OPPOSITION FOCUS: WORKINGTON AFC

18 Dec 2023 | Latest News

The games keep coming thick and fast as The Silkmen make the long journey to Cumbria to take on Workington.

Alex Bruce’s side will be looking to avenge the 4-3 defeat to Bradford Park Avenue at the weekend.

We took a closer look at the Cumbrian outfit in opposition focus.

HISTORY

The original Workington A.F.C. were one of the founder members of the Cumberland Association League in 1888 and played at Lonsdale Park. In 1894 they moved to the Cumberland Senior League, and in 1901 joined the Lancashire League. However, the league closed two seasons later, and they returned to the Cumberland Senior League. In 1904 the club were admitted to the Lancashire Combination, but in 1910 seasons they decided to economise and join the North Eastern League. However, after only one season, the club folded.

The new Workington A.F.C. was born in 1921 and immediately joined the North Eastern League. During the 1933–34 season, the club managed its best-ever FA Cup performance, reaching the 4th round, before losing to Preston North End. Later in the decade, the club moved to its present home, Borough Park.

The history of the club as a member of the Football League was one of almost constant struggle. Their first season in the League was a sign of things to come: the club finished rock bottom, and only improved by one place the following season.

From 6 January 1954 to 15 November 1955 the club was managed by Bill Shankly, who would later go on to achieve great fame through his success as manager of Liverpool.

During the 1957–58 season they played the great Manchester United team known as the Busby Babes at home in the 3rd round of the FA Cup, attracting a record crowd of 21,000. This was just a month before eight of the United players lost their lives in the Munich air disaster. At the end of that season, the club dropped into the newly formed Fourth Division after a reorganisation of the Football League which saw the abolition of the two regionalised Third Divisions.

The club dropped into the Northern Premier League (NPL), but failed to trouble the top teams, never finishing higher than 7th, before they were relegated to the NPL First Division in 1988. They continued to struggle, eventually being relegated to the North West Counties League in 1998. However, the club managed to win the League at their first attempt (This was also their first ever championship). After a 2–0 defeat at Kidsgrove Athletic on 27 February 1999, manager Peter Hampton set the squad a challenge, win their last 14 games and they would win the league. Sure enough after winning the next 13 games Workington squared up to league leaders Mossley at Borough Park in front of a 2,281 spectators, a league record only beaten by the formation of F.C. United of Manchester. Workington ran out 2–1 winners with goals from Stuart Williamson and substitute Grant Holt. Workington became the first club to return to the NPL First Division at the first attempt.

CURRENT FORM

The Red’s form over their last five games has been very consistent with them picking up five draws in a row. Last time out they travelled to Ashton United at Hurst Cross where goals from Kitt Nelson and David Symington earned Workington a point against play off pushing Ashton.

Workington welcomed another play off chasing side in Worksop a week on Tuesday and came back from 3-1 down to earn a point thanks to two goals in the last 10 minutes. High scoring draws have been a feature of The Red’s form over the last five as a 2-2 draw against Morpeth before an entertaining 4-4 draw away at Marine saw Danny Grainger’s side break into the top half of the table.

The first of five draws in a row was away at Whitby Town where a 90th minute equaliser from former Silkman Joe Bunney earnt Workington a point in North Yorkshire.

ONE TO WATCH 

DAVID SYMINGTON

Midfielder David Symington is certainly one to watch for the hosts. The former Carlisle United and Barrow winger has spent all of his footballing career in Cumbria.

Symington joined The Reds back in 2016 and has been with the club ever since. The 29 year old has 13 goals in all competitions so far this season and has scored in four of the last five games.

PREVIOUS MEETINGS

The Silkmen were promoted alongside The Reds last season from The Northern Premier League Division One West last season.

Macclesfield won the two games last season with a 4-1 victory at The Leasing.com Stadium thanks to goals from Neil Kengni, Neil Danns, Nicky Maynard and Alex Curran.

The Silkmen were then backed by nearly 400 fans at Borough Park and won 1-0 thanks to an Alex Curran goal.

 

 

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