Whitby Town manager Chris Hardy cut a dejected figure at Borough Park, on Saturday, after his lacklustre side fell to a 4-0 humbling, at the hands of in-form Workington.
The defeat sees the Seasiders drop to fourth in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League standings, with the victors taking second place, that the Blues had previously occupied.
Hardy named an unchanged side after a 4-2 victory against fellow play-off chasers Buxton, but his team could not carry that performance over and it was the hosts who started the brightest.
From the outset, Workington looked sharp and could have led with just three minutes on the clock.
Scott Allison burst through the Whitby defence, beating one, before laying off to Connor Tinnion. His effort, though, was matched by a save at Shane Bland’s feet.
Undeterred, the Reds took the lead just a minute later.
Rob Wilson picked the ball up from wide, 25 yards from goal, before cutting inside and curling his shot low into the bottom corner, just evading Shane Bland.
Whitby soon reacted though, with ex-Workington man Matty Tymon going close. Steven Snaith held the ball up well on the edge of the 18 yard box, laying off to Tymon, but he could only fire wide with a low effort from range.
Perhaps the Blues’ best chance came on the twenty minute mark. Danny McWilliams’ corner found Luke Bythway, whose bullet header went just wide of the upright.
Workington’s afternoon soon got better, though, on 36 minutes.
Whitby tried to play out from the back but were caught on the ball by Scott Allison, who played a neat one-two with Jack Ryan. He then burst into the box and carefully scooped the ball over Bland into the bottom right-hand corner.
The Seasiders could have pulled one back before half-time.
Dale Hopson played a pin-point ball over the top to David Carson, who controlled well and broke into the box. He was flanked by Josh Calvert, whose tackle couldn’t prevent a shot, which trickled just wide, before Tymon could tap it in.
Looking good for their lead, the hosts continued to find gears and apply pressure after the break.
Mark Robinson was caught in possession by Jake Simpson, who threaded the ball through to Jack Ryan, but he could only fire wide.
Within a minute, Workington again almost had a third.
Tinnion carried the ball through the middle of the park, exchanging passes with Allison before finding Dave Symington. The midfielder lined up a shot from 20 yards, but could only strike the right-hand upright with his driven attempt.
Whitby’s best chance of the half came perhaps through good fortune, rather than good play.
Top scorer Hopson picked the ball up from Callum Martin and worked his way towards the byline, with his resulting cross deflected almost over the head of Aaran Taylor, who scrambled to punch wide.
Workington pushed on, unaffected, and only Shane Bland’s reactions prevented a third goal on this occasion.
Simpson found space in the box, working a clever overlap with Symington, and drove a low effort goalwards, but Bland was equal, saving well with his feet.
With 15 minutes remaining, the Reds all but wrapped the game up.
Ryan laid the ball off to Allison, who turned Weledji with relative ease to force his way into the Whitby 18-yard box, before sliding the ball past Bland and into the corner.
Whitby’s afternoon went from bad to worse in the last minute.
Sam Joel was played through by Allison, who skipped past Bland, causing him an injury in the process, and fired past Kieran Weledji and Luke Bythway, despite losing his footing, to seal the Seasiders’ fate.
WORKINGTON AFC: Taylor, Simpson, Rowntree (C) (Smith ’80), May, Calvert, Earl (Wright ’30), Symington, Wilson, Ryan, Allison, Tinnion. SUBS NOT USED: Waterson, Joel, Douglas.
WHITBY TOWN: Bland, Martin, McWilliams, Weledji, Bythway, Robinson, Gell (Fryatt ’64), Hopson (Hume ’80), Snaith (C) (McTiernan ’77), Tymon, Carson. SUBS NOT USED: Bullock, Dixon (GK).
Whitby Town Man of the Match: David Carson – Difficult to choose in a poor team performance, but looked steady in the middle, and provided the only real passing threat from the middle of the park.