Knaresborough Town's FA Cup adventure ended by Workington

Knaresborough Town's Dan Thirkell in action during Saturday's FA Cup loss to Workington. Picture: Craig Dinsdale
Knaresborough Town's Dan Thirkell in action during Saturday's FA Cup loss to Workington. Picture: Craig Dinsdale

Knaresborough Town manager Paul Stansfield felt that Saturday's FA Cup second qualifying round clash with Workington was a "bridge too far" for his players.

The Manse Lane outfit advanced further in the competition than at any point previously during their 106-year history, but suffered a 4-1 defeat to the Evo-Stik Premier Division side, who operate two tiers above Boro in the football pyramid.

"It was probably a bridge too far for us in the end," Stansfield reflected.

"The players have done phenomenally well on this run, because we haven't had a single easy draw, but on Saturday Workington had that edge in front of goal.

"The difference was in both boxes. They took their chances and were worthy winners, but I think that 4-1 is a false scoreline. We were better than that.

"We started well and their keeper had to make a good save early on, but then they went down the other end and scored a scruffy goal. We couldn't get going after that but then we looked the better team at the start of the second half.

"Despite us being on top, they went and got another one, meaning that we had to chase the game and they caught us twice late on.

"I'm a bit disappointed because I don't think we got at them like I know we can or asked enough questions, but fair play to Workington, they're a good side and we wish them well in the next round."

With a bumper crowd of 507 in attendance, there were some nerves evident among the Boro players in the early moments, but from their first meaningful attack Brad Walker ran on to Rob Worrall’s pass to force a stop from Aaran Taylor in the away goal.

Workington began to show their superiority, though in short bursts, but were thankful for a fortunate rebound which fell conveniently to Conor Tinnion who fired home the opening goal in the 16th minute.

Town stopper Jack Rushworth then made a good save to deny Jordan Holt and also had to tip over from Daniel Wordsworth as the Cumbrians threatened to add to their advantage.

Bradley Hubbold was narrowly wide for the visitors before a period of play in which Knaresborough appeared to settle and matched their opponents in many areas.

Clear-cut opportunities were not forthcoming however, although Rob Worrall’s free-kick shortly before half-time flew just over the bar.

The early stages of the second period were also closely contested with Ben Cohen entering the fray for Boro and causing his marker problems down the left with some strong runs.

His centre just before the hour-mark brought a fine stop from Taylor, but it was the visitors who grabbed the game's crucial next goal in the 67th minute.

Tinnion cut in from the left and drove in a low cross which took a slight deflection off Scott Allison on its way past Rushworth.

Tinnion then shot wide of the mark but Workington's third goal arrived on 77 minutes, Jason Walker heading home from a free-kick to seal the victory.

At the other end, Cohen’s effort was saved before the away side hit back and Rushworth had to tip over from Jamie Mellen.

Shortly afterwards, substitute Sam Joel nodded in a Niall Cowperthwaite free-kick to make the score 4-0 in the 85th minute.

A consolation did arrive for Boro two minutes later when Cohen’s free-kick took a deflection to leave Taylor with no chance, but the damage had already been done.