2013-14

Club news

The First Team

The Sunderland RCA line up for the FA Vase First Round tie away to Bridlington Town. Front row left to right, Callum Patton, Andrew Brown, John Jury (Captain), Steven Baynes, Stephen Halliday. Back row, left to right, Callum Hassan, Ross Preston, Liam Clough, Jonathan Carmichael. Daniel Wray, Kyle Morris.

Results

Northern League Division 1 Table

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Spennymoor Town (C) 42 30 10 4 117 38 79 100
2 Celtic Nation 42 28 11 5 107 41 66 95
3 Shildon 42 27 10 7 45 64 64 91
4 Guisborough Town 42 26 7 11 61 39 39 85
5 West Auckland Town 42 23 15 6 86 58 28 84
6 Ashington 42 24 5 15 94 60 34 77
7 Dunston UTS 42 20 13 11 84 55 29 73
6 Bishop Auckland 42 18 14 12 82 54 28 68
9 Durham City 42 18 14 12 85 59 26 68
10 Whitley Bay 42 21 4 19 92 73 19 67
11 Consett 42 19 9 16 110 83 27 66
12 Billingham Synthonia 42 20 5 19 86 83 3 65
13 Penrith 42 17 10 17 90 88 2 61
14 Newcastle Benfield 42 14 14 16 85 59 26 56
15 Crook Town 42 16 8 20 90 111 -21 56
16 Marske United 42 14 10 20 64 88 -24 52
17 Morpeth Town 42 13 10 21 73 78 -5 49
18 Newton Aycliffe 42 14 7 23 80 106 -26 49
19 Sunderland RCA 42 12 8 24 57 93 -36 44
20 Bedlington Terriers 42 11 10 23 52 99 -47 43
21 Team Northumbria (R) 42 10 7 27 60 109 -49 37
22 Hebburn Town (R) 42 4 7 33 43 124 -81 19
23 Billingham Town (R) 42 2 2 40 26 207 -181 8

Reports

August

West Auckland Town FC 0 Sunderland RCA FC 0

Stu Thompson and ex-RCA captain Brian Close battle for the ball in the second half of the match.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Please click here for photos from the match.

Well, here we are again the start of a new season and it starts with a trip to West Auckland, not the easiest of places to visit.

RCA acquitted themselves well in a hard fought draw and it could have been a lot better after three very good first half efforts were squandered. Although West retained possession for long periods in the second half it was RCA who created the best chances in a very well contested first game of the season.

The management team have put together a good, hard working squad which will do well if we can retain their services and remain relatively injury free.

As early as the third minute RCA showed their intent to contest every ball when Barton pressurised Atkinson into a mishit clearance which fell to Winter, but Pattison was able to block the RCA forward's effort.

West's first chance came in the seventh minute when a Briggs corner was headed wide of the upright by Galpin who was left unchallenged inside the box.

A great challenge by Clough denied Richardson with the home crowd convinced, wrongly, that a penalty should have been awarded.

In the 13th minute a clearance by Wardle landed at the feet of Briggs who curled in a lovely shot which went narrowly wide.

RCA should have taken the lead in 17th minute when Barton was sent clear by Brown, but his shot, although beating Atkinson, hit the ouside of the post. Had he have looked up Winter had made a great run into the box and was in a great position to score. 

Two minutes later and RCA were almost given the lead when a defensive mix-up saw Thompson nip in and give the ball to Winter who was through on goal but he could only find the side netting.

West picked up the pace and looked to keep possession and RCA were looking comfortable defending and hitting them on the break.

RCA suffered a blow when Morris limped out of the game in the 29th minute to be replaced by Halliday.

Winter had another great chance to score when he slipped past two defenders ,but his mistimed shot was easily saved by Atkinson. 

The RCA defence was severely tested in the 37th minute when Carr had a great effort saved by Jameson. Henderson, following up, fired his shot straight at Jameson and the ball fell to Richardson who fired towards goal only to see his effort headed off the line by Brown.

RCA looked the stronger going into the break. A cross from McGuinness was superbly chested down by Lavender before the youngster unleashed a terrific strike which went narrowly wide of the far post.

