MATCH PREVIEW: East meets west in Cup

Reds take a break from league action this weekend with FA Cup football on the agenda…..but not on Saturday.

They will travel across the A66 for the Second Round Qualifying tie against Darlington on Friday evening (7.45pm).  The match has been brought forward because Darlington RUFC have a home fixture on Saturday afternoon and the two clubs groundshare at Blackwell Meadows.

National North Darlo will host Workington in the competition for the first time in forty-nine years. Back in 1974 it was the likes of Owers, Nattress, Cattrell, Burluraux, Sinclair and Horner etc battling against Rogan, Kisby, Kavanagh, Harris, Helliwell, Heslop, Wood and Skillen et al with the Quakers emerging 1-0 winners at Feethams thanks to a second half goal from Sinclair.

We were, of course, great rivals in the Football League between 1951 and 1977 with Darlington the team we faced more than any other, forty-eight meetings in fact.

Since then, there has been the odd friendly between the clubs but we did meet under the NPL banner during the 2015-16 season.  Two Conor Tinnion goals helped us to a 2-1 victory at Borough Park eight years ago but we crashed 4-0 in the return when Darlington were ground sharing at Bishop Auckland’s Heritage Park.   

Blackwell Meadows

Reds will be slightly stronger than they were for last week’s league game but definitely ruled out are long-term absentees Lewis Reilly (ankle), Danny Eccles (ankle) and Bobby Carroll (knee).

Many, many players have worn the black and white of Darlington and the red of Workington over the years and a talented, albeit hypothetical, squad could be formed from those that have represented both clubs.

Reds have played in the competition on a Friday evening before, doing so against Bishop Auckland nineteen years ago when they ground shared at Spennymoor.  Workington emerged 2-1 winners that night so who knows!

Admission (card and cash payments accepted):

Adult – £15

Concession – £11

Junior (12 – 17) – £5

Child (U12 with paying adult) – Free admission

Seating is an extra £2   

Venue: Blackwell Meadows, Grange Road, Darlington, DL1 5NR

Parking is available at the ground (£5) on a first come, first served basis.

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