A WIN and a defeat in the past week means it’s a case of ‘as you were’ for Steve Housham’s Gainsborough Trinity.
Saturday’s disappointing 1-0 loss to Harrogate Town was cancelled out by the midweek 2-0 win at Workington on Tuesday night.
A goal in each half from Ryan Kendall and Shane Clarke ensured Trinity would head into Saturday’s fixture at home to Vauxhall Motors in the play-off positions in the Blue Square Bet North.
The Blues had momentarily slipped out of those places but put themselves back in contention with a professional performance at Borough Park over mid-table Workington.
It was Gainsborough’s first win away from the Northolme since their success at Corby in early December and after the game Housham said he was pleased with how his side bounced back to form.
He told the Standard: “It was good that we had a game on a Tuesday night so we could bounce back from the disappointment of Saturday.”
“We came here with a game plan after spending Monday night in training and we knew what we had to do because this is a tough place to come.”
“Hopefully we’ve kicked away a few cobwebs out from Saturday but this result means nothing if we don’t perform again on Saturday.”
“It was very windy conditions yet again and some teams will not have fancied coming here on a heavy pitch, so it shows we can do it if we work.”
Housham recalled midfielder Michael Leary to the side in place of Ryan Williams, while Leon Mettam was relegated to the substitute’s bench so in stepped leading goalscorer Ryan Kendall.
“We changed a few things around tonight, we had to do something about our away form because we can’t expect to turn up and roll teams over with the way we are playing at home,” Housham added.
“Home teams always have around 60 per cent of the play anyway so we had to change something and it paid off tonight.”
“It makes the long journey home a lot shorter, it will be a lot happier now and we’re all delighted.”
“Now we need to go and cement our place in the play-offs, we let one go on and we redeemed ourselves tonight a little bit and we’ve got to go and get maximum points on Saturday.”
“We don’t want to be looking over our shoulders and looking at other results even though it’s hard not to. It’s what we do that matters.”
The opening half hour on a poor Workington surface lacked any real firepower from both sides as Trinity struggled playing into a strong headwind.
But Jamie Yates’s excellent jinking run on 32 minutes showed just how effective he can be when given the time and space to run at opposition defenders.
The former Boston United winger picked the ball up in his own half beating three Workington players before giving Kendall the easiest of tap-ins from close range.
The hosts almost found an immediate equaliser after confusion in the Blues penalty area allowed Jonny Wright a free strike at goal.
Fortunately, his shot flew wide of Michael Emery’s upright and the Blues held onto their slender advantage at the interval.
Trinity, who were making the 360-mile round trip to Cumbria, burst out of the blocks after the restart and quickly doubled their lead through Shane Clarke.
He drilled low past Aaran Taylor from a Dom Roma cross on 47 minutes – his second goal of the campaign.
Paul Connor spurned a glorious opportunity to put the game beyond any doubt but Taylor came off his goal-line to deny him a confidence-boosting goal on the hour.
As the half wore on, Andrew Boyce was next to be foiled by Taylor from a matter of yards and at the other end Dan Wordsworth blazed high and wide when he should have done better.
And there was still time for Emery, who had been a relative spectator for much of the game, to produce a fine save in stoppage time to preserve his side’s clean sheet.
Workington AFC: Taylor, Andrews, Wright, May, Wordsworth, Main (Scott 78), McLuckie, Hewson (Boyd 70), Wright, Arnison, Green (Rowntree 60). Not use: McNiven, Scoan.
Gainsborough Trinity: Emery, Roma, Sandwith, Waterfall, Boyce, Clarke, D’Laryea, Leary, Kendall (Mettam 78), Connor, Yates. Not used: Thewlis, McMahon, J. Williams, Ridley.
Goal: Kendall 32, Clarke 47.
Referee: Joe Buglass
Assistants: Marc Edwards, Scott Taylor.