Matlock can have no complaints at losing this potentially important six pointer for they were comfortably second best on their long trek to Borough Park last Saturday.
Joint interim boss Dave Rushbury attributed the poor performance largely down to mental fatigue, but undoubtedly only one team looked motivated for the challenge and it certainly was not Matlock.
Workington then won for the first time in nine league and cup outings since victory at Trafford on September 16, and they would have been surprised how comfortably they ended their barren run.
It was a potential six pointer for a Matlock victory would have sneaked them above the Reds on goal difference.
There were two changes to the Town line up after the excellent draw with FC United as Corey Gregory and Niall McManus replaced Josh Meade and Lavell White.
Matlock won the toss and had the blustery wind at their backs during the opening half. Sadly they failed miserably in exploiting that advantage.
Passes were constantly over hit, possession was given away cheaply and after a stale opening ten minutes, Workington took the upper hand. Intelligently they kept the ball on the floor and with everyone working hard for teach other they went on to dominate the game.
The hosts had a single goal lead by the interval, Matlock would be glad it was not more. In winger Scott Allison they had a great outlet as he switched wings constantly and was prepared to run at the Matlock defence, causing untold problems.
The Reds had been knocking on the door for a sustained ten minutes spell before they took the lead through ALLISON on 27 minutes, the ball finding the net from a low drive from the edge of the penalty box.
Prior to the goal Allison saw an effort held by Jon Kennedy who also did well to superbly keep out another effort from the number seven. The Matlock stopper was also well placed to grab Stevie Hindmarch’s header.
Most frustratingly for the Gladiators followers who had made the near 400 miles round trip was the fact that Matlock had just two efforts at goal from open play. They were tremendously unlucky with the first on the half hour when a shot from McManus was deflected on to and off the crossbar with goalkeeper Jonny Jamieson beaten. That would be Jamieson’s one scare of the contest.
The other Matlock attempt was a glancing Corey Gregory header which dropped wide in the second half, so having gone behind, the chances of a fightback were slim given those statistics.
In the run up to half time Hindmarch pulled his shot wide when well placed after some poor Matlock defending and just before the whistle for the interval, Matty Tymon missed a sitter from close range when it looked easier to score than miss.
Tymon turned to fire wide in the early stages of the second period before Kennedy again did well to keep out another Allison effort, the winger deservedly being named as man of the match afterwards. A speculative lob from Jake Simpson was tipped to safety by Kennedy before Workington doubled their advantage from the first of two dubious penalties on 57 minutes.
Adam Yates was ruled to have pushed Tymon when defending a corner and TYMON calmly netted from the spot.
Workington looked home and dry and seemed content to get the basics right and not concede. The fact that they did not keep their goal intact was probably due entirely to referee Cropp evening things out in the dubious penalty awards saying Lee Andrews had impeded Yates at a free kick. Danny Holland easily scored but that was in the 89th minute and it was too little too late as far as the Gladiators were concerned.
So after the optimism of recent displays, this was a step backwards for Matlock and a chance to further ease their plight had been wasted.
MATLOCK: Kennedy; Gorman (White 65), Roe, Yates, Haggerty (Harcourt 53), Radford, Gregory, Ashmore, Holland, Leesley (Stokes 53), McManus.
Subs not used: Meade.