Workington Reds 2 Scarborough Athletic 3

A feisty, competitive contest, which had been simmering throughout, boiled over at the final whistle when the referee eventually produced four red cards.

Bailey Gooda, who was alleged to have started the after-match brawl by spitting in the face of a Workington player, was sent-off along with his team-mate Jamie Forrester.

Then two Reds players, Kyle May and Matty Douglas, were summoned back onto the field to be shown red cards by referee Chris Ellis. It was a stormy end to what had always been an entertaining game, but often seemed as though it was going to blow up.

Let’s get one thing out of the way from the start – Reds did not deserve to lose. They more than matched their opponents who are riding high in the table.

The teams had gone in at half-time all square at 1-1 but Reds dominated the second-half without being able to break through.

Then against the run of play Scarborough scored a soft goal – ironically by Gooda – in the 84th minute.

It stayed that way until the four minutes of time added on when each side scored once and Reds keeper Aaran Taylor headed against the Scarborough bar. Throw in the four sendings-off and a controversial penalty award, and it highlights what sort of game it was.

Reds had taken the lead on 16 minutes with another classic free-kick finish from Conor Tinnion.

From five yards outside the area, in the old inside-left position, he curled a low shot around the wall and in off the foot of the post to beat the diving Thomas Taylor.

It was a deserved lead for a Workington side prepared to battle for every ball and use it well with some periods of excellent possession football.

Unfortunately, Scarborough equalised a minute later. Dan Wordsworth got across to tackle James Walshaw in the area and although he definitely got the ball he made contact with the player who went down. Referee Ellis had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Michael Coulson made no mistake from the spot.

Workington had most of the possession and territory on the re-start with the lively Sam Joel, Tinnion and new boy Brad Carroll all going close.

Scarborough grabbed the all-important second goal. A right-wing corner cleared everybody except Gooda at the far post and he thumped the ball home from close range.

Into the time added on and Taylor was up for a Tinnion corner which he thumped against the bar with a centre-forward-style header.

Reds immediately forced another corner but this time the ball was cleared. The home keeper raced back as the ball broke for Coulson and there was a brief foot race before the Scarborough forward drilled home the third.

There was still time for Reds to get back and Sean Paterson scored from eight yards to give the faintest of hope that they could produce a miracle – but the final whistle sounded soon afterwards, to spark the unseemly melee.