Redcar Athletic look to rewrite their fortunes, as Northallerton Town visit Green Lane for Friday night football.
With expectations high, Redcar’s opening week of the season proved rather drab.
The Steelmen suffered a shock opening day defeat to Birtley Town, before being dealt an early exit from the Emirates FA Cup at the hands of Tadcaster Albion.
Tonight’s affair proves an opportunity to start afresh, but a tough one at that.
First team boss Gary Forster commented on Northallerton’s quality, framing astute summer recruitment as their greatest threat.
“He (Northallerton Head Coach Paul Edwards) has recruited really well in the summer, and so I expect them to be top eight come the end of the season.
“No matter what, I expect a full bloodied derby affair today, by two really good sides.”
Here’s everything you need to know about tonight’s encounter…
WHO ARE YA?
Formed in 1881 as Northallerton Football Club, today’s visitors have competed under a multitude of names, including Northallerton Central, and Northallerton Alliance.
The club bounced around the local leagues for the majority of their existence, before finally settling in the second division of the Northern League in 1982.
Northallerton’s first Northern League outing took them to Ryhope CA (now known as Sunderland RCA), where they suffered a 4-1 defeat, before gaining their revenge a week later in the reverse fixture.
The club suffered a huge scare in the late 90s, as a local businessman was forced to step in to rescue them from financial insolvency, as they were days away from folding.
For the coming campaign, Northallerton have recruited well, and pose a much more significant threat than some have given them credit for.
Tonight’s encounter will prove hard-fought, and tight, with a number of familiar faces desperate to haunt Redcar in their Green Lane return…
LAST TIME OUT
Redcar Athletic scored an impressive double over Northallerton last season, fighting back on both occassions from a position of dropped points.
Much like tonight, Town visited Green Lane early in the season, pegging the Steelmen back after Sonni Coleman converted from Isaac Walker’s pullback cross.
Young Alfie Conway stepped up to clinch the match-winner with 20 minutes to go, turning another pinpoint delivery from Walker into the back of the net, with a slight deflection on its path to goal.
The return fixture took place on a cold January evening, where Northallerton lead at the interval through Marske United loanee, Joey Hope.
Donny Holdsworth’s flicked header started the Steelmen’s triumphant response, before club captain Anthony Bell notched his first goal for the club to gain the advantage.
It was Alfie Conway once again who put the seal on another five-star performance, keeping his composure to beat the ‘keeper, and squeeze the ball home from a tight angle.
Northallerton completed a number of high profile signings over the summer, and two of which will be all too familiar for those of a Redcar persuasion.
Signed on loan towards the end of the 2021/22 season, McKenzie Diccico was a versatile winger, whose tenure at the club was cut short due to a horrific injury.
Diccico has since returned to Green Lane with Guisborough Town, scoring the opening goal for the Priorymen, before an Isaac Walker hat-trick claimed all three points for the ten-man Steelmen.
The wide man is joined in Town’s new cohort by none other than Craig Hutchinson, a man who proved vital to Redcar’s success last season.
The forward scored a number of important goals during his stay, including a debut hat-trick against his former club, Thornaby, and is certain to pose a threat this evening.
Alongside his eye for goal, Craig boasts an invaluable playmaking ability, teeing up a catalogue of chances last season, as he and Donny Holdsworth established the perfect link up.
Hutchinson is a big miss for Gary Forster’s side this season, and certainly one to watch tonight for the visitors.
With a poor start to the season, Gary’s team choices are yet to be seen, as potential changes are in the offing.
The only certainty is the absence of the two long-term injuries, Donny Holdsworth and Joe Ferguson, who are both due back later in the calender year.
Goalkeeper Jack Norton is aslo still serving a suspension, although has now been placed on the transfer list ahead of the new campaign.
From programmes to admission, here’s all of your matchday information ahead of Friday night football at Green Lane.
Fans can begin to make their way through the turnstiles at 6:00pm this evening, ahead of kick-off at 7:30pm.
Entry will cost £7 for adults, £4 for concessions, and £2 for u16s.
Those with membership passes should enter through the main turnstile.
Our new and improved ‘By the Sea’ matchday programme will be on sale as usual at the ground, and can be purcahsed from the turnstile for just £2.
The Steelmen’s bar will be open as usual, serving drinks before, during, and after the match.
Lewi Collins is the man on the mic, providing the tunes to accompany the matchday experience.
Fans are advised that the bar is currently operating as a card only venue.
The club are once again collecting for the Redcar Area Food Bank, and any donations are both welcome and appreciated.
Let’s help make our area a better place.
Fancy a bite to eat?
Smokin’ Joe’s will once again be serving up their pop-up barbecue from their tent in our fanzone.