Ramsbottom United made what proved to be a long and fruitless journey up to former Football League side Workington, and finished up rueing missed chances.
In a first half dominated by the visitors, the inability to convert a number of openings came back to haunt them as the home team stepped up to the mark in the second period and grabbed the all-important winner.
It had started so brightly for the Rams. A Lee Pugh free-kick on six minutes was hacked clear by the Reds defence, before Lee Gaskell squandered an ideal opportunity to open the scoring two minutes later, as he blasted the ball high over the bar from six yards, following a corner.
Home keeper Jamieson then fumbled a free-kick over the top, and Grant Spencer saw his header miss the target as the visitors looked lively.
Having withstood the early pressure, the home side gradually began to open up, and a couple of chances fell their way midway through the half, but it was the Rams who looked more likely to score. A fine run by Jordan Hulme saw his cross desperately cleared, but the second ideal opportunity fell to Spencer who should have done better than see his effort hit the bar, having been left unmarked at the far post.
As the half closed down, Workington began to pose a threat for the first time in the match. Billy Priestley made a superb intercepting tackle, whilst Grant Shenton in goal, had to be alert to collect a poor back header from Steve Howson, as an attacker raced in. Just before the break, the Reds almost grabbed the opener when Connor Thompson watched on as his attempt was deflected on to the post.
Workington began the second half in much more determined mood, with a Salmon free-kick almost catching the Rams out as it dipped but not quite enough to land under the bar.
On 67 minutes the Rams were reduced to ten men. Priestley was harshly judged to have tangled with a Workington forward in the box, and the referee pointed to the spot and produced the red card. No further damage was inflicted as Shenton kept out the spot-kick.
Ten minutes later, however, came the all-important winner. A Workington corner sailed into a crowded penalty area, and Martin Colman did enough to strike home the only goal of the game.
The Rams went in search of an equaliser, with Gaskell taking too much time on the ball when through, before the visitors had an good shout for a penalty of their own when substitute Porya Ahmadi appeared to suffer the same fate that saw Priestley sent off. However, Workington survived the appeal as the referee waved play on.
So a disappointing result which, had the Rams taken their chances in the first half, could have been so different.
RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Shenton, Smalley, Pugh, Spencer(Pilkington 64mins), Howson, Priestley, Hulme, Burton, Gaskell, Robinson(Slaven 69mins), Dean(Ahmadi 79mins) Subs not used: Abadaki, Cook