Reds will return to pre-season action on Tuesday with their latest friendly pitting them against Northern League Penrith at Frenchfield (7.30pm).
They were short on numbers last week and that resulted in the cancellation of Saturday’s game at Consett. But the game against Penrith will go ahead albeit with a somewhat depleted squad.
Penrith, now managed by ex. Reds’ boss, Darren Edmondson, start their Northern League programme on the 30 July having retained their First Division status in May and appear to be operating with a much younger, more vibrant squad this term.
Injuries, holidays, illness and weddings have disrupted Reds’ pre-season plans but, unfortunately, the majority of non-league clubs in the country suffer similar disruption at this time of the year.
Penrith have been well organised in the first half hour of their high profile matches against Carlisle United and Barrow only to, ultimately, lose heavily.
They were impressive 8-1 winners in their last outing against Westmorland League opposition.
Reds record against Penrith at Frenchfield is mixed and we have won five times, lost on two occasions and drawn once in eight visits.
All but one of those games have been in pre-season action, the exception being a Cumberland Cup tie. But we could be returning to thirteen year old venue next month for a tasty competitive fixture – in the FA Cup, no less.
Should the Blues overcome West Allotment Celtic in the Extra Preliminary Round, we can look forward to a Cumbrian derby on 20 August.
First things first, though, and both managers will be keen for a committed performance on Tuesday – heatwave permitting!