It was a bad mistake from skipper Luke Jones that presented Workington with their goal just five minutes into the second half.
Otherwise, it was a fairly evenly fought contest although the home side may have just shaded it by virtue of creating the better chances as Adam Whitehouse had to make a couple of good saves to keep Rangers in touch.
Rangers kicked off, but with a strong wind in their backs, it was the Reds who were first to show when Jason Walker tried his luck from distance. Although Whitehouse got across to make save, he needed a second go before he was able to take control.
Immediately Rangers attacked the home goal with Ossie Abadaki and Lewis Banks combining on the right. The latter cut inside before sending a decent effort just over the cross bar.
The next minute brought another Workington attack as Sam Joel created a great chance for Conor Tinnion but he shot over.
The wind was making it difficult for Rangers to clear their lines. Workington won a series of corners and with the pressure still on Sam Smith hooked a half volley through to Whitehouse.
Banks had another effort for Rangers with a shot to the near post but it didn’t really trouble home keeper Aaran Taylor who held comfortably. That was about it for Rangers in the first half far as clear chances were concerned.
At the other end Jordan Holt went wide from around 30 yards and then was denied with – possibly by Banks – after Walker had done well and had looked set to score himself.
The half came to an end with a couple more opportunities for Workington. Tinnion tried his luck with a free kick from 35 yards that just went over the intersection of post and bar, although Whitehouse seemed to have it covered, then the Rangers’ keeper was called upon to keep out Sam Joel after the wide man had beaten the Rangers’ offside trap.
Rangers were first to show in the second half as Jones headed wide from Louis Briscoe’s left wing corner but only a couple of minutes later came the costly error from the captain as he failed to cut out a long ball from Gari Rowntree allowing Walker to race clear and he advanced to fire past the exposed Whitehouse.
For a time Workington were in control and threatened to add to their score. Tinnion’s header was saved by Whitehouse then Joel skewed a shot wide after he had forced his way into shooting range.
Joel threatened again only for Tom Marshall’s presence to ring an end to the danger. Rangers looked set to level the scores with 20 minutes remaining when Joe Cuff chased down a back pass from Sam Smith. Taylor won the race but the ball ballooned up and goalwards but Rowntree made an excellent headed clearance.
As Rangers pressed in the latter stages, Workington nearly took advantage of the gaps at the back and with the best chance Whitehouse saved from Brad Hubbold with his feet.
Workington: 1 Aaran Taylor, 2 Niall Cowperthwaite (12 Dan Wordsworth 90m), 3 Gari Rowntree, 4 Sam Smith, 5 Matty Douglas, 6 Jamie Mellon, 7 Sam Joel, 8 Brad Hubbard, 9 Jason Walker, 10 Jordan Holt (16 Sheldon Mossop 88m) , 11 Conor Tinnion. Unused Subs: 13 Lewis Casson (GK), 14 Lewis Tidy, 15 Jaic Miller.
Rangers: 1 Adam Whitehouse, 2 Lewis banks, 3 Sam Coulson, 4 Luke Jones, 5 Jack Sherratt, 6 Tom Marshall, 7 Louis Briscoe (15 Josh Green 64m), 8 Tom Thorley, 9 Kyle Perry, 10 Osebi Abadaki (16 Joe Cuff 70m), 11 Theo Bailey-Jones (14 Alex Curtis 84m), Unused Subs 12 Jon Adams, 17 Billy Reeves.
Cautions: Rowntree, Douglas, Walker, Tinnion (Workington) Jones, Sherratt, Thorley (Rangers)
Referee: R Holmes