Under the lights on the Sunderland coast, Redcar Athletic look to restore their winning form against bizarre rivals, Seaham Red Star.
On the back of an uneasy, yet sparse few weeks, the Steelmen are in dire need of a result to quell some rising nerves.
Having crashed out of the Isuzu FA Vase at the hands of Silsden AFC, a suprise, heartbreaking triumph for Carlisle City spelled even more dismay, plunging Gary Forster’s men into the depths of mid-table.
Whilst there’s plenty still to play for in the Northern League, Athletic will be keen to keep within touch of an all elusive play-off spot.
Sitting 18th, Seaham Red Star are the perfect opponents – on paper – for Redcar to rebuild some momentum, and history may be on their side too.
On the back of an eight game losing streak, victory at Seaham Town Park proved the spark Forster needed in his first weeks in charge, igniting a spate of imperious form which led to a rapid ascension towards the top six.
One year on from his appointment, the first team boss will be hoping to repeat the feat, but it must be added that Redcar’s history with the Star is more than a little complex…
Here’s everything you need to know about this evening’s clash with the notorious Seaham Red Star.
WHO ARE YA?
Having met eight times across two campaigns, Seaham Red Star probably don’t need introducung to those of a Redcar persuasion.
A Sunday League outfit in 1973, Seaham are now a self-proclaimed leading club in the Northern League, having amassed a great deal of success in the late 1970s.
The club were elected to the second division of the Northern League in 1983, enjoying prosperity across both divisions until flirting with resignation in 2002.
A new committee rescued the club from its untimely end, ensuring the Star would contest step five football once again in the future, and terrorise a small coastal town called Redcar.
Seaham have dealt the final blow to the Steelmen in three of their last five FA competition ventures, leading to the rising animosity between the two that exists today.
DID YOU KNOW: Seaham Red Star takes its name from a local pub, The Red Star, in which the club was formed.
LAST TIME OUT
This evening, Redcar face their ninth encounter with Seaham in just over two years.
The two coastal outfits have become very familiar through cup meetings, with the Star three times the victor across both the Emirates FA Cup, and the Isuzu FA Vase.
In the Northern League, Donny Holdsworth’s late header proved the start of a tremendous run of form, including both a thrilling comeback against Northallerton Town, and a 9-2 Boxing Day drubbing of Thornaby.
The fan-favourite forward nodded home the only goal of the game to avenge both the club’s cup exits, and restore hope after a run of eight games without result.
Danny Boyle was the man in the spotlight at Green Lane, netting an impressive brace as the Steelmen secured a double of their own over their suprise rivals.
The Star’s early lead was quick to be diminished, as the midfield duo of Boyle and Conway completed the turnaround.
A deflected effort earned Danny his second of the evening, leaving a late spot kick from Adam Lennox a mere consolation for the visitors.
In a nutshell, inconsistent.
Redcar Athletic enjoyed a stellar September, cruising passed Padiham in the Isuzu FA Vase, and netting world-class goals on a regular basis.
Since, results have proved few and far between, with a 4-0 drubbing of Thornaby, and an 8-1 dismantling of Tow Law Town, sandwiched between disappointing defeats to the Cumbrian duo of Penrith and Carlisle.
WATCH | Tow Law Town 1-8 Redcar Athletic
Sitting 18th, the few weeks gone haven’t been kind to the Star either.
Whilst Silsden AFC spelled the end of Redcar’s Isuzu FA Vase hopes in the first round, Seaham booked a date with Irlam in the second, having to contend with a dismal 6-1 home defeat on Saturday afteenoon.
In fact, tonight’s opponents haven’t tasted victory in any competition since mid-September, an emphatic 5-0 demolition of struggling Sunderland RCA, at Seaham Town Park.
After a gruelling few months on the suspension front, first team boss Gary Forster finally has only the one enforced hiatus to contend with.
Shot-stopper Jack Norton remains on the side-lines as part of an extended ban, but the midfield duo of Brad Mills and Anthony Bell are once again available for selection.
The club-captain faced an extended period away from league action, serving a four game ban due to an accumulation of bookings, and a dismissal, whilst Mills clocked five cautions across both his two appearances in red and navy, and Pickering Town.
Joining us in Seaham this evening? Here’s some key details you’ll want to know.
FINDING SEAHAM TOWN PARK
Known as the Alexandra Steakhouse Stadium for sponsorship reasons, and formally the Independent Utility Advice Arena, Seaham’s ground can be found using the postcode SR7 0HP.
Admission into Seaham Town Park is priced at £6 for adults and £4 for concessions, whilst accompanied under-16s go free.
Gates will open around 6:00pm, ahead of an evening kick-off at 7:30pm.
A matchday programme will be available online for the fixture.
FOOD AND DRINK
Seaham Red Star operate both a good kiosk, and a bar, which fans can enjoy using cash or card.