Shortly after,  a long throw from McGuinness was headed inches over the bar by Barton. Thompson fired wide from a good position, then a header from a long throw dropping inches wide.

Within two minutes of the restart Barton, looking more and more like his old self, charged down a clearance from Atkinson, but the ball ran away from him and West were able to get men back quickly and Barton's shot was easily saved by Atkinson.

For all West's posession in the second half  they were only creating long range efforts on goal. A Carr half volley was easily picked up by Jameson and a Moffat shot flew well wide of the target.

In the 75th minute a Briggs corner was met by Richardson, but his well aimed header was cleared off the line by Barton

Barton then appeared at the other end firing a low shot into the side netting.

RCA changed formation to 4-5-1 for the final minutes and were pleased to see two efforts from Patton go harmlessly over the bar.

In the final minutes RCA almost claimed all three points when substitute Halliday crossed into the box to Barton and Atkinson had to make a smart save to deny the RCA stiker.

Everyone played their part today in a thouroughly workmanlike and professional display. From Jameson through to Morris and all the substitutes both used and unused, every one of them can walk tall today.

 

Sunderland RCA FC 2 Newcastle Benfield FC 0

RCA clear their lines in the first half of the match. Photograph © Denise Haworth.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: SRCA: Winter, Barton

The management team were forced to make changes for tonight's visit of Newcastle Benfield, Halliday retained the midfield slot replacing Brown (working), Gary Shields came in for the injured Morris (Ankle Ligament damage) and Kris Summers replaced Clough (working).

Newcastle Benfield for their part gave a late fitness test to Benjamin but he was deemed unfit to play, and new signing Paul Brayson started at centre forward.

RCA overcame a persistent Benfield team to record a 2-0 home win. The performance once again showed how good the team spirit is at the moment. When we were under pressure early in the first half nobody hid, everybody took responsibilty and as the game progressed we got better and better culminating in two well taken goals.

The opening minutes of the game saw both teams set up good attacks only for them to break down in the final third.

The first real chance of the game fell to Benfield when they won a corner which was taken by Bowey. Slaughter was first to the ball and it took an exceptional save from Jameson, tipping over the bar.

Almost immediately RCA were on the attack, a sweeping ball from Halliday found Shields on the right wing and he cheekily tried to beat the keeper with a curling cross but Grainger was alert to the danger and plucked the ball from underneath the bar.

The midfield battle was was very competitive as Bowey and Slaughter looked to get the upper hand on Halliday and Home-Jackson but the home pair were giving little away.

As the game ebbed and flowed it was Benfield who created the best chances. In the 23rd minute a clearance by Wardle was pounced on by Williams, but his curling effort was well saved by Jameson. From the resulting corner the ball was flicked into the danger area by Slaughter and into the path of Brayson, but the Benfield striker fired over the bar.

RCA supporters had to wait until the 35th minute before their team started to really click into gear. A cross into the box from McGuinness saw the ball headed goalward by Winter forcing Grainger into only his second save of the game.

Within minutes Halliday had a shot blocked before Barton sliced wide from the rebound.

A catostophic slip by a Benfield defender gave RCA the lead in the 43rd minute. Grainger rolled the ball into the path of Carl who slipped and passed the ball straight to Winter who calmly sidefooted the ball past Grainger and into the far corner of the net from 25 yards.

A minute later and the same striker had the ball in the net again this time from 35 yards out, but his team mate was deemed to be offside prior to Winter receiving the ball. A super strike all the same.

It could so easily have been 2-0 at half time. When Shields was sent clear of the Benfield defence, he chose to shoot rather than cross the ball and Grainger parried the ball inches away from the advancing Thompson.

Benfield opened the second half brightly with Babtist testing Jameson with a long range effort which the RCA keeper saved with some ease.

On the hour mark Jameson, who was having an outstanding game, pulled off the save of the match. Bowey won the ball in midfiled and found Luccock in space and with time to pick his spot from 18 yards out, he struck it perfectly and it looked a certain goal until the right hand of Jameson clawed it away from the bottom corner a truly brilliant save.

As the half progressed the game was getting bogged down in a midfield battle and both defences were coping with the problems posed by the attackers.

