It is time to look back on previous meetings with our old rivals from Workington – a side that we have stood toe-to-toe with over the course of the last couple of seasons, only to be denied by the cancellations of the leagues for the last two seasons.
And while we have been regular combatants since leaping into the NPL Premier Division in 2014, there was a brief passing of the bows in the North West Counties League in 1998/99.
Having been relegated from the NPL the previous year, Workington wasted no time in getting promoted again in that season, taking the title by two points from Mossley and that was that… thanks for popping in!
They came to the Riverside on 14 October 1998 and were held to a 0-0 draw before we tripped up to Borough Park and turned in a solid performance but went down 3-2 with goals from Steve Orrell and Martin Hulme.
And then we would have to wait 15 years before we crossed swords once more. In the meantime, the Reds would climb into Conference North while we still sat in the Counties.
But, in our second match in the NPL Premier Division – on Tuesday 19 August 2014, following the epic play-off success of May that year – Martyn Coleman’s 77th minute winner consigned the promotees to their second defeat in two and a long ride home from Cumbria.
The return came on 4 November 2014. Scott Allison gave the visitors the lead on 57 minutes but Jordan Hulme levelled seven minutes from time to take a share of the spoils.
2015/16 kicked off with a 4-0 reverse in the far north west with Joseph McGee, Scott Allison and a pair from Gareth Arnison on the scoresheet for the hosts.
But even in that horror show of a season, we managed to collect a rare point – one of the nine that we gained out of a possible 66 in that latter end of the season – when Andrew Smart grabbed a late, late equaliser after Kevin McGrath’s own goal gave Workington a sixth-minute lead.
We got relegated.
We would meet in the NPL League Cup at Borough Park the following season and hold the hosts to a 2-2 draw only to lose 4-2 on penalties – Gareth Seddon scoring twice for the Rams, Joe McGee and Elliot Newby for the Reds.
And, of course, Workington were a part of our incredible FA Trophy run in 2018/19 when a 0-0 draw at Borough Park forced them back to the HWRS three nights later and Ruben Jerome and Nic Evangelinos got the Rams through to round 2 and THOSE incredible Weymouth encounters.
When Workington were relegated out of NPL Premier in that same season, who knew the entertainment that would follow!
28 September 2019 marked the cards firmly as the cruised to a thumping 5-1 success with Brad Carroll, Scott Allison, Charlie Bowman and David Symington driving them 4-0 ahead before half time. Jamie Rother pulled one back but Nathan Waterston made sure in the 78th minute for a chastening experience on the road.
But when the two sides met on 25 January 2020, there was plenty on the line as the two sides were battling it out for top spot and the Rams took a huge step in that direction when Jerome and Josh Hmami brought the 622-strong crowd alive in the 2-0 win.
Of course, it proved to be for nothing in the end as the pandemic took hold and everything was voided out.
You may have noticed something in the history look back – in that the Rams have never won at Borough Park and the Reds have never won at the HWRS!
Aren’t record there to be broken? Let’s hope that ‘0’ goes in the away day category.
RAMSBOTTOM UNITED v WORKINGTON RECORD
at Rammy – Played 5, Rammy 2, Workington 0, Draws 3, Goals for 6, against 2
at Workington – Played 6, Rammy 0, Workington 4, Draws 2, Goals for 5, against 15
TOTAL – Played 11, Rammy 2, Workington 4, Draws 5, Goals for 11, against 17