FOR warming the cockles at this time of year there is nothing like a good old fashioned derby clash.
And in this chilly month of January, Scarborough Athletic’s fans have been treated to two in a week.
We had the 3-1 success against Pickering Town last week and this Saturday sees the mouthwatering second meeting between Boro and their landlords Bridlington Town.
Derby games have been happening for years and years, livening up the calendar and giving supporters that game to pick out when the fixtures are announced.
The term is originally thought to have come from the Merseyside meetings between Liverpool and Everton, due to the fact that Stanley Park, which separates the clubs, was owned by the Earl of Derby.
Wherever it originated, these are massive highlights, though they become much greater if your side manages a win.
Brid grabbed the initiative after the opener, mainly due to the fact that Boro were terrible on the day.
And it is set up nicely for the second fixture, with Rudy Funk’s men seeing off the Pikes last week and Brid hovering regally just above.
The town of Scarborough’s derby net was cast a little further when I started as a reporter, with the York City games being the biggest pull.
The games at the Athletic Ground and KitKat Crescent, as it was then called, used to be a firm part of the festive period.
My first experience of this as a reporter was on Boxing Day of 2004 following York’s relegation from the Football League into the Conference.
I knew there was competition between fans and players on the day, but I didn’t realise reporters were supposed to be at odds as well.
A couple of well-known faces from local radio were covering these games, and throughout the full 90 minutes there was a constant joust, filled with subtle digs.
I started to get into this, and after Scarborough’s 5-1 win a couple of days later I had to restrain myself from turning to my York counterpart and singing the scoreline.
That win was one of the highlights of my journalism career so far, not only because it was a great game, but because every Scarborough face, from fan to player to manager Nick Henry, had a huge smile.
York may have hailed from 40-odd miles down the A64 and the players for both sides may have come from all over the north of England, but it still meant so much.
I can remember Neil Redfearn, a former top flight player with Bradford and Charlton, saying that he would in no way be interested in a move to York, when the Minstermen were rumoured to have been interested in appointing him in their back-room staff.
Aptly, Redfearn did eventually move to City as manager, with the likes of Mark Hotte, Neil Bishop and Simon Weaver also making their way west.
Another thing that added to the spark, and something that has added that little extra spice to Boro and Brid derbies is that so many players have switched between the clubs in recent history. And most of the lads hail from in a 50-mile radius, so the local interest is large enough.
Having built this game up so much there is no doubt that it will be a shocker. In truth, I can’t see it though.