Redcar Athletic FC
Redcar Athletic FC
Established 1993
Redcar Athletic FC
Gateshead Leam Rangers

Home | 12 May 2018 | Attendance: 150

Match Report

The most important day in Redcar Athletic's history brought out a bumper three figure crowd to the BM Bi-Folding Doors Stadium. The task ahead was simple, win the game and they would be not only League Champions, but also be playing in the Northern League next season. If Redcar Athletic drew or lost then Cleator Moor Celtic would in turn only require just a draw at home against bottom club Coxhoe Athletic, in order for them to become League Champions.  Also 2nd place for Redcar Athletic did not guarantee promotion as that would be up to the F.A. League Committee to decide. So everyone knew to make sure and certain of promotion it was win or bust.

Striker Adam Preston did extra individual fitness training with club Physio Danny O'Brien in the latter part of the week at the ground and it paid off as he was deemed fit enough to play. Defender Stuart Browne also returning from injury had to settle for a place on the bench after his replacement at Mitchell Morris put in a Man of the Match performance at Richmond Town on Wednesday night to retain his place in the line-up for this big match.

Gateshead Leam Rangers Nathan Bailey almost created a perfect start for Redcar Athletic in the 5th minute when his unforced backpass from halfway went straight into the path of Andy Jennings, but the normally dead-eye striker didn't get his sight on goal right, as after lobbing keeper Lee Smith he turned away in disgust with himself as the ball dropped well wide of the left hand post. The crowd were beginning to wonder if it was going to be one those days when it doesn't go to plan, when on 8 minutes Lance Skelton's cross from the left was headed back across from the right hand side of Leam Rangers box by Adam Preston only to see Andy Jennings header go over keeper Lee Smith but crash off the crossbar. In the 12th minute Redcar Athletic found themselves having to defend a free kick in their own half but they blocked it successfully and broke away at speed. Andy Jennings ball forward was raced onto by Michael Woodhouse, who was chased down by Leam Rangers defender Anthony Brewis, who slid in from behind in their penalty area and sent the Redcar Athletic tumbling to the floor. The referee with the aid of his assistant deemed the challenge as a foul and pointed to the spot. Anthony Brewis who was lucky not to shown at least a yellow for the challenge by a pretty lenient referee, was finally issued with one as he then took his protest of innocence too far. ADAM PRESTON took over responibility for the penalty after Andy Jennings miss from the spot agaist Richmond Town on Wednesday and confidently blasted his shot low and hard into the right hand side of the net. That was just what Redcar Athletic to settle the nerves but then they were handed another advantage by Leam Rangers themselves before play was restarted. For some unknown reason defender Leon Kane lost the plot and said something to referee which made him bring swiftly a red card out of his pocket and in an instant Leam Rangers were not only one goal down but one man down as well. It did not take long for Redcar Athletic to take advantage of having an extra man on the pitch as on 15 minutes although keeper Lee Smith got a hand to Adam Preston's header from Joe Bennett's corner kick, the ball dropped right in front of ANDY JENNINGS in the 6 yard box, who stabbed the ball home to double the lead. Redcar Athletic could relax a little as could their supporters and they calmed the pace down. Then on 27 minutes Lance Skelton threaded the ball through midfield putting Michael Woodhouse in the clear and he raced into the box but as he was about to round keeper Lee Smith, he hesitated slightly which allowed Niki Langston to nip in to toe the ball away from danger. On the half hour mark Jordan Kirk found Michael Woodhouse with a great pass, who then fired in a low hard drive from 25 yards which brouught out a fantastic full length diving save from keeper Lee Smith, who managed to turn the ball round the right hand post. The save brought out a loud round of applause from the crowd. From Joe Bennett's corner kick Jordan Rivis rose above the crowd and planted his header against the crossbar, followed then by keeper Lee Smith bringing off another great save, to stop an Andy Jennings close range effort from the rebound. The 3rd goal seemed like it was never going to come, especially so when on 33 minutes Joshua Cooper's cross from the right over the far left left of the penalty area was met with a neat chip by Jordan Rivis over keeper Lee Smith, only for Niki Langston to come to Leam Rangers rescue again when he raced in to hook the ball off the goal line. Everyone thought the 3rd goal had come just 2 minutes later when Jordan Kirk's low cross into the box from the left was  dummied by Adam Preston allowing to go through to Andy Jennings coming in at the right hand post and he slotted it into the net. But the cheers of the crowd were premature as the referee's assistant had his flagged raised and confirmed it was Andy Jennings who was offside, so the goal was chalked off. But on 38 minutes the flag stayed down despite the loud Leam Rangers appeals as Michael Woodhouse burst clear of the defence on a run from his own half into the opposition penalty area before passing it to ADAM PRESTON on his left, who left with the simple task of slotting the ball into the open goal in front of him. Which he duly did to give Redcar Athletic a 3 goal which no doubt not only be too much for Leam Rangers for to recover from but also dowse the hopes of everyone at Cleator Moor Celtic of them becoming champions. Redcar Athletic almost netted a 4th less than a minute from the break when Andy Jennings collected a Jordan Rivis pass, then fired a crossfield ball over to the right picking out Sam Webster, who ran into the box and although driven out wide by keeper Lee Smith, fired in a goalbound shot from a tight angle only to have it booted of the line by covering defender Mathew Frost.

