Halifax Town 3
Town recovered from the shock of conceding a goal inside the opening minute to record their first home win of the season.
And while Neil Aspin’s side are still not firing on all cylinders, they are unbeaten in their last six games and climbed into the top 10 with this victory.
Tom Baker was the architect in chief, scoring two of the goals during another dynamic display, while Lee Gregory also had a good day, bagging the equaliser and winning the penalty during a strong first half showing.
Once they hit the front with Baker’s spot kick - the first time this season they had been ahead at the Shay - there never seemed any doubt about the result.
And Baker’s long ranger with 17 minutes remaining merely made sure there were no late scares.
Aspin had told his players how crucial the opening goal of the game would be and it went Workington’s way - after just 40 seconds.
David Hewson was allowed to cross from the right and to make matters worse Stuart Green was unmarked six yards out at the far post as he slid it home.
Town had a chance to level within a couple of minutes when a long ball sent Gregory clear. He tried to lift it over Aaran Taylor but did not get enough on it and the keeper claimed easily.
Liam Needham’s ball allowed Gregory to get in the box again soon after, but the Town striker lost his footing as he tried to turn the defender.
And Simon Eastwood was called on to make his first save after five minutes when he got down low to his right to claim a Johnny Wright shot.
Town forced a couple of corners, but made nothing of them as they looked to be settling down after the shock of conceding the early goal.
And they levelled after 15 minutes with a route one goal, Danny Holland nodding on a long Eastwood clearance for Gregory who showed good strength to hold off a defender in the box and slot home.
The Shaymen hit the front five minutes later from another Eastwood clearance that Gregory latched onto before being brought down in the area by Anthony Wright. The ever-dependable Baker made no mistake from the penalty spot to make it 2-1.
Gregory’s diving header from an Aaron Hardy cross soon after, was saved, although the linesman had already flagged.
Hardy nipped in well to dispossess Anthony Wright just before the half hour and raced towards the area before picking out Baker on the right, but he blazed his cross into the unoccupied North Stand.
Eastwood was never troubled by Mark Boyd’s long range effort but was by a late challenge by Johnny Wright who took his legs from under him after he had claimed a Scott McManus header.
The Workington striker escaped with a booking while Eastwood was given lengthy treatment by Town physio Dave Hanson before being able to continue.
Town put themselves under unnecessary pressure early in the second half when they lost the ball allowing Jake Simpson to cross from the right, but Gregg Anderson slid in well to deny Gareth Arnison.
And there appeared to be another problem soon after when Liam Hogan slid into a challenge and immediately signalled to the bench.
He returned to the action in time to see McManus hook his leg round Arnison to prevent the visiting striker getting a shot in on goal.
It was a generally sloppy start to the second half from the Shaymen allowing Workington to see far more of the ball than they needed to.
The Shaymen almost carved out an opening on the hour when Gregory spun the ball wide to the right for Hardy. He cut inside but his left footed shot was blocked by a sliding Tony Hopper.
Workington should have levelled midway through the half when Boyd swung a free kick in from the right and Tom Smyth got in at the back post only to flash an effort across a crowded six yard box and wide.
Town responded with Baker winning a corner and Garner crossing in from the right, but Needham’s glancing header flashed across the face of goal.
James Dean won another corner minutes later and when Garner’s delivery was cleared as far as Baker he hammered it goalwards from the edge of the box and the ball squirmed under keeper Taylor’s body and over the line.
Baker was full of running and raced own the right after collecting an Eastwood roll out before finding Dean, but his cross-shot eluded Gregory.
David Haggerty and Baker combined well but the final cross was just behind Gregory and Workington had a chance as the board indicating three minutes of added time was raised, but Eastwood saved Mark Sloan’s well struck effort.