Firing blanks could cost Workington as they prepare to face highflying Boston United in the Skrill North

Ryan Semple celebrates his goal at Workington back in 2011 and (below) marked his return to York Street with another strike against the Reds.
Ryan Semple celebrates his goal at Workington back in 2011 and (below) marked his return to York Street with another strike against the Reds.

There’s no doubt about it, Workington are a club in trouble.

Bottom of the Skrill North, six points behind closest rivals Oxford City (who have a game in hand on them), and with 14 league matches left to shoe-horn into the remaining seven weeks of the season - it doesn’t bode well for the Reds.

Ryan Semple.

Ryan Semple.

On Saturday, Boston United make their longest trek of the season* to Borough Park, but the stats suggest the Pilgrims’ 230-mile return leg should be a happy one.

Yes, Workington will be buoyed by Tuesday’s 1-0 victory over Oxford - which ended their horribly painful 16-match winless streak - but the Cumbrians are yet to follow up a victory with another success this season.

Borough Park is hardly a fortress but there are some home comforts for Workington, who have picked up all of their four Skrill North victories on home soil this season.

Those three-pointers have all come against teams in the bottom six of the table (Oxford City 1-0, Gainsborough Trinity 4-2, Gloucester City 4-2, Stalybridge Celtic 1-0). And with United sat in fifth spot, a home win would be Workington’s greatest scalp to date.

Ian McDonald’s side have also drawn twice at home but shown their vulnerabilities by losing seven times.

On the road, Workington have drawn four times and been beaten 11 times, including January’s 5-3 defeat at York Street.

Goals have been the Reds’ major undoing - at both ends of the pitch.

Their top marksman is Josef Jackson, who has bagged 10 goals to date, but in joint second place are Scott Allison and Ben McKenna, with just three goals apiece.

Having scored just 28 goals in 28 matches (10 of those coming in their four victories), Workington have found the net fewer times than any other Skrill North outfit. In fact, they have failed to score in 12 of their matches.

It has been the complete opposite at Boston. The division’s leading marksmen - with 66 goals in 31 contests - can boast that their two leading scorers Marc Newsham (20) and Ricky Miller (15) have seven more goals between them than the entire Workington team.

Workington’s stats are bleak in defence too. They and Bradford Park Avenue have both shipped 57 goals to date this season, the second-highest tally in the standings, behind Stalybridge (65).

History also points to a favourable day out for United.

The Pilgrims have won 12 of the 15 meetings betwen the two sides and, up until last season, United had tasted victory in all 10 of their league matches against the Reds... but Jason Lee’s Pilgrims were beaten 3-1 at home and Graham Drury’s amber and blacks drew 1-1 on the road after conceding a stoppage-time goal.

At Borough Park, Boston have won five league matches and drawn one. Their only defeat at Workington came in a 2007 FA Cup match, which the Reds won 1-0.

This season the Pilgrims beat their opponents 5-3 at York Street courtesy of Ricky Miller’s hat-trick and finishes from Marc Newsham and Ryan Semple.

Semple, who made his return to the club on that day, also scored in the previous 5-3 victory over the Reds, which came in Cumbria in the 2010-11 campaign.

Jim Kabia is Boston’s most prolific scorer against Workington, netting five times, including a hat-trick, in the four meetings between the two sides between 1977 and 1979.

Newsham has scored against the Reds four times while fellow current Pilgrims Miller and Spencer Weir-Daley have both bagged three.

Kick off is at 3pm.

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* An extremely scientific and thorough examination of the AA Route Planner states Borough Park is 230.9 miles from York Street, with Barrow’s Holker Street ground a mere 230.1 miles away.