THIS was a recognisable Witton.
No prizes for pointing to Michael Powell’s return as a reason why but his transformative impact – even when kicking a ball for the first time in three weeks – was still impressive.
The 28-year-old is likely to need surgery to fix a knee injury, though has told manager Brian Pritchard he is prepared to play in the meantime.
He mended Albion’s midfield in tandem with a redeployed Anthony Gardner, tipping in their team’s favour a competitive contest.
Neil Harvey’s predatory finishing made sure of maximum points.
And, after back-to-back defeats, they felt precious.
Witton were better, if not by much, than Workington.
They settled quicker, and were more precise in attack than the Reds.
Even an enforced six-minute stoppage, after linesman Rob Denton was taken ill, did not disrupt the pattern.
Gardner had appeared certain to score in the seconds prior to the pause, but Lee Andrews timed perfectly a tackle to block his shot.
By the time Danny Andrews’ free kick curved onto the inside of an upright, with goalkeeper Jonny Jamieson beaten, they were favourites to score first.
Workington did grab glimpses of goal now and then, with Chris Sanna swift from his line to smother Martyn Coleman’s attempt.
But the hosts fell behind on 38 minutes, Harvey stabbing in from close range after strike partner Scott Bakkor had danced past the challenges of two defenders as he cut in from the left.
The second tried desperately to trip him, but the forward kept his balance to fire an assist into the ex-Marine man’s path.
There could, perhaps should, have been a penalty awarded at the other end when Zac Corbett – a late call-up after Sam Barnes failed a fitness test – stretched to challenge Coleman.
The striker tumbled, but stand-in linesman Dennis Rossi said afterwards the teenager had touched, if only faintly, the ball.
Coleman then poked wide after escaping Corbett’s attention, forced to hurry his shot after Sanna again confronted him at speed.
Warning heeded, Witton duly doubled their advantage four minutes into the second half.
Andrews combined with Bakkor on the right, conjuring an opening for Powell.
The ex-Chester man skewed his attempt straight into Harvey’s path, but the striker adjusted instantly to rifle past Jamieson before the keeper could even blink.
Buoyed, Albion almost added a third only for Andrews’ shot from close range to be diverted.
Workington halved their arrears when Willie Gibson’s drive deflected decisively off a defender, but the Reds’ rally lost momentum after Pritchard positioned Gardner alongside Ben Harrison to combat Coleman.
They survived a scare when the striker beat Sanna to a cross only for the ball to drop inches past the far post, while at the other end substitute Alex Titchiner’s attempt was clawed to safety by a sprawling Jamieson.
After that, Witton held on.
It is a feat they accomplish often on the Borough Park pitch, where they have lost now only once in their past eight league visits.
Star Man: Michael Powell. Hasn’t played, nor even trained, since injuring a knee in a friendly three weeks ago. Offered to play through pain to help his teammates, and his was a leading role in Witton’s first league win of the campaign.
Workington (4-4-2) Jamieson (GK), Simpson, Lee Andrews, Wordsworth, Rowntree, Gibson, Wright, Hindmarch (Thomson 55), Allison, Coleman, Salmon (Telfer 55) Subs not used Tinnion, Calvert, Jake Smith Goal Gibson 60 Booked Wordsworth (foul), Simpson (dissent)
Witton (4-4-2) Sanna (GK), Moyo, Harrison, Corbett (Davidson 64), Lea, Danny Andrews, Gardner, Powell, Howard, Bakkor (Titchiner 83), Harvey Subs not used Swift (GK), Dawson, Sheehan Goals Harvey 38, 49 Booked Powell (foul)
Referee Ian Gittins