Derby day descends upon Teesside, as Redcar Athletic make the short trip to face local rivals, Guisborough Town.
A highly anticipated local derby, Guisborough Town play host to the first instalment of the new season, which proves a vital game for Gary Forster’s side.
Four league games in search of an elusive win, the Steelmen are in dire need of a result to spark the campaign into life, and a derby triumph would prove just that.
Still, it won’t be without struggle, as the Priorymen are an adept outfit, who won’t shy away from the challenge that Athletic pose.
In fact, revenge may even enter the thinking in the Town camp this evening, as Redcar took the glory last season, with an impressive derby double.
Regardless, this is a Teesside derby with a little bit of everything, and the Steelmen need your support see it through.
Here’s everything you need to know about derby day number one.
WHO ARE YA?
Celebrating a half-century of football this year, Guisborough Town are a club saturated in local heritage.
Four times champions of the North Riding Senior Cup – with their most recent secured by none other than Dave Onions – the Priorymen boast one of the most prestigious records across the Teesside non-league scene.
The club have played at their home on Howlbeck Road since their inception in 1973, attracting 3’112 fans to the ground in a record attendance in 1979, as they sank Hungerford Town in the FA Vase semi-final.
Guisborough would go on to face heartbreak at Wembley that season, losing to Stamford, before North Ferriby United scuppered their dreams of a Wembley return 20 years later.
For the past 38 seasons, the Sunderland-inspired red and white stripes of the Priorymen have featured in the Northern League, with the club falling short of promotion to the Northern Premier League on a couple of occasions.
Last year proved one of those opportunities for Guisborough, who flirted on the fringes of the title fight all season, before a poor run of form in the penultimate weeks saw them drop out of the top six, with their replacement none other than the Steelmen themselves.
LAST TIME OUT
Redcar Athletic had the edge over their local rivals last season, as in addition to snatching their spot in the top six, the Steelmen clinched an impressive derby day double.
The match at BM Bi-Fold Green Lane proved the most dramatic, as Town lead at the break through former-Redcar man, McKenzie Diccico, after Nathan Guru was dismissed for a raised elbow.
The ten-man Steelmen overcame their disadvantage in the second period, as Isaac Walker netted a historic treble to sink their rivals by three goals to one.
The two Teesside rivals met at the King George V Ground amidst torrential rain, as Guisborough looked to avenge their extra-man defeat.
Ultimately, their efforts proved futile, as ex-Town man Sonni Coleman stepped up to net the only goal of the game with a well-timed, looping header, and the glory once again went to Redcar Athletic.
Following a poor start to the season, Redcar Athletic head into the derby with a little bit of momentum.
Sparked by an Isuzu FA Vase triumph over Esh Winning, the Steelmen left it late to deny Whitley Bay all three points, as Liam Jarvie struck in stoppage time on his debut.
WATCH | Redcar Athletic 1-1 Whitley Bay
The Priorymen, on the other hand, come into the contest on the back of a hefty Emirates FA Cup defeat.
Guisborough made an impressive charge to the first qualifying round, twice coming from behind to sink Newton Aycliffe, before beating Pontefract Collieriers to set up a date with Atherton at the weekend.
Unfortunately, the Northern Premier League outfit proved a step too far, leaving the KGV Ground with an emphatic 4-0 victory.
With Nathan Fisher returning to Middlesbrough at the weekend, Jack Norton seems a nailed on certainty to don the gloves at the KGV this evening, after both Decklan Greenwood and Matty Pattison requested a transfer.
Elsewhere, it could be a Guisborough return for three quarters of the backline, with Liam O’Sullivan, Nathan Guru, and Mason McNeill all representing the Priorymen in recent years.
With a debut goal on Saturday against a top side in Whitley Bay, Liam Jarvie seems likely to start as the focal point in attack, with Donny Holdsworth still sidelined by injury.
New singing Joe Ferguson also remains in recovery, but Forster will be expecting him to grace the field in a matter of weeks, following a successful operation.
The shortest away trip of the season, tonight’s Teesside derby is sure to draw a number of fans to cheer on the Steelmen.
Those attending this evening can use the postcode TS14 6LE to find the King George V Ground, which sits at the end of Howlbeck Road in Guisborough.
Admission is priced at £8 for adults, and £5 for concessions, whilst children can enter the ground for free.
The gates will open at 6:15pm, ahead of a 7:45pm kick-off, which fans are reminded differs from the usual evening time of 7:30pm.
The bar will be open to all spectators this evening, and will serve those with cash or card.