Danny Grainger admitted Workington Reds were not at their best in their 1-1 draw at Runcorn Linnets where they came from behind to salvage a point.

Connor McCarthy lifted a deft 25-yard effort over Reds keeper Jim Atkinson to give the hosts the lead, before Grainger’s men responded with Sam Smith netting his first goal of the season.

“We were rather flat and looked tired at times, with the busy schedule over the last few weeks looking to have taken its toll,” said Grainger, the former Carlisle United captain.

“To be frank, Runcorn probably deserved more out of the game than we did, but we showed plenty of character and it’s no bad thing if you can pick up a point when not at your best.”

In a reduced league programme because of the FA Cup, Reds extended their lead at the top of BetVictor’s North West Division to four points, although they have played two more games than their nearest rivals.

Grainger added: “If someone had suggested that, after six games we would be four points clear at the top of the league, I would have snapped their hand off.”

Reds now turn their attention to tomorrow’s home clash against Kendal Town (7.45pm kick-off) and the first league derby between the two for 15 years.

“They will have our utmost respect as there are no easy games at this level, especially in a derby fixture,” Grainger said.

“We have to make sure our game is right and improve on Saturday’s lacklustre performance. The lads have that expectation level on their shoulders now, with opponents raising their game because we are challenging at the top and we cannot expect to have things all our own way in every match.”

Kendal have endured a torrid time of late, but obtained a valuable point in a 2-2 draw at Droylsden on Saturday.