Rugby League: Aston makes the difference to Rovers: Workington prove no match for Featherstone in battle of strugglers

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Featherstone Rovers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46

Workington Town. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

THE Featherstone coach, Steve Martin, had been given a clear warning that his job was in danger unless his side started to win convincingly.

They did so with sufficient style against fellow-strugglers Workington last night that at least a section of the crowd seemed content for him to stay. A banner calling for him to be sacked disappeared at half-time.

There was little to choose between two sides desperate for a win until the intervention of the Featherstone substitute, Mark Aston.

His impact was almost immediate, backing up Brendon Tuuta's break and switching the ball inside for Graham Southernwood to score the opening try. Aston added the goal and then measured a kick precisely into the corner for Frederic Banquet to score.

The French winger struck again before half-time, embarrassing his countryman, Vincent Banet, on his Workington debut, by getting a toe to his play-the-ball in front of the posts and scrambling in for the try.

Aston created an early second-half try for Iva Ropati with a lovely cross-kick and then Featherstone's other Frenchman, Danny Divet, took a pass from Tuuta to go over. The pair repeated the process two minutes later for Divet's second.

Andy Currier soon went over for their seventh try through some token defence and Steve Molloy completed the try-scoring three minutes from time.

Banet deepened Workington's gloom by being sent off for a high tackle, giving Aston his seventh goal from the resulting penalty.

Featherstone Rovers: Gibson; Banquet, Currier, Ropati, Butt; Nixon, Thompson (Aston, 11); Molloy (G S Price, 60), Southernwood, Ellis (Molloy, 73), Divet, G H Price, Tuuta (Thompson, 57).

Workington Town: Mulligan; Drummond, Burns, Fawcett, Cocker; Kitchin, Banet; Pickering (Carter, 51), McKenzie, McGinty, Heppi, White (Smith, 63), Carter (Holgate, 31).

Referee: D Campbell (Widnes).