Redcar Athletic have eyes for a third consecutive league win, as a struggling Sunderland RCA visit Green Lane.
Five games unbeaten, in search of three on the bounce, Redcar Athletic are still without a win on home soil.
The majority of the club’s inevitable resurgance has taken place on the road, with only one game in the streak of good from playing out in front of the Redcar faithful.
The Steelmen’s last Green Lane outing featured Whitley Bay, and a last gasp equaliser from Liam Jarvie to avoid a third home defeat.
This afternoon may prove the perfect opportunity to change that, to return to winning ways at home, and keep the momentum heading into next weekend’s Isuzu FA Vase tie.
Sunderland RCA are the visitors this afternoon, a side in relative turmoil on and off the field, but under no pressure, and with a point to prove.
Manager Gary Forster seems optimistic about Redcar’s chances this afternoon, but affirmed that complacency is a step on the path to defeat.
“We are expecting a resurgent RCA side,” the gaffer said, “who are expecting to introduce a few new faces this afternoon.
“I think they will come here hoping to kickstart their season.”
Here’s everything you need to know about this afternoon’s fifth Northern League game at BM Bi-Fold Green Lane…
WHO ARE YA?
Formed in 1963 as Ryhope Youth Club, Sunderland RCA is an amalgamation of three teams, and 60 years of overcoming turmoil and financial difficulties.
In 1971, the youth club rebranded as Ryhope Community Association – RCA – before unsuccessfully applying for a place in the Wearside League.
Having folded and re-formed in the Northern Football Alliance, claiming a number of pieces of silverware along the way, Ryhope were a founder member of the Northern League Division Two in 1982, where promotion beckoned via a second place finish.
Between 1999 and 2006, the club were twice forced to amalgamate with other local sides, first Kenneth Roker, then Springboard Sunderland, hence the name as it stands today.
Last season, RCA’s future was plunged into uncertainty, as financial difficulty left the club planning its provisional resignation from the league.
The announcement came just months after their local rivals, Ryhope CW, met the same fate, casting doubt upon the future of football in the Ryhope area.
Finishing a disappointing second bottom, albeit through fielding the youth sides, RCA were spared the heart-break of relegation through resignations elsewhere, but are yet to find a win across all competitions this season.
Five games unbeaten, optimism is begginging the circulate through the veins of the club once more.
Sparked by an emphatic Isuzu FA Vase triumph over Esh Winning, the Steelmen ploughed on to clinch two points from losing positions, before twice returning to the Redcar seafront victorious after successive 4-1 wins on the road.
Redcar’s first league win came just one week ago, as Isaac Walker and Matty Tymon starred in a first half demolition of West Allotment Celtic.
Layton Watts opened his account for the club in the second period, whilst Danny Boyle notched a goal of the season contender from the edge of the box.
Watch | Crook Town 1-4 Redcar Athletic
Boyle was also on target on Wednesday night, applying a clinical finish to a fantastic footballing move with Isaac Walker again at its core.
The wide man netted a brace in the first half to overturn Daryll Hall’s unfortunate own goal, before Liam Jarvie struck in stoppage time to take his tally to three in four games.
LAST TIME OUT
An unhappy afternoon for the Steelmen, Sunderland RCA’s last visit to Green Lane proved both frustrating and disappointing.
Despite Donny Holdsworth opening his account in Redcar red, Athletic were swept aside by three goals to one, including a sensational drive from deep by Kyle Patton.
RED CARD CONTROVERSY
The loss was unsurprisingly not without controversy, as an early challenge on Sonni Coleman left those of a Redcar persuasion appalled not to see the red card brandished.
Ironically, the man behind the rash, two footed challenge was none other than gentle-giant, Daryll Hall.
One year on, the towering centre-half captained the Steelmen on Wednesday evening, whilst Sonni Coleman yesterday departed for Northallerton Town.
What a difference a year makes!
The visit of Sunderland RCA last season brought about a debut for two key players in the current side.
Shot-stopper Jack Norton made his first appearance in between the sticks, having impressed against the club for Pickering Town weeks earlier.
The commanding number one was joined in the backline by former Middlesbrough man, Nathan Guru, who now proves an irreplaceable part of Gary Forster’s defence.
From injuries to departures, Gary Forster has seen a number of changes to his player pool since the last outing at Green Lane.
Whilst Joe Ferguson and Donny Holdsworth remain on the sidelines, a freak accident against Crook Town has Joe Thompson also ruled out.
The fullback has an obvious replacement in Liam O’Sullivan, who filled in at right-back on Wednesday in place of the absent Mason McNeill.
Mason missed the midweek trip to Durham through illness, and should be available once again for this afternoon’s encounter.
Another factor in Forster’s decision making will be suspensions, as a number of the squad face a short spell on the sidelines due to on-field disciplinary action.
Anthony Bell is to closest to suspension, with four bookings and a sin bin to his name, hence his limited game time in midweek.
Another facing the same dilemma is Layton Watts, whose most recent booking proved his fourth.
If either of the pair was to receive a caution this afternoon, their suspension would leave them unavailable for next weekend’s Isuzu FA Vase tie against Padiham.
From programmes to admission, here’s all of your matchday information as Sunderland RCA visit Green Lane.
Fans can begin to make their way through the turnstiles at 1:30pm this afternoon, ahead of a standard kick-off time of 3:00pm.
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 purchased from the turnstile for just £2.
This week’s edition includes action from our ladies victory over Huntington Rovers, as well as the usual columns from Club President Kevin Fryett, Manager Gary Forster, and Ground-hopper John Wilberforce.
The Steelmen’s bar will be open as usual, serving drinks before, during, and after the match.
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, ourselves.
Georgia Smith will be in the Steelmen’s bar before and after the game, providing the soundtrack to accompany your matchday experience.
Fancy a bite to eat?
Smokin’ Joe’s will once again be serving up their pop-up barbecue from their tent in our fanzone.
ISUZU FA VASE FOOTBALL AT GREEN LANE
Redcar Athletic welcome North West Counties Premier Division side, Padiham, to Green Lane in the second qualifying road of the Izusu FA Vase.
Already a huge afternoon, a win would mark the club’s best ever run in the competition, and Gary Forster’s men need your support to see it through.
Find out more: Ticket details coming soon.