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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

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Workington Reds players mobbed as they ensure Blue Square North survival

Worcester 0 Workington Reds 1: Wild celebrations greeted Workington Reds’ mobbed players, as the Borough Park faithful stormed Worcester’s St George’s Lane pitch to hail the great escape.

Workington Reds photo
Reds stay in Blue Square North after win at Worcester

In the end, it wasn’t so much a final-day cliffhanger, as a dominant Reds side avoided the drop by four points and ended their season in mid-table obscurity.

But that didn’t stop the fancy dress-clad army of travelling fans vaulting the stand walls to enjoy the moment with their heroes.

Boss Darren Edmondson ended up at the bottom of a 30-man scrum as the supporters showed their appreciation for the hard work of his team to ensure survival.

Jordan Connerton signed off his stint at Workington with the goal that clinched Reds’ place in the Blue Square Bet North next season.

The Crewe Alexandra loanee stooped on 75 minutes to nod home Gareth Arnison’s cross.

It proved to be the only goal of the game, and earned Workington the result which would guarantee safety.

Reds went into the match as one of eight teams under the threat of relegation. Hinckley, who started the day beneath the dashed line, ended in the same position and joined Eastwood and Blyth in the Evo-Stik leagues after a 4-2 loss to play-off chasing Stalybridge.

Against Worcester, Edmondson’s men were in complete control throughout the potentially nerve-shredding clash.

Returning defender Adam Flynn, who always looks at ease, marshalled the defence perfectly.

Workington attacked with purpose, with Arnison again impressing.

Worcester had nothing to play for, and almost went behind early on, but Mark Boyd snatched at his chance to open the scoring on eight minutes.

The imperious Flynn, who ruled out a permanent move to West Cumbria, then blocked Mike Symons goal-bound strike to deny Worcester the first score.

Jacob Rowe saw his header sneak through Lee Andrews’ legs on 17 minutes, but alert Aaran Taylor stopped the ball on the line.

Flynn then denied City captain Kevin O’Connor, whose driven effort hit the chest of the experienced defender, and Rob Elvins should have done better with a header.

That was as good as it got for Worcester, who were pegged back for the remainder of the first half.

Arnison looped a header on to the roof of the net after miscuing Boyd’s corner.

Connerton then hit a superb volley on the turn that keeper Matt Sergeant did well to finger tip over the bar.

Getting into their stride, Workington were stringing some neat moves together, and David Hewson was unlucky to see his shot deflected for another corner.

From the 33rd minute set piece Andrews powered a header that Sergeant, incredibly, got another strong hand to.

It was more of the same after the break with Arnison crossing and Connerton tried in vain to bundle home.

Just before the hour, Anthony Wright blazed over after being played in at the back post by Connerton.

None of the above mattered though, when 15 minutes from time, the lively Connerton headed Workington in front.

Boyd played a short corner to Arnison, who cut in from the right, and curled an cross into the back post where Connerton was waiting and made no mistake from close range.

Workington could have doubled and tripled their lead late on, but substitute Gari Rowntree hit the post and Phil McLuckie rattled the bar with a thunderous strike a minute from time.

Workington Reds: Taylor, Wordsworth, Andrews, May, Flynn, McLuckie, Wright, Hewson (Scott 71), Boyd (Rowntree 79), Connerton (Sloan 86), Arnison. Subs (not used): Berkeley, Routledge.

Attendance: 815

Referee: R Johnson

Star man: The entire Workington team worked tirelessly to preserve their place in the Blue Square Bet North. They dominated Worcester with some imperious football.

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