The Steelmen got off the mark for the new season with a hard-fought 3-2 victory, staving off a late Celtic resurgence to claim all three points on home soil.
A first half goal blitz spearheaded by an Isaac Walker brace secured Athletic a comfortable advantage at the break, with two late second half goals for the visitors proving only enough to create a nervy ending to a fiercely competitive, slightly ill-tempered contest.
Redcar imposed themselves on the game right from the off, opening their account for the season after just ten minutes, clocking up a three-goal lead before the half hour mark to provide a reassuring safety net over a quickly improving West Allotment side.
To no surprise, it was Isaac Walker who broke the deadlock, cutting in from the left flank and finding the bottom right corner with a delicate curling effort, leaving Scott with little chance.
The forward had a golden opportunity to double his tally seven minutes later, the referee adjudging he was clipped in the area and awarding Athletic a penalty. Isaac made no mistake from the spot, dispatching it tidily into the bottom right once again, sending the keeper the wrong way to earn himself a brace.
The Steelmen wrapped up their period of domination with a spectacular third goal in the 23rd minute, captain Michael Woodhouse beating Scott from range with a low, venomous volley, after driving his side up the pitch alone with a weaving run through the centre.
After the half hour mark, the visitors started to take control of possession as they sought to find a way back into the contest, forcing Bateman into multiple diving stops, whilst last-ditch interceptions from Redcar’s backline proved effective at keeping Celtic’s forwards at bay.
The second period began in much the same vein as the first had finished, with West Allotment nearly forcing their way through bodies on the line in the opening five minutes, desperate defending in the six-yard box from the Steelmen all that kept the clean sheet dream alive.
Whilst the majority of opportunities now lied with the visitors, the Steelmen had a few chances of their own to kill the game, a lovely 1-2 between Woodhouse and Coleman the best of those, with only a superb block from Scott denying the captain his brace from close range.
In the closing stages, West Allotment finally found the back of the net to produce a tense ending to what had been a previously calm afternoon for Redcar. Callum Larmouth converted from the spot after 75 minutes to pull his side back into the match, whilst a low, driven volley inside the last 10 minutes drew the visitors to within one.
It was a heart-in-mouth ending for the Redcar faithful, with a huge sigh of relief let off around the ground at the final whistle as the Steelmen held on to take an opening day three points, despite the visitors threatening a late revival. An almost perfect way to get off the mark for the new season.
Redcar Goal Scorers: Issac Walker (10, 17 pen), Michael Woodhouse (24).
|30/07/2022||3:00 pm||Northern Football League - Division 1||2022/23|