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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Fans boo Workington Reds off field after dreadful display at Ossett

Darren Edmondson was genuinely shocked – not just by the FA Trophy defeat but by the reaction of Reds’ travelling supporters.

Phil McLuckie photo
Phil McLuckie

The Workington manager had watched his side bow abjectly out of the competition before being booed off the field at Stade France.

Workington’s fans who made the trip into Yorkshire had voiced their concerns beforehand after they had seen the changes made by the manager.

Clearly concerned by the level of animosity, he took time afterwards to explain his tinkering while skipper Dave Hewson spent time with the fans adding his explanation.

Hewson and Kyle May were both still feeling knocks and the manager wanted to give more game time to long-time injured Lee Andrews and Anthony Wright.

Edmondson said: “I did not underestimate Ossett because I know how much the £4,000 prize money meant to the club.

“The team I sent out I felt should have been well capable of winning the game.

“I’m afraid a number of individuals didn’t perform well enough. There seemed a lack of motivation and for that, as manager, I have to take responsibility.

“I can understand how the fans feel let down by that kind of performance when they have paid good money to travel and support us. But when you consider how well we’ve been playing in recent matches I thought it was a bit harsh.”

The fans’ main grouse with the manager was his decision to play Niall Cowperthwaite, one of Reds’ best defenders this season, for the first time in midfield while leaving out the in-form and energetic Will Vaulks.

After so many very good performances of late, this was an almighty blip from the Reds. They could have been three or four behind at half-time, despite going in front on 15 minutes, and didn’t really create anything in the second half.

Ossett, who hadn’t as much of the ball or the territory, still had enough about them to score the two goals that took them through to today’s draw.

It had started promisingly enough for the Cumbrians when they took the lead after a quarter of an hour. Gareth Arnison’s ball into the box was headed goalwards by Jonny Wright.

To be honest it should have been a comfortable save for Matthew Convey but he clearly thought it was going wide and stood and watched as the ball sneaked inside the post.

But the only other time he was tested came on 23 minutes when Jordan Connerton thumped in a 25-yarder. He dived but the ball cannoned off his chest to safety as he knew very little about the save.

Most of the action was concentrated at the other end of the field where Shane Kelsey was particularly wasteful, usually after good work down the right by the speedy Liam Radford.

Twice he turned in the box and fired wide. Once he had a close range effort blocked by Aaran Taylor and on another occasion he tried to chip the Workington keeper but was off-target.

But his biggest miss came midway through the half. Radford pulled back a low cross and, as the diving Taylor couldn’t quite get there, Kelsey should have had a tap-in from five yards but somehow contrived to spoon the ball over the bar.

Workington tried to pass the ball around better in the second-half and for while the game was confined to the Ossett half.

But on 65 minutes the ball was lifted over the top for Radford to chase. He was clear and then very intelligently slid the ball across to the left where Kelsey was coming in and he wasn’t going to miss again from four yards.

Workington tried to re-group and again had possession and territory, but Convey dealt comfortably with shots from distance by Gareth Arnison.

Then, with Workington facing another midweek replay, Ossett struck to get the verdict. Substitute Andrew Catton, with virtually his first touch, took a free-kick out on the right-hand edge of the area.

He fired it low and hard into the crowded area and a deflection off a Workington boot was enough to take it beyond Taylor into the bottom corner.

Workington’s poorest performance of the season got what it deserved and Ossett were worthy winners on the day.

Workington Reds: Taylor, Andrews, A. Wright (Rowntree 56), Wordsworth, Bolton, Cowperthwaite, Mwasile, McLuckie (Vaulks 75), J. Wright, Connerton, Arnison. Subs (not used) Hewson, May and Wraighte.

Referee: Glen Hart (Darlington)

Crowd: 158

Star man: Phil McLuckie - put in as good a 75 minute shift in midfield as anybody. Worked hard and passed the ball accurately.

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