Workington 2 Market Drayton 1
A fifth straight win in the League kept Workington clear at the top of the NPL West table.
The 2-1 victory at Borough Park wasn’t the most convincing performance so far but Reds expanding injury list has to be taken into account.
They went into this one without eight senior players and suffered two more injuries during the game.
They also face another top versus second clash – remarkably their third of the short season so far -when they travel to Trafford on Tuesday.
Market Drayton, who had lost their last four games, might lack quality, but they do have spirit. It meant Reds could never really feel the job was done until the final whistle.
They had taken the lead on 23 minutes with a superb 30-yard free kick from Dav Symington, curled home with power.
It was a virtual replica, but from further out, to the goal he scored at Clitheroe on Monday.
Symington had also caused keeper Ashley Rawlings to scramble and flap away another powerful shot.
Defender Joe Care was lucky when he tried to clear a well-directed corner from Rowan Roache and his sliced attempt flew just over the bar.
Yet Market Drayton could have been level at the break.
Kyle Montague won a header in the box but it was centre-half Connor Hughes who got to the knockdown and the ball cannoned off him through to keeper Jim Atkinson.
Workington doubled their lead from the penalty spot on 67 minutes after Ruben Jerome went down in the box and Roache stroked home the spot kick.
Roache was unlucky not to claim a hat-trick and secure the points but Rawlings made two fine saves to keep out his strong efforts on goal.
There could also have been a debut goal for 18-year-old Carlisle United loanee Keelan Leslie when he was put through but Rawlings managed to block his shot with his legs.
The visitors kept going, however, and gained consolation with the first League goal Reds have conceded in five games. Hughes scored with a spectacular overhead kick from a Jakob Boroughs free kick in the 89th minute.
In a game of few stand-out performances Reds were best served by the new centre-back combination of skipper Sam Smith and Donae Lawrence.