Photo: John Hirst
LEAGUE leaders Workington proved too strong for Ossett United as they came away with the win at Ingfield (2-4).
Ossett competed well for most of the game, scoring through Aaron Haswell and Tom Greaves, and were only one goal behind going into the final few minutes, but defensive lapses proved costly throughout.
United manager Wayne Benn found plenty of positives but, having seen his side concede 10 goals in the last two league games, admitted there is work to be done at the back.
“There’s lots of good stuff in there, sprinkled in with a lot of bad stuff,” he admitted.
“We’ve got to work hard to stop conceding the goals that we are conceding. They’re too easy and too soft; nobody is working too hard to score goals against us.
“We have got to make people work harder for their goals. We’ve got to work harder to get the ball back in the first place. Certainly we’ve got to defend our 18-yard box much better than we have been.
“It might be personnel that changes or it might be working constantly on the training ground that improves it.
“But at the other end we looked bright. You can’t say we haven’t had chances against the top team in the division. On another day, if we’re clinical and we’re ruthless, we potentially get something out of that game.”
Workington made a dream start, putting on pressure from the kick-off and opening the scoring in the third minute. A corner was not fully cleared and Robbie Hebson fired a shot from the edge of the area which Brett Souter spilled in the Ossett goal, allowing Sam Smith to tap in.
But United responded well and soon levelled. Marko Basic found Haswell in the box and the winger switched onto his left foot to fire into the net.
They had a further chance just after the restart with Elliott Harrison seeing a header and then a volley blocked from close range, with the final attempt from Greaves ending up in goalkeeper Jim Atkinson’s hands.
Instead it was Workington who got the game’s third goal in the 15th minute. Hebson delivered a good ball across and Scott Allison knocked the ball past the oncoming Souter to regain the lead.
After Greaves glanced a header wide from a great Jake Maltby run and cross, the visitors made it 3-1 on the half-hour mark. It was a hat-trick of assists from Hebson, whose fantastic cross left Nathan Waterson with a simple header at the back post.
Ossett went close to a response before the break but Atkinson made up for initially fumbling a Basic free-kick by excellently denying Nick Guest with the follow-up.
Workington started the second half looking dangerous again. Souter did brilliantly to get his side out of trouble by denying Waterson one-on-one after he ran straight in behind from a goal-kick, while Allison and Ceiran Casson aimed wide.
Just moments after that final chance, United hit back. Basic’s strike from distance was spilled poorly by the goalkeeper and Greaves was in the right place to take advantage and make It 3-2.
Ossett were having the better of the game as the second half went on but further goalscoring chances were at a premium, with Basic dragging one shot wide and Corey Gregory striking a free-kick over the crossbar.
That allowed the Cumbrian visitors to wrap the game up with three minutes to go, as a great strike from just inside the area by substitute Brad Carroll ensured United would remain in the relegation zone.
Their scheduled League Cup match against Brighouse Town on Tuesday night was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at Ingfield, so they return to action tomorrow (Saturday, kick-off 3pm) with a league tie away at third-placed Marine.