Barwell maintain their superb away form
From a collective good to all-round poor, the contrast between the Trophy success and this latest league failing was there for all to see.
Barwell belied their lowly position in the Premier Division to emerge worthy winners and, apart from a fifteen-minute spell after the break, dominate the game.
They were strong and reliable at the back, efficient and creative in midfield and converted two of the few opportunities which came their way in what was a near perfect away performance. Reds didn’t manage to tick any of those boxes and pressing the self-destruct button time and again didn’t help.
With play-off aspirations dented, Reds now find themselves facing an uphill task to get back into play-off contention.
A goal in each half secured a second successive win at Borough Park for the Leicestershire outfit, but they were helped on their way by some slipshod defending from the hosts.
Reds were given a reprieve in the thirty-third minute when Barwell wasted a chance from the spot. Dan Wordsworth conceded a needless penalty with a trip on Brady Hickey, collecting a costly booking in the process.
Matthew Stenson, a livewire throughout, struck the spot kick well but Aaran Taylor, diving to his left, pushed the ball to safety – his fourth penalty stop of the season.
Matty Douglas had toe-poked Reds’ first effort wide but the same player, charging down the right flank, created a good chance for Sam Joel but his on-target volley was blocked by Elliot Percival.
An opportunist chip on the run from Nigel Julien caught Taylor off his line but the ball just cleared the bar.
Barwell took a forty-third minute lead when they cashed in on more wayward defending. The usually reliable Josh Calvert gave away possession inside the area and when the ball fell conveniently to Hickey, he dispatched an unerring shot into Taylor’s net.
There was a positive response from Reds on the restart and from the game’s first corner they came close to restoring parity. Conor Tinnion delivered the ball to the far post, it was headed back into the danger by Calvert culminating in Wordsworth’s header rebounding off the crossbar.
Rob Wilson, one of the few to impress for Reds, saw a fine twenty-five yarder rattle the same piece of the goal frame which denied Wordsworth as the hosts enjoyed their best spell. Liam Castle made a few decent stops including a point-blank save to thwart Douglas.
But Barwell made sure of their sixth away win with a second goal in the seventy-fourth minute. Jamie Mellen, a half time substitute for Gari Rowntree, was a touch unlucky when gifting the visitors their second. He covered well to make a timely interception but then turned the ball back inside. But the ball was way too short for Taylor and Owen Story reacted to send the ball into the net from fully thirty yards.
Lee Andrews referred to fine margins in football and bemoaned the two second half efforts which hit the woodwork, “If either one of those had gone in we might have staged a fight back but ultimately two mistakes at the other end have cost us today and, overall, we weren’t good enough.”
Workington Taylor, Douglas, Rowntree ((Mellen, 46), Wordsworth, Calvert, Wilson (Holt, 74), Symington, McLuckie, Allison, Joel (Waterston, 61), Tinnion. Substitutes – Wright, Earl (not used).
Barwell Castle, Whitmore, Nisevic, Stanley, Percival, Julien, Hildreth, Story (Heath, 75), Piggon (Reid, 65), Hickey, Stenson (Bates, 87). Substitute – Warmington (not used).
Referee Craig Dean, Durham
Bookings: Wordsworth (Workington), Stenson, Hildreth (Barwell)