leaving manager, David Hewson, brutally honest about his side’s lacklustre performance.
“We were sluggish, lacked urgency and desire and some of our key performers were found wanting and, as a team, we were flat and lethargic,” he said.
The commitment was there but appeared to be misdirected and Witton, without a win in four, got back on track probably easier than they expected.
Such was the ineptitude of the visitors, Albion played the final thirty five minutes with ten men and did so comfortably.
Match winner, Prince Haywood, scored the only goal of the night inside ten minutes of the first half but was given a straight red card early in the second. A raised elbow towards Jordan Holt’s face was spotted by the referee who was quick to deliver the right punishment.
His ninth minute goal was a well hit shot from just outside the area which evaded the diving Aaran Taylor with the ball coming to rest in the bottom corner of the net. It was no more than Albion deserved after a bright start although there wasn’t much, at either end, in terms of clear-cut opportunities.
A hooked volley from Will Jones was comfortably saved by Taylor who then juggled the ball in saving at the far post from the same player.
Workington’s ‘chances’ saw one very, and another narrowly, wide from Josh Calvert while a David Symington free kick sailed a few feet over the bar.
The dismissal of Haywood after fifty six minutes didn’t alter matters much from a Reds’ perspective, if anything they came even more frenetic and their repeated attacks were hurried and unstructured.
Nathan Waterston, put through by a rare, defence splitting pass from Jamie Mellen, had found the space well but his on-target effort was easily saved by the underworked Calvin Hare. Waterston then got behind Albion’s rearguard a second time but an assistant’s raised flag nullified his goal bound header.
Crosses and assists were coming in from too deep, which favoured Albion’s five man back line, and the one time Sam Joel got behind the red and white shirted defenders, there was a hint of panic in the ranks.
It mattered little as Reds’ lack of guile proved their undoing.
One positive to emerge was a return to action for Rob Wilson, sidelined for the last fourteen matches, who came through his cameo appearance without any concerns about his instep problem.
Witton Albion Hare, Gardner, Devine, Foley, Brown, Ryan, Haywood, Owens, Hopley (Hedley, 58), Tames (Wilson, 79), Jones. Substitutes – McKenna, Williams, Neild (not used).
Workington Taylor, Simpson, Symington, Smith, Douglas, Calvert, Joel, Holt (Wilson, 79), Allison, Egan (Waterston, 56), Mellen. Substitutes – Rowntree, Harker, Holliday (not used).
Referee Conor Brown, Rochdale
Red card: Prince Haywood (Witton Albion, 56 minutes)