Celtic came home bruised and empty handed from Workington, but can look back and say they at least played the better football.
The first half was disrupted, with very little flow from either side. Scott Allison came closest to scoring early on with a speculative cross that Matty Urwin had to tip over his bar, whilst at the other end, the league’s second highest scorer at the start of the day, whistled a free kick narrowly past the post. It was difficult to get any kind of rhythm going for Celtic, fifteen minutes in, and the foul count was 6-1 in Workington’s favour.
Workington took the lead with a good goal, moving the ball across the face of goal, the Celtic defence cutting off avenues, until Johnny Wright picked out Scott Allison who had a clear enough opening to smash his shot beyond the reach of Urwin.
Workinton’s game plan had reached fifteen fouls by half time, with only one yellow card, despite there being at least two previous incidents that warranted a booking. It was effective, and Workington completely prevented look as flowing as they did at Colwyn Bay, or Gainsborough.
Celtic had to do something different through the second period. And they upped the tempo, tried to stay ahead of the trips and play their way around the hosts. Mark Lees came very close very early into the half, thumping his header from a corner beyond the reach of Jonathon Mitchell in the Red’s goal, only for Gavin Skelton to block on the line with a stuck out leg. Moments later and Tom Buckley curled a great shot that look destined for the top corner, but a fingertip from Mitchell denied Buckley.
Mitchell was there again as Joel Bembo-Leta stooped in and connected with a corner with a free header that Mitchell was in the right place to catch. Obi Anorou came on to add to Workington’s defensive woes. But though Andy McWilliams finished off a great move only to have Skelton stick out another leg and keep Workington’s slender lead, Celtic were running out of ideas. The last thirty minutes of the game was frustrating to watch as Workington continued to add to their foul count, and slow the game back down. Adam Pepper almost grabbed a late, and deserved, equaliser, but saw his shot fly wide, and leave Celtic frustrated.
|7||Allison, Scott||> 82|
|10||Jackson, Joe||> 68|
|11||Wilson, Ross||> 90|
|12||Wright, Anthony||< 68|
|14||Conway, George||< 90|
|17||McKenna, Ben||< 82|