However in the 73rd minute that all changed when RCA were awarded a freekick 35 yards out. Home-Jackson took charge of the kick which was straight off the training ground; a ball to the far side of the six yard box saw Barton unmarked and the RCA striker headed powerfully past Grainger to make it 2-0.

RCA were starting to pick up the pace as the game went into the final 10 minutes and the introduction of extra speed up front in the form of substitute Gash was causing Benfield problems.

In a final flurry, Talbot forced another save from Man of the Match Jameson.

In the end RCA came out on top; it could have been so different had they not been so resolute in defence during the first 20 minutes.

This was a solid performance by a squad who do not want to be beaten and who have developed over the last few weeks an understanding of each others' play. Long may it continue.

Match photos courtesy of and © Denise Haworth:

The opening goal

RCA celebrate the second goal, a header from Gavin Barton

Spennymoor Town 2 Sunderland RCA 1

No through road: captain Adam McGuinness and Kris Summers combine to halt a Spennymoor Town attack.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round

Goalscorers: SRCA, Barton   Spennymoor, Henderson (2)

Please click here for some photos from the match.

With so many of RCA's players unavailable for selection through injury and various other reasons it was a much changed team that took the field for this FA Cup extra preliminary round tie against Spennymoor Town at the Brewery Field.

On the injury front it was bad news for Jack Lilley who will be out for the rest of the season with a torn cruciate ligament. Better news on the injury to Kyle Morris who has strained ankle ligaments and is expected back with the next 10 days.

Spennymoor took advantage of the slope and the wind in the first half and were soon on the attack. A flowing move saw Capper play the ball to Stephenson who played in Taylor, but the Moors striker fired over the bar.

RCA were defending well against a Moors team who for all their possession were reduced to long range efforts on goal.

In the 15th minute RCA's latest signing Glen Reay limped out of the game, with a serious looking knee injury, to be replaced by Lee.

Speenymoor continued with their possesion football and RCA continued to defend in numbers and tried to break quickly on the counter.

A corner in the 25th minute gave Moors their next opening as Phillips played the ball into the box. Summers headed clear, but the loose ball fell to Griffiths who burst forward before unleashing a shot which flew high over the bar.

The pressure was relentless now and when Ruddy crossed to the far post it looked likely that Taylor would break the deadlock, but the Moors striker, under pressure from Summers, sliced the ball wide.

RCA's first real attack came on the half hour when Thompson fed the ball to Barton who slipped the ball to Halliday who in turn passed to Winter, but his shot was blocked by Moore.

Spennymoor took the lead in the 32nd minute when Stephenson won the ball in midfield before sending an inch perfect pass to Liam Henderson who finished clinically from 10 yards out.

Phillips was the next Moors player to get in an effort, but could only blast the ball well over the bar from 35 yards.

A minute later and RCA were level. Wayne Henderson, winning the ball from a Moor's throw in, headed the ball forward for Thompson who ran 20 yards unchallenged before passing to Barton who clipped the ball past Jeffries into the bottom corner of the Moor's goal.

Two minutes later and the referee booked both Wardle and Taylor after the two clashed on the edge of the box.

In the 40th minute, RCA were reduced to 10 men when Wardle received a second yellow for a trip on Dodds when the ball seemed to be going harmlessly away for a throw in.

RCA brought on Logan at half time for the injured Winter and looked to contain the attacking formation of Spennymoor.

Spennymoor went on the attack from the off with a good run by Ruddy which ended with his cross being half blocked by Wayne Henderson. The ball spun up into the box and was met by Stephenson who fired wide.

Some great defensive work by McGuinness and Summers kept the Moors attack at bay.

The introduction of RCA old boys Davidson, Graydon and Walton seemed to lift Spennymoor, and a minute after coming on Davidson turned and fired in a shot which Jameson saved at the foot of the post, managing to turn it round the post for a corner.

The corner was taken by Ruddy who played it to Graydon 30 yards out and he produced a stunning shot which rattled the post before going for a goal kick.

RCA rallied and a throw from Logan was picked up by Brown who fired in a shot from 40 yards out that went narrowly wide of the post with Jefferies beaten.

The game was really livening up as Spennymoor seemed to be getting more and more desperate against the solid 10 men of RCA.

