Hednesford Town returned to winning ways thanks to two goals in the opening six minutes against Workington as manager Paul Casey also picked up his first victory since being appointed.
The Pitmen gave full debuts to Gavin Caines, Jamie Sheldon and David McDermott, and it was the latter two who would have an immediate impact on the game.
In just the second minute captain Tom Thorley fired in a free kick that was tipped onto the crossbar but Sheldon was on hand to dive forward and head the ball into the net.
Four minutes later a wonderful ball from Ashley Sammons picked out McDermott and after the midfielder had flicked the ball over the last defender, he fired home low into the bottom corner to double the Pitmen’s lead.
Hednesford continued their forward momentum as the half progressed with Caines heading an effort just over the bar before Sheldon saw his shot deflected just wide of the post in the 18th minute.
At the other end, although Elliot Newby was proving to be a thorn in the Pitmen’s side, goalkeeper Dan Crane had little to do other than claim a couple of crosses and punch clear from a corner.
On the half hour mark the lively Tony Clarke almost made it three for Hednesford when, after bustling his way through, his scrambled effort hit the post and was cleared off the line. Six minutes later the striker got to the byline and his low ‘fizzed’ cross went right across the goal and away to safety.
Workington would then see a period of ten minutes where they pressed the Pitmen backline with Newby going close from a free kick after 37 minutes.
Right on the stroke of halftime, first Scott Allison and then James Earl struck efforts that just cleared Crane’s goal while at the other end Clarke shrugged off the last defender only to see his shot saved.
The second period saw the home side trying to force a way back into the game and Kyle Rowley had to be alert in the Town box to clear away a dangerous looking cross.
Crane was forced into his first real action after 62 minutes when a free kick was laid off to Allison, but his effort was turned behind for a corner.
Five minutes later the Pitmen broke but Clarke would see his shot blocked behind for a corner.
As the half progressed, although the hosts continued to win free kicks inside the Hednesford half, the Pitmen backline were able to deal with all that was thrown their way.
With nine minutes left, Workington missed a gilt-edge chance to reduce the scoreline when a cross into the box picked out Allison but he fired well over the bar.
Right up until the last minutes the game continued at an end-to-end pace with Reece Leek seeing a good chance come and go for the Pitmen before the home side were awarded a penalty in the second minute of stoppage time.
Once again Crane would guess right though, and he dived low to the right to keep out Newby’s spot-kick and avoid any last-minute nerves.
Workington AFC: Taylor, Simpson, Rowntree (Waterston 88), May, Douglas, Earl (Wright 72), McGee, Calvert, Ryan (Symington 60), Allison, Newby
Subs not used: Henderson, Fowler
Hednesford Town: Crane, Rowley, Flanagan, Thorley, Caines, Brenan, Matthews (Leek 60), Sheldon, Clarke, Sammons, McDermott (Shearer 81)
Subs not used: Dunkley, Forsyth, Hutton
Star Man: Tony Clarke
Entertainment Rating: Four Stars