By Tom Reyer
Christmas came early for North Yorkshire side Redcar Athletic when they pulled off their biggest victory in the short history of the club.
They recently defeated Whitby Town, from the EVO-STIK Premier Division, in the North Riding Senior Cup.
Whitby are the current holders of the trophy and entered the tie as huge favourites. Redcar are several divisions below them in the football pyramid, but pulled off a sensational 1-0 victory to progress to the quarter-finals of the tournament.
Redcar centre back Jordan Kirk commented on the team’s elation following the victory: “Obviously, it was a great feeling because Whitby are a prestigious club who are from a higher level.
“We’re four divisions below them and they are only three divisions off from being a professional club (in the football league).
“It was a good feeling for everyone in the changing room.”
Redcar supporter Joseph Young was present in the crowd for the tremendous victory and said:
“The game was amazing. To see so many of us there for a start was terrific, but for the lads to get a victory against such a strong team made it all the more better.
“I’m a Manchester United fan so I’m often there for games, but if United are playing away, I check to see if Redcar Athletic are at home to catch some local football.”
It is not just the North Riding Cup where Redcar are making an impression. They recently thrashed Windscale AFC in the quarter-final of the Monkwearmouth Trophy 6-1 in their quest to retain the cup they successfully earned last year.
Although the trophy may not be as prestigious as the North Riding Cup, Kirk relayed the importance of that victory:
“Yeah it was very good, we came into the game after that big win on Wednesday and it could have went either way really.
“We could have come into the game and been a bit complacent, so playing the way we wanted to and winning 6-1 was excellent.”
Redcar Athletic Football Club was established 24 years ago, but they have never been victorious in the North Riding Cup. With teams such as Middlesbrough FC under-23s and York City getting introduced in the next round, the competitiveness of the competition increases dramatically.
However, Kirk describes how this sort of competition makes Redcar thrive even more: “It’s always great to play against teams like that, because you have a chance of playing against top class players.
“They are obviously on professional contracts, so it is always a pleasure and you can take a lot from it I think.”
Redcar currently sit in third position in the Wearside league, having lost just one game.
They have a game in hand over first placed Cleaton Moor, and if they can capitalise on that, it will see them four points from top in their promotion push.