Two tries by winger Will Sharp were in vain for Featherstone Rovers as they slipped to their first defeat in six matches under new head coach Andy Hay when they were pipped 20-18 at Workington Town on Sunday.
Rovers recovered from 12-0 down in the first-half to lead 14-12 in the second period but Worklngton got the edge with Andy Morris’ converted try six minutes from time.
Although Workington were outscored four tries to three, Carl Forber’s four goals gave them revenge for last month’s 32-20 defeat at Featherstone in Hay’s first match in charge.
Rovers, who are now 10 points adrift of Kingstone Press Championnship leaders Leigh Centurions, made a dreadful start when they fell behind in the first minute.
Graeme Mattinson supported Jason Mossop’s superb break to score and Forber converted.
Workington doubled their lead in the 24th minute when Lewis Tierney, signed on dual registration from Wigan, scythed through Featherstone’s defence to send in Forber who added the conversion.
Rovers cut the gap to eight points when James Lockwood went over eight minutes before half-time.
The second-half continued in a similar vein to the first, with neither side giving away much in defence.
Featherstone took control when they snatched the lead with two tries in six minutes midway through the half.
Sharp darted in after 56 minutes and it was quickly followed by a touchdown from Andy Bostock that Harry Siejka converted.
The outcome was soon back on a knife-edge when Forber’s 65th minute penalty goal made it 14-14.
It looked like Rovers could be heading for a share of the spoils for the second successive week, following the previous Sunday’s 22-22 home draw with Doncaster.
However, Workington regained the lead six minutes from time when Forber’s towering kick set up a try for Morris and Forber kicked the vital conversion.
Featherstone hit back with Sharp’s second try two minutes from time but Siejka was unable to added the touchline goal that would have levelled the scores.
Workington: Tierney; Johnson, Mossop, Morris, Carter; C Phillips, Forber; Coward, Mattinson, Rooney, B Phillips, Stack, Duerden. Subs: Connor, Lucock, Rowlandson, McAvoy.
Featherstone: Hardman; Crookes, Blackmore, Worthington, Sharp; Kain, Siejka; Bostock, Ellis, Trout, Cording, Lockwood, Dale. Subs: Bussey, Green, Kent, Mendeika.
Referee: Dave Merrick.