Graydon and Capper combined to set up Davidson who powered in a trademark header, but Jameson was equal to it and made yet another save.

In the 72nd minute Spennymoor took the lead. A long ball into the box by Moore was easily dealt with by Summers and the ball fell between Halliday and Graydon, the Spennymoor player fired in a speculative shot which looked to be going wide when Liam Henderson stuck out a boot and the ball flew into the net of the arm of Jameson.

A terribly cruel blow for the 10 men of RCA, but they responded well with Thompson taking on Griffiths before seeing his pass intercepted by Moore with Barton in acres of space.

Jameson then pulled off a double save, he parried a shot from Phillips which rebounded to Liam Henderson and he got a foot to that shot, before the same player fired over the bar.

RCA's best chance of a equaliser came in the 85th minute when a long ball from McGuinness was flicked on by Barton into the path of Thompson who chested the ball forward, but was unable to get to the ball before Jeffries.

A final flurry by Spennymoor saw a cross by Capper find the head of Davidson who headed goalward, but McGuinness was on hand to head off the line.

The dismissal of Wardle was a major blow to RCA in this match, Spennymoor dominated possession and made a lot more chances than RCA but, and we always seem to be saying this then we play Spennymoor, it could have been so different if only...

With a terrific defensive display by the whole team, it was difficult to single out one player above any other as having a better game, but it has to be said that Adam McGuinness set a great example today and he motivated players around him by his sheer presence - a real Captain's performance.

 

Durham City FC 3 Sunderland RCA FC 0

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: Durham: Ward, Harrison, Fenwick SRCA: No scorers.

After the heroics of Saturday in the FA Cup against Spennymoor it was back to league action away to Durham City FC and down to earth with a bump. A below par performance saw RCA well beaten by a well organised Durham team who penetrated our defence at will, while maintaining a solid defence of their own. It could have been so different if RCA had taken advantage of a very bright start but they rarely test the Durham third choice keeper Rhys Jobling.

RCA started well and only some stirling defensive work by Madden stopped Shields excellent cross reaching Winter five yards out in front of an open goal.

Home-Jackson carved out the next opening, feeding the ball to Thompson who skipped past the challenge of Harrison before crossing to Barton but the RCA striker, under pressure from Oates, headed straight at Jobling.

After being under pressure for the opening 15 minutes Durham hit back when Morris raced down the right and crossed to Craig Hindmarch who was denied by a superb  one-handed save by Jameson.

RCA responded with a slick move, Shields crossing to the far post where Winter collected before laying the ball into the path of Barton who struck a powerful shot wide of the target.

In the 22nd minute Durham took the lead when Dixon burst forward before crossing into the box where  Scott looked to step over the ball and it fell to Ward who tapped in from six yards out.

RCA where forced back on the defensive and a long range effort from Dixon went narrowly past the far post.

Durham took control of the game in the midfield with Hotchkiss picking up any loose ball and moving the ball forward quickly.

On the half hour mark Ward picked up a through ball from Morris, dribble past two players before firing weakly into the arms of Jameson.

RCA were still trying to mount attacks and their approach work could not be faulted, it was just the final ball into the box which eluded them.

As the half wore on it was Durham who were creating the chances, in particular Morris who looked to attack at pace everytime he got the ball and in the final minute of the first half he had two great efforts, one spectacularly saved by Jameson and the other going narrowly wide.

The second half was barely three minutes old when Durham had the opportunity to double their advantage when they were awarded a penalty when Morris was adjudged to have been tripped. Hotchkiss took the penalty, but Jameson was equal to the shot and made a terrific save, turning the ball round the post for a corner. Oates was close to scoring from the corner with a well timed header which went over the bar.

RCA were awarded a free kick 25 yards out which McGuinness took, firing his first effort into the wall he picked up the rebound and sent in a lovely cross which found Barton who turned quickly but fired over the bar.

As the game ebbed and flowed it was obvious that the next goal would seal the match and so it was that Durham's Harrison produced a wonderful goal in the 69th minute. Picking the ball up on the half way line he ran, unchallenged to the edge of the 18 yard area before drilling a low shot into the bottom corner of the net.

RCA's match was well and truely over four minutes later when a Morris cross was met by Fenwick and his glancing header rocketed into the back of the net.

