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'Brighouse more than deserved late equaliser' - Grainger PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Walsh   
Saturday, 19 December 2020

dan wordsworth.pngBrighouse Town 2, Workington 2

BRIGHOUSE earned a point from the last kick of the game, but it was Workington boss Danny Grainger who admitted it was Reds who were lucky to get the draw.

He was bitterly disappointed afterwards feeling that 90% of the side weren’t up to the standards the team has set.

“If we continue like that we are not going to be successful. It’s a mental thing, and something we have to put right in the dressing room

“One of their lads said to me at the end they had produced a smash and grab but I didn’t see it that way. They deserved their point and we needed two excellent saves from Jim (Atkinson) and a super block from Goose (Dan Wordsworth) to keep them out before the equaliser,” he said.

That late strike cost Reds the top spot in the NPL North Western Division, but in truth the west Cumbrians rarely looked like League leaders. They now have the share of a three-way battle, but have played a game more than both Ramsbottom and Colne who are also on 19 points

No away fans were allowed and as far as Workington supporters are concerned it was a good one to miss!

They would have seen only one positive period – the first 15 minutes of the second-half – when a 1-0 interval deficit was turned into a 2-1 lead. Sadly once ahead they couldn’t maintain that increased tempo and eventually paid the price with that last gasp equaliser for the hosts.

Reds, of course, are still unbeaten in the League, but the performance against a side lying second bottom will have provided much food for thought. Brighouse were young and enthusiastic, with one or two skilful ball players, but who generally liked to get the ball forward early and caused Reds a few problems in doing so.

Their first goal was a fine finish. The initial free-kick from Jack Boyle was blocked by the Reds wall but it fell invitingly into the path of Danny Racchi who scored with a screaming 15-yard shot frilled into the top corner.

By comparison the goal that earned the point at the end of 94 minutes was a scrambled affair after Reds had been unable to clear a right-wing corner, with the lively Javelle Clarke finishing from close range.

The half-time dressing-down from Grainger produced immediate justification for his two substitutions as the two combined to set up the goal.

Matty Clarke danced outside full-back Jack Tinker and whipped in a quick, low cross which was met by Scott Allison who simply teed-up Reuben Jerome to score with a tap-in.

The second goal came on 59 minutes and again Allison was involved, lifting the ball into the danger area for Sam Smith to head home.

Smith had actually been closest to getting Reds on terms in the first-half. His initial header on 19minutes was headed off the line by home skipper Kurt Harris. Brad Carroll’s follow-up was blocked on the line and when Dav Symington moved in for the kill his effort was blocked by young keeper Jacob Carney.

It was the last, but important contribution from Harris as he had hurt himself in his goal-line heroics and had to be replaced.

Later in the half it was Smith again at a corner who got in a sharp downward header which was hacked off the line.

But if Reds had gone close so too did the hosts. Reds keeper Jim Atkinson had to  make two fine saves in the closing stages to keep Reds ahead and Dan Wordsworth produced an heroic point-blank block on the six yard box to do likewise.

Yet in all the late mayhem, Reds could have sealed the game. Jerome was put clear but with Carney to beat he could only shoot straight at the home keeper.

Brighouse Town: Carney, Tinker (Mohammed 53), Reed, Grant, Harris (Wilkinson 21), Beedon, Clarke, Haigh, Sorhaindo (Hay 69), Racchi, Boyle. Subs (not used) Smith, Church.

Goals: Racchi (12), Clarke (90 + 4).

Workington: Atkinson, Kelly, Brockbank (Clarke 45), Wordsworth, Smith, Casson, Symington (Holt 83), Carroll, Jerome, Lightfoot (Allison 45), Tinnion. Subs (not used) Bowman, Potts.

Goals: Jerome (47), Smith (59)

Referee: Neil Howlett

Crowd: 192


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