Danny Grainger praised the character of his side after two late goals extended the winning sequence to six matches, maintaining their seven-point advantage at the top of NPL North West.
After dominating a plucky, young Brighouse team for an hour, they were pegged back by Reece Kendall’s seventy-first minute equaliser. But, before the visitors could get a foothold in the game, a confident Reds’ rally produced the goals which secured the victory.
Yet again, both teams had to contend with gale force conditions – the norm, it seems, for Borough Park – Reds playing towards the Derwent End with the elements in their favour.
Unlike the previous week, though, they had to wait a little longer for the opening goal and, before it came in the twenty-fifth minute, Jordan Porter comfortably dealt with shots from Dav Symington and Brad Hubbold whilst a Connor Tinnion effort cleared the bar.
But Symington’s next effort from the edge of the box rattled the crossbar and this was followed by a bizarre cameo by the Workington number 7!
The hosts were awarded a free-kick, parallel to the Brighouse technical area and forty-five metres from goal. Symington was tasked with delivering the ball and responded superbly to the ‘drop it under the bar’ instruction from his manager.
He did better than that and actually scored, with Porter only able to help the ball into the net. Symington is one of the few players in the League who could do such a thing and fitting that we witnessed something different for Workington’s 100th goal of the season.
Porter redeemed himself before the break thwarting Tinnion, Hubbold and Brad Carroll with more praiseworthy goalkeeping.
Brighouse must have felt pleased restricting the hosts to just the one goal but almost conceded early in the second half. Scott Allison should have scored, but didn’t, and Sam Smith was denied by ‘keeper Porter.
The visitors were still in the game and after, sixty-three minutes, created their first opening – albeit a shot wide of the mark from Jack Boyle.
But they were certainly back in contention after seventy-one minutes when they scored with their first shot on target – a fine looping volley from Kendall after Reds failed, for once, to clear their lines.
No sooner than getting back into the game, Town’s inexperience was exposed when they immediately handed the initiative back to Reds.
Josh Austerfield was a tad unlucky to be shown a first yellow card but had no defence for the second and was sent-off with ten minutes remaining to end his debut prematurely.
The division’s top scorer, Allison, restored Workington’s slender advantage soon after Town were reduced to ten men with a crisp left-foot finish from the edge of the area. The relief was tangible around the ground and matched only by disappointment in the Brighouse corner.
And two minutes later, two of Reds substitutes combined to great effect to fashion a third goal securing a twentieth league win.
Nathan Waterston’s strength and speed took him clear of the last defender and, as Porter advanced off his line, he squared the ball to Millenic Alli who placed the ball into the Town End net sparking wild celebrations on the terraces.
Workington: Atkinson, Clarke (Alli, 83), Brockbank, Wordsworth, Smith, Casson, Symington, Carroll, Allison, Hubbold (Waterston, 64), Tinnion (Lonsdale, 88). Substitutes – Hebson, Malumo (not used).
Brighouse Town: Porter, Benn, Kendall, Wright (Austerfield, 57), Harris, Beeden, Church (Sawyer, 77), Grant, Jagger, Boyle, Clarke (Keita, 70). Substitutes – Reed, White (not used).
Referee: Chris Porter, Preston
Bookings: Atkinson, Carroll (Workington)
Red card: Austerfield (Brighouse Town, two yellow cards)
Matchday photos by ben Challis.