Donny Holdsworth and Oscar Fletcher make their Green Lane returns, as the 'first World Cup' winners touch down in Redcar.

A tough test without the added dramatics, two of the Steelmen’s former crowd favourites tonight return to the place they once called home.

A West Auckland debut for Donny Holdsworth, the forward has much to prove, but perhaps not as much as his midfield counterpart, Oscar Fletcher, whose goalscoring form proves almost unrivalled since the start of the year.

For the Steelmen, three wins in a row on the Redcar seafront certainly plants a strong foundation.

As for stretching the run to four, tonight makes that an extremely difficult ask, but of course, not impossible. Redcar Athletic bested the play-off hopefuls this time last year at Green Lane, but unfortunately, the man that netted a treble that day now stands in opposition.

Here’s everything you need to know as promotion contenders West Auckland Town visit Green Lane…

Picture of WHO ARE YA?

WHO ARE YA?

West Auckland Town

Honoured to bear the title of first World Cup winners, West Auckland are another Northern League club steeped in history.

Invited to compete in the inaugural Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy – deemed an early precursor to the World Cup of today – in 1909, West swept through the competition without conceding, clinching the title in lieu of Great Britain.

The Durham-outfit sank Stuttgart by two goals to one in the semi-final, repeating the feat against Swiss side FC Winterthur to snatch the silverware.

Town were invited back to the competition two years later, where they remarkably defended their title, earning the right to the possession of the coveted trophy with a devastating 6-1 victory over none other than Juventus.

Unfortunately, their joy was short-lived, as the tour left the club swamped with debt, and they were forced to offer their spoils as security for a loan from a local pub.

Having regained possession of their greatest honour in 1960, the trophy was stolen in 1994, and hasn’t resurfaced since.

CURRENT FORM

A disappointing Green Lane homecoming for Carl Jarrett far in the rear view mirror, the Steelmen’s form on home turf has since been flawless.

A triumph at the death, two clean sheets and seven goals, Redcar welcome tonight’s play-off hopefuls three wins deep, and vying for four.

No doubt a massive boost for morale, Athletic’s Saturday proved about as routine as it gets in the Northern League.

Ahead in record time, and two to the good in a mere nine minutes, Redcar cruised in first gear to the final whistle, netting another double on the way.

Admittedly, repeating such a feat tonight is all but out of the question.

Another Durham outfit steeped in history, West Auckland Town have a real chance at promotion this season, bolstered by an organised, youthful squad, and a keen mentality.

West come into this evening’s contest after somewhat of a lull in games, hitting the field only the once in the last three weeks, a six goal demolition of a struggling Sunderland RCA.

An intrinsic part of their surging form has been young Oscar Fletcher. The midfielder switched Green Lane for Darlington Road come the turn of the year, netting seven goals in such time as a player reborn. 

Did you know: Redcar Athletic have won only the once against West Auckland in five attempts. West have won all three encounters at Darlington Road, whilst its one apiece on the Redcar seafront.

LAST TIME OUT

A dismal evening in Durham, missed opportunities and dubious decisions condemned Redcar Athletic to a frustrating defeat.

It proved a tale of two headers as far as West Auckland were concerned, as star man Joel Scott and Will Constantin nodded home to seal the slender advantage. 

Redcar were gifted a pair of opportunities to level from the penalty spot, twice passing up the chance, as both Isaac Walker and Liam Jarvie uncharacteristically missed the mark.

Matters were made worse by the dismissal of Anthony Bell, a challenge later repeated by Wayne Whitfield without punishment.

Last time the two locked horns at Green Lane, matters were very different.

Ironically, it was the telepathic link-up between Donny Holdsworth and Oscar Fletcher which championed the Steelmen to victory, a partnership Carl Jarrett’s men will have to pray is much less effective this evening.

The duo now both reside in the ranks of Gary Forrest’s West Auckland, and will be keen to leave their mark on their return to the Redcar seafront.

TEAM NEWS

A squad in a grave transition, Redcar Athletic unfortunately find themselves in the midst of somewhat of an injury crisis.

Missing Anthony Bell and Danny Boyle through long-term injuries, Carl Jarrett this weekend confirmed Mark Anderson suffered a tweak to his hamstring, joining the duo on the sidelines the evening.

The boss added that boss Adam Wheatley and Liam O’Sullivan are unfit to play, both nursing serious knocks, whilst Jack Harrison hasn’t yet featured since the turn of the year.

On the opposite side of the halfway line, a number of familiar faces could haunt their former side.

Ben Dale starred on loan from York City under the tenure of Steve Connolly, now finding a home in the back four at Darlington Road, whilst Donny Holdsworth is in line to make his debut after opting to depart the club last month.

Midfielder Oscar Fletcher once pulled the strings in the heart of Gary Forster’s Redcar Athletic, now firing on all cylinders in the yellow of West Auckland, and eager to leave his mark on Green Lane once more.

The 19-year-old spoke to Ash Stone about life since the New Year move, a conversation you can read in this evening’s instalment of By the Sea.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FINDING BM BI-FOLD GREEN LANE

Nestled just off the coast road – with impeccable views out to sea, and across Cleveland – Green Lane sits off a residential road of the same name.

The ground can be found using the postcode TS10 3RW, just opposite the rugby and squash clubs at the foot of the street. 

ADMISSION

Affordable football for all, admission into Green Lane costs just £7 for adults, whilst those eligible as a concession – students and OAPs – pay £4.

Those under-16 can gain entrance to the ground for a mere £2, whilst members of the club’s junior section are admitted for free under their existing fees. 

A matchday programme will also be on sale for just £2 at the turnstile.

Tickets purchased for the original fixture remain valid.

PARKING

In courtesy of our neighbours, please park respectfully in designated car parks in the vicinity of Green Lane.

There is to be absolutely NO street parking.

WHAT'S ON?

Forever a lively atmosphere, find out what’s in store at Green Lane this afternoon.

Check back later to see more.

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