Workington Reds were the better side for much of the first half today against Stalybridge Celtic but they went in on level term at half time.

It was all change at Borough Park as Reds went into the New Year's Day clash with Stalybridge Celtic with a familiar face in charge.

Gavin Skelton made his return to Reds for his third spell at the club, taking the managerial reins and looking to improve the sides fortunes in the second half of the season.

On the field, skipper Gari Rowntree ran out for his 400th appearance for the club and Workington began the match well, having the majority of the chances as they looked to attack from the off.

There was an early chance for Celtic's Matty Wolfenden as he got the ball in space and closed in on Reds keeper Aaran Taylor who came out well to halt him.

Then there was excitement at the opposite end of the field as Conor Tinnion lined up a free kick and powered it towards the goal but it bounced back off the crossbar.

Both sides were battling it out for domination but the breakthrough came inside the 16th minute when Reds won a corner. Tinnion whipped the ball in and Brad Carroll leaped up at the near post but their defender just got a touch to put it past his own keeper for the home side to take the lead.

Tinnion, who was in the thick of a lot of the action in the first half, came closer later in the game as he got on the end of some good interplay from Reds, Jordan Holt battled well and got the cross in for Tinnion, whose shot just curled the wrong side of the post.

Jason Walker thought he had made it 2-0 in the 37th minute when he also got on to the end of a Tinnion corner, this time from the opposite side but despite his hope that his header had gone over the line, the defender just cleared and the ref waved play on.

And then disaster struck seconds later as Stalybridge drew level at the opposite end. They won a corner of their own, the ball was flicked on and Andrew Scott's overhead kick found its way into Taylor's net to make it 1-1.

Reds tried to hit back straight away as Scott Allison looked to find Holt in space in the area but he couldn't control the ball and it went out of play. Then a shot from Walker was stopped by a diving keeper as Reds swamped their opponents.

Into the dying seconds of the half, in a goalmouth scramble, several players looked to put boot to ball but Tinnion's last shot was well over the crossbar and despite a yellow card being shown to Rowntree for a foul in the middle of the field there was no more action and both teams went in level at 1-1.