WARRINGTON Rylands put their cup struggles behind them in their return to Northern Premier League action on Tuesday evening.

Matt Regan proved the difference-maker against Workington at Gorsey Lane, with the defender planting a header into the net from Ben Hardcastle’s corner with 12 minutes remaining.

It allowed Michael Clegg’s side to climb to second in the NPL Premier Division table and extend their unbeaten run in league football to nine matches.

Regan’s goal meant the blushes of forward Scott Bakkor were saved after he saw a chipped effort from the penalty spot clip the crossbar after Adamah Sidibeh had been felled in the area.

> 'We were a different team in the second half,' says Rylands boss Michael Clegg

Read Matt Turner's verdict on the game below...

MICHAEL Clegg wanted a response and eventually, he got one.

It may have taken a goal to truly bring his Warrington Rylands side to life, but the end result was the ending of a brief blip that saw them exit both the FA Cup and the FA Trophy.

The manner of their Trophy exit in particular – a 4-0 hammering at the hands of lower-ranked opposition in Avro – could have had a lasting impact and in the early stages, it looked as though they were still suffering from somewhat of a hangover.

Would things have turned out differently had Kofi Moore’s early header for the visitors been an inch or so lower and thus nestled in the corner as opposed to rapping the crossbar? We will never know, but the visitors never came as close to threatening the home goal again.

That was despite Rylands struggling initially to find their rhythm having attempted on numerous occasions to catch Workington cold with quick counter-attacks led by the rapid and powerful Adamah Sidibeh.

In the second half, however, they took more control and when Matt Regan did eventually give them the lead, the game had become one-way traffic.

And when Regan’s header from Ben Hardcastle’s corner did hit the back of the net, there will have been no more relieved man inside Gorsey Lane than Scott Bakkor.

No doubt he will have wanted the ground to swallow him up as he saw his chipped penalty attempt clip the crossbar, but Regan spared his blushes.

From then on, Rylands could slip into a mode in which they are at their most threatening – drawing an increasingly desperate opposition onto them, winning the ball back and unleashing their devastating pace and energy going forward.

With Mo Touray leading the charge having come off the bench, Blues should have won by a greater margin with the number of late chances they created and had they conceded a late leveller, they would have had only themselves to blame.

On this occasion, though, one proved enough and while the cup competitions of late proved tricky for Michael Clegg’s men, the bread and butter continues to be fruitful.

Warrington Rylands: Pilling, Smith, Swaby-Neavin, Butler, Regan, Furman, Hardcastle, Neild, Sidibeh, Hough (Piggott), Bakkor (Touray). Subs not used: Wilson, Baillie, Kyffin