Three minutes into their first game of the new Blue Square North campaign, Celtic suffered a major set back when they lost new keeper Andy Ralph to a double leg break which could see him out of the side for the best part of the season after Phil McLuckie raced in for a loose ball with Ralph.
Ashley Woodhouse was fortunately on the bench or the scoreline could have been much worse.
With the game plan unsettled, Workington took advantage, and created a couple of early efforts that Woodhouse was able to find his feet with, Mark Sloan's effort straight at him, and Mark Boyd's free kick was well defended. Eventually, the defence was going to crack, and when Woodhouse scooped up the ball after Joel Bembo-Leta's had tripped on it, the ref gave the home side a free kick for a back pass in the box! After Boyd's thunderous shot struck Mark Lees on the arm from a couple of yards out, the referee pointed to harshly to the spot. Gareth Arnison stepped up and converted from the spot.
Bembo-Leta and Woodhouse, desperate not to repeat the backpass incident they allowed Jonny Wright to nip and toe poke home for a simple goal.
Celtic did get back into the game, Mitchell Austin single handedly taking the game to the home side by taking the ball from Niall Cowperthwaite and using his pace to race in on goal and score Celtic's first goal of the campaign. Moments later it could have been two for Celtic's Australian winger, as he got his head to a cross only for Aaran Taylor to somehow get a hand to the ball and tip it out for a corner.
The second half saw the referee again award the home side a penalty as Bembo-Leta was adjudged to tripped Jonny Wright. Given the officials earlier decision, how much of a trip there was is open to debate. Woodhouse became the hero, keeping Celtic in with a chance, diving to his right and denying Arnison a second spot goal, deserving his luck as Arnison fired the loose ball off the post allowing Celtic to clear.
However, Celtic were struggling to move up the gears in the second half, and yet fashioned the best chance of the game, Mitchell Austin racing behind the Reds' back line and lifting the ball over the advancing Taylor, only for Taylor to somehow twist and push the ball over the bar.
A route one goal undid Celtic. A long throw from Taylor, a flick onto Arnison in the box and a first time shot past Woodhouse, and Celtic were two behind again. The visitors were unable to fashion anything, and the final goal when it arrived came from a move that stretched young Celtic legs. Gari Rowntree controlling a cross field ball well, and setting up Stefan Scott with an unguarded net to smash the ball into.
Celtic will have a lot of work to do ahead of the visit of Gainsborough on Tuesday.