Reds Ladies, the first team and the youth side all play their first competitive game of the season this week as the various FA competitions commence.
Unusual for all three to get underway before the normal batch of early league fixtures but the football calendar is completely different this season.
The Ladies got things off to a good start on Sunday when they progressed to the next round of the SSE Women’s FA Cup after a gallant performance against Boro Rangers. They won 1-0 across at Middlesbrough.
Next up is Saturday’s trip to Knaresborough Town for the seniors with, Danny Grainger looking for his victory in the FA Cup as a manager when Reds take on the Northern Counties East League outfit for the second time in three seasons.
Then on Sunday, Reds’ promising teenagers host Scarborough Athletic in the FA Youth Cup at Borough Park with a 2pm kick-off.
The Ladies haven’t enjoyed much success in their FA Cup in recent years so Sunday’s Extra Preliminary Round victory at the other end of the A66 was a timely morale booster, after a disrupted pre-season.
It was an even contest in the early stages although Reds were unable to convert the half chances which came their way.
They suffered a blow on the half hour mark when Hannah Geen sustained an ankle injury and hobbled off forcing Reds to introduce their only substitute earlier than expected.
It was goalless at half time but their belief was if they continued to create the chances one would find the target.
And that’s exactly what happened after sixty five minutes albeit somewhat fortunately. The ever reliable Hayley Bracken (inset) hit the ball towards the Boro ‘keeper who spilled the ball over the line for the winning goal.
Bracken then netted a second following Jess Reynolds’ assist but the goal was disallowed for a questionable offside.
It prompted a good spell for Reds and Chloe Henderson and Maz Kinsella came close to adding a second.
The hosts, probably out of desperation, applied late pressure in search of an equaliser but Reds remained resilient and kept the clean sheet which guaranteed their passage to the next round.
Their reward is another trip to the north east and a tie at Durham United in two weeks time.