Celtic broke their goal drought of 313 minutes with a well-crafted goal from Jack Laird, but it was a solid performance from the visitors that allowed them to do the double over us this season.
The signs were there from the off that it would be tough for Celtic, with the Workington defence coping with both aerial and ground threats. Jack Laird’s scuffed shot was on target, but no danger, and his second lobbed effort was excellent, but well claimed by Arran Taylor. Up at the other end both Joe Mwasile and Will Vaulks kept Alex Cairns busy, but neither stretched him particularly. After a nasty clash by Gari Rowntree on Mark Lees, Celtic had a bit of a reshuffle, moving Tom Buckey to right back, and bringing on Greg Wilkinson. It took a while for Celtic to settle, and Gareth Arnisson almost capitalised with a well struck effort, but Cairns got down and across well.
Celtic’s best chance of the half came from a set piece, a superbly curled free kick from Wilkinson was going in the bottom corner, but Taylor got across and down to palm it for a corner. The corner was right to the back post where Kristian Platt thumped his head narrowly wide.
Workington capitalised on disastrous defending to take the lead a few minutes before the interval when a back pass was woefully understruck, and Platt and Cairns started to leave the loose ball for each other, only for Gareth Arnison to latch onto it. Cairns reacted to try and dispossess Arnison, but the loose ball fell to Mwasile who walked the ball into the net.
Celtic had to respond and Wilkinson tested Taylor with an effort before Jamie Mullan’s trickery in and around the box kept possession, he laid the ball off to Callum Warburton who put in a trademarked inch perfect cross for Jack Laird. The Celtic striker turned his man and curled an effort up and over Taylor, the ball taking a slight nick on the way and into the top corner.
The goal should have kick started Celtic for the second half, but the second period started with Celtic struggling to get the ball off Workington, and the visitors capitalised with a clinical move that saw Vaulks pull the ball back across the face of goal for a tap in for Arnison.
It was nearly two-a-piece when a great piece of build-up play saw Greg Wilkinson put through, his shot superbly tipped around the post by Taylor, but then, after a double substitution, it was all Workington again, with Celtic looking wide open at times. At one of those times David Hewson had the time and space to fire in a shot Cairns had no hope of reaching, before Cowperthwaite, the full back, also had time and space, but saw his goal bound effort deflected away by Joel Bembo-Leta almost on the line.
Wilkinson and substitute Jordan Barrow both tested Taylor, with Taylor doing very well to deny Barrow’s fierce drive, and Platt again getting to the corner first, but this time heading it right across the face and wide of the far post.
There was a bit of a breakaway goal for Workington’s fourth and final for them to put a bit of gloss on the result, Joe Greenhalgh sending Mwasile off on a run, and he pulled the trigger as Cairns came out, placing it perfectly past the advancing Celtic keeper. Workington were worth their win, and now Celtic must pick up the pieces and travel to play-off chasing Gainsborough next weekend in what is bound to be another stern test for the out-of-sorts Celts.
|5||Andrews, Lee||> 73|
|7||Boyd, Mark||> 74|
|9||Wright, Anthony||> 81|
|12||Wandsworth, Dan||< 73|
|14||Greenhalgh, Joe||< 74|
|15||Scott, Stefan||< 81|