MATCH PREVIEW: The big kickoff

Six months after playing their final game of a truncated 2019-20 campaign, Reds will return to Northern Premier League football at Pickering Town on Saturday.

They will launch their 34th season, under the NPL banner, in North Yorkshire getting under way against the same opponents whom they met on opening Saturday last year.

None of us knew that the 19-20 season was going to end prematurely in such bizarre circumstances and none of us are really confident that the new term will avoid any Covid-related interruption.

But all teams have prepared as best as they can and the first Saturday is always difficult regardless of pre-season form or last season’s final placing.

So the fact that we recorded a league double over Pickering Town last season will count for nothing at Mill Lane come kick-off time.

They will have the utmost respect for us but won’t fear the challenge and, vice versa, we will expect a tough ninety minutes on a warm afternoon after a lengthy journey.

Danny Grainger has overseen an excellent pre-season for the squad which included matches against differing standards of opposition and a thorough training programme. They had to show resilience, fitness and patience in last week’s FA Cup tie at Knaresborough and those same qualities will be needed on Saturday.

Three players, Jordan Little, Dav Symington and Robbie Hebson remain doubts for the game because of injury but Jordan Holt will come into consideration after his International Clearance came through earlier this week.

Kick-off 3pm

Postcode: YO18 7DB

  • Of their previous thirty three opening day matches in the Northern Premier League, Reds have recorded twelve wins, drew with the opposition on eleven occasions and suffered ten defeats.

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