In the closing stages RCA tried to gain something from the game with efforts from Brown and Thompson both going wide without troubling Jobling.

RCA need to regroup after this defeat, but must take heart from the fact that they have performed really well in three out of their four games this season. On the night Durham were just that little bit better in front of goal and also had an impressive 20 or so minutes by Kyle Fryatt, who looks quite a handful.

Sunderland RCA 1 Spennymoor Town 1

Saturday, 24 August 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: SRCA: Barton Spennymoor: Graydon.

Please click here for Sky Tyne and Wear video.

Today was one of those occasions where a draw felt like a victory. After the poor display on the artificial pitch on Tuesday, RCA were a completely transformed team, the passion was back and the desire to win was back.

Although for long periods of the match we came under immense pressure from Spennymoor Town we held firm and in the end got the result our endeavours deserved.

RCA started with the advantage of the slope in the first half and were quickly on the attack. Brown played a lovely ball into the path of Logan who cut inside before firing wide of the upright.

Spennymoor's first attack saw Phillips pick up a long throw from Jeffries before dribbling past two defenders and then unleashing a shot which Jameson did really well to parry away. Walton following up could only shoot into the side netting.

Both sides settled into the game with RCA looking to break quickly out of defence and Spennymoor playing the ball about in midfield without much in the final third of the pitch.

In the 15th minute Spennymoor were awarded a freekick on the edge of the box and Graydon, with a trademark kick, lifted the ball over the wall and goalward producing a magnificent save from Jameson low down at the near post.

RCA's next attack came when Jury won the ball on the half way line and released Edwards who hit a shot from 30 yards which was always rising and went comfortably over the bar.

The drama continued in the RCA box when Graydon found Walton in acres of space inside the penalty area, The ex-RCA player proceeded to blast the ball over the bar from six yards out with only the keeper to beat.

In the 40th minute a freekick from Graydon was headed back across the RCA goal by Walton to Davison who managed to head over the bar from inside the six yard area.

The RCA goal seemed to be leading a charmed life, but as the game entered the final minute of the first half it was RCA who were unlucky not to break the deadlock, Logan firing in a curling low shot which Jeffries managed to get a hand to and turn away for a corner.

Then in the final minute of the half a through ball from Edwards set Logan away one on one with the keeper; he took the ball past Jeffries who seemed to catch the RCA striker.  The penalty appeals were dismissed by the referee.

With the advantage of the slope in the second half Spennymoor started in determined fashion and it wasn't long before the pressure in the opening minutes told on a stretched RCA defence.

A mistimed tackle gave Spennymoor a freekick 20 yards out on the left edge of the box and up stepped Graydon and, not for the first time against RCA, curled and dipped his shot into the bottom corner of the net leaving Jameson at full stretch with no chance of making a save.

Spennymoor were on top now and should really have sealed the game in the next five minute period when Phillips sent in a cross which was headed away for corner by Wardle. The corner came in and Davison headed the ball down toward the bottom corner and Henderson, as last week, tried to deflect it into the net this time it was cleared off the line by Summers and Jury made the ball safe putting it into touch to allow RCA to regroup.

In the 68th minute RCA were level. When Walton lost the ball on the edge of the RCA penalty area, Edwards sent a long high ball forward into the Spennymoor box. The ball was allowed to bounce between White and Moore  and Barton slipped between the pair to slide the ball past the advancing Jeffries.

This goal spurred RCA on and they should have score five minutes later when Barton played in Goss at the far post, his cross was met by Thompson but he could not connect properly with the ball and it spun halmlessly away and was cleared by Moore.

Spennymoor brought on the artillery in the form of Gavin Cogden and he was straight in the action with a shot on the run which went narrowly over the bar, also brought into the game was Lee Kerr and he had only been on the pitch a matter of seconds when he burst into the box and looked certain to score but his shot was deflected wide for a corner.

RCA were clinging on as the game edged into injury time and there was still time for a Graydon freekick in an identical place where he scored from. This time the wall did its job and the danger was averted.

As Jason Ainsley said afer the match “We created enough chances to win four or five games at RCA on Saturday – at some point someone is going to get a hiding."

