Workington 1 Boston United 0: Shock defeat sinks Pilgrims

Marc Newsham.
Marc Newsham.

Boston United dropped to seventh in the Skrill North following Saturday’s shock defeat at basement side Workington.

The contest pitted the division’s top scorers against the table’s second leakiest defence.

But the form book was ripped up and tossed out the window as the Pilgrims were floored by Ben McKenna’s 85th-minute sucker punch.

As the full time whistle blew, the Reds recorded just their fifth victory of the campaign and their first success against a side who began Saturday outside of the bottom six.

With Lewis King and Carl Piergianni both suspended, Sam Vince returned in goal and Stefan Galinski made his 17th start of the season, alongside Scott Garner in the heart of defence.

Conor Marshall was picked ahead of Spencer Weir-Daley, lining up in midfield with Jamie McGhee pushed on as part of a front three, alongside Marc Newsham and Ricky Miller.

As the swirling wind blew powerfully towards United’s goal in the first half the Pilgrims struggled to clear their lines.

However, the Reds failed to carve out any real chances despite their early pressure.

The first real sight of goal came at the other end courtesy of Galinski, who was unlucky not to put Boston ahead when his 25-yarder beat Danijel Nizic but rebounded out off the inside of the Workington post.

Either side of that chance, Workington’s Joe Jackson and David Lynch had efforts at United’s goal but failed to really threaten.

The Pilgrims again went close when Newsham connected with David Ferguson’s cross, but man-mountain Nizic - on loan from Burnley - got down quickly to palm the headed effort away from danger.

After the interval Nizic pulled off the save of the match as his firm hands pushed away Liam Agnew’s acrobatic 20-yard volley.

And seconds later he was quick off his line as he got a hand on Newsham’s attempted lob as the forward burst through on goal.

There was still more to come from the superb stopper as he parried Jamie McGhee’s near-post strike, after the Pilgrim’s first touch left defender Valter Fernandes standing still.

It was at this point that you started to feel Boston weren’t going to find the net, despite their dominance.

Prior to kick off the family of former Workington player Johnny Martin scattered his ashes onto the Borough Park turf.

Martin, who turned out for the Reds in the 1960s and 70s after beginning his career with Aston Villa, is famous in Cumbria for once preparing to take a corner by grabbing a pint of beer out of a supporters’ hand, downing it and playing on.

There was none of that in this match, but you can bet the home support were celebrating another number 11 at full time as McKenna settled the contest in surprising fashion.

McKenna chased down Garner’s clearance, which landed kindly at the feet of Fernandes.

The defender swiftly picked out McKenna, who had time to rattle his side’s first real effort of the day beyond Vince, with just five minutes to spare.

United managed to create a final sight of goal in stoppage time, but substitute Spencer Weir-Daley’s effort flew the wrong side of Nizic’s post.

WORKINGTON: Nizic, V. Fernandes, Smith, May, Wordsworth (Andrews 67), Lynch, Hoskin, Skelton, Jackson, Wright, McKenna; Subs (not used): Allison, Tinnion, Hindmarch, Jamieson.

UNITED: Vince, Steer, Ferguson, Marshall, Garner, Galinski, Ross (Semple 68), McGhee (Weir-Daley 86), Miller, Newsham, Agnew; Subs (not used): Milnes, Fairclough, Aujla.

Ref: Glen Hart.

Att: 397.