    H-T Redcar Athletic 3 v 0 Gateshead Leam Rangers

If Redcar Athletic thought they could take it easy in the 2nd half, Leam Rangers made them think again just a minute and a half into it. After forcing their first corner of the game Ewan Vasey flighted it in and only Niki Langston rose but he was disappointed with himself as he put his free opportunity wide of the left hand post. That was a wakener for Redcar Athletic and they got right back to the task in hand. Just 3 minutes after that near miss Joshua Cooper played ANDY JENNINGS into space down the right and he weaved his way into Leam Rangers before blasting a low shot into the net at the near right post to make it 4-0. On 70 minutes Joshua Cooper's cross was picked up on the edge of Leam Rangers penalty area by substitute Bryan Stewart who took a touch before letting fly with a rising shot which flashed just an inch or two the wrong side of the left hand post. Then on 73 minutes Jordan Rivis lifted the ball over a now tired Leam Rangers defence and substitute Anthony Jones who had only come onto the pitch 30 or so seconds earlier, found himself in on goal with only keeper Lee Smith to beat but rashly and wildly blasted his shot into space, way high and wide of the intended target. Almost straight from the goal kick Redcar Athletic won possession of the ball intheir half and Mitchell Morris sent Sam Webster on a run down the left. Sam Webster outpaced defender Gavin Williams to get into the penalty area before squaring it seemingly perfectly for Bryan Stewart, only for him to get too much lift and curl on his shot and the ball crashed off the angle of the left post and crossbar. The final 10 minutes saw Redcar Athletic finish like Champions as they put on an ending which left the crowd in pure delight of the performance which was happening before their eyes. Right on 80 minutes Andy Jennings burst into the Leam Rangers box before holding it up,  despite a couple of challenges he still retained possession and then finally fired in a low shot which looked destined for the back of the net but keeper Lee Smith pulled another great save out the locker by palming it round the right hand post at full stretch. But it was 5-0 only seconds later when from Sam Webster's corner the ball was only headed clear straight to JORDAN RIVIS on the left hand edge of the area and he met if full on with a spectacular ferocious volley which zoomed into the roof of the net which took the crowd's breath away. Substitute Jack Simpson then entered the fray and on 84 minutes he raced onto Mitchell Morris forward ball to leave the Leam Rangers defence for dead before crossing over to the right to set up an easy chance for ANTHONY JONES to fire into a gaping goal. Just 90 seconds Jack Simpson latched onto to another great pass from Mitchell Morris to leave the defence in his wake again, but this time he was sent flying in the area by keeper Lee Smith's challenge. With Adam Preston having being replaced after Redcar Athletic's 4th goal of the game a change of penalty taker was required and BRYAN STEWART took responsibility of the ball, placed it on the spot then calmly slotted it into the net. Roars of "He's through again" as just a minute and a half later Jack Simpson latched onto another superb Mitchell Morris pass and once more Lee Smith sent the speedy winger flying through the air in the area with his challenge. The keeper who was lucky that the referee showed leniency towards him for his previous foul was shown a yellow card for this very almost identical offence. Bryan Stewart stepped aside and the ball was handed over to Mitchell Morris but his passing is obviously better than his shooting as he sent his shot wide of the left hand post. It mattered not a jot as just 2 minutes later the referee's whistle brought Redcar Athletic's dreams to reality. Champions of the Wearside League and promotion to the Northern League achieved and done in style, the celebrations could now begin. 


Match Photo's

Match Stats

Starting Line Up

GK Will Lawrence
DF Joe Bennett
DF Jordan Kirk
MD Josh Cooper
MD Mitchell Morris
MD Jordan Rivis
MD Lance Skelton (71')
MD Sam Webster (81')
MD Michael Woodhouse
ST Adam Preston (52')


DF Stuart Browne
MD Jack Simpson (81')
ST Joel Callender
ST Anthony Jones (71')