While I believe he is probably right I think that RCA played really well defensively as a team and got a deserved draw in the end. If we keep playing like this we will be ok, we showed today that we have moved on, the reaction from the players, on the back of the Durham match, was superb. 

Hebburn Town 0 Sunderland RCA 1

RCA forward Conor Winter fights for the ball in the first half of the match.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Please click here for some more match photos.

Once again this season RCA showed their resilience and character, down to 10 men in the 42nd minute when captain Adam McGuinness was harshly dismissed, they battled for everything in the second half, scored a goal and defended it superbly.

With central defenders Clough and Summers on holiday (in the football season not heard of in my day) McGuinness moved to cover and Lee was drafted in at left back. Fryatt was preferred to Shields as a replacement for the suspended Brown.

Hebburn showed their intention to attack from the off and could have been 1-0 up inside a minute. Daniel Smith bursting forward into space, with RCA defenders backing off, he slipped the ball to Roper whose initial shot was blocked by Wardle, his follow up shot deflected off one of his own players and went for a goal kick.

RCA replied with a good move of their own, Jury sent in a cross from the right which Barton headed down to Winter, his volley was cleared by Downey but fell to Barton on the edge of the box but his curling shot went just over the bar.

From the goal kick the ball was headed by Wardle into the path of Edwards and he shot instictively from 35 yards out ,but Hunter was alert to the danger and saved easily.

The approach work by both teams was looking good but everything was falling apart in the final third of the pitch; this was due in no small part to some excellent defending by both teams.

Jameson was called into action for the first time when the ball was lost in midfield and Roper was sent clear of the RCA backline. He fired in a thunderbolt of a shot, but Jameson pulled off a great save.

Hebburn were looking to capitalise on this and within a minute McMahan had set Roper up again but this time the striker could only poke the ball straght at Jameson.

On the half hour mark Fryatt played in Home-Jackson but he was fouled on the edge of the box, Edwards took the kick and Wardle got his head to the ball but couldn't steer it goalwards.

Within the space of five minutes RCA had three corners and on each occassion the ball was played in and was cleared towards the far side of the pitch with no RCA player within 20 metres of the ball.

RCA almost snatched the lead in the 40th minute when some excellent interplay between Thompson and Edwards saw the latter burst into the box before firing into the side netting.

RCA were reduced to 10 men in the 42nd minute when a long ball from Wallace fell between McGuinness and Roper. The referee adjudged that McGuinness fouled the Hebburn forward during the clash which followed. Whether it was a red card is debateable as it didn't look like he had denied a clear goalscoring opportunity. Nevertherless a red card was shown.

Robinson took the resulting freekick and blasted it well wide of the far post.

Fryatt was sacrificed in order to bring in a defender and was replaced by Bell who was making his RCA debut.

Hebburn started the second half looking to capitalise on their player advantage and were quickly on the attack, once again though Roper was guilty of wasting a good position by firing over the bar.

Having withstood the early second half bombardment, RCA went on the attack and when Home-Jackson was fouled 25 yards out Edwards fired in the freekick, it rebounded off RCA substitute Shields and fell to Lee who lobbed the ball just wide of the upright.

Within a minute, a long clearance from Downey was missed by Wardle and Robinson picked up the loose ball and advanced into the penalty area, just as he was about to pull the trigger Bell produced a last ditch tackle to clear the ball for a corner.

The corner was cleared by Wardle and the ball was fed to Goss who slipped past the full back before crossing to the near post where Thompson fired against the post, the rebound hit his knee and went into the net past the helpless Hunter.

Hebburn then threw everything including the proverbial kitchen sink at RCA but even when they beat Jameson there was someone on hand to clear off the line, Jury on one occassion from a shot by McMahan and Lee on another from a header by Robinson.

RCA should have sealed the three points in the 80th minute when Goss, bearing down on goal, chose to shoot wide rather than play the ball to Home-Jackson who was in a much better position with an open goal in front of him.

Hebburn huffed and puffed for the last ten minutes of the game and put a lot of pressure on the RCA defence, but time and again they shot wide of the target and to be fair RCA players were throwing bodies at the ball in an effort to maintain a clean sheet which is what they did.

Another hard earned three points which lifts us to eighth in the league. Bedlington at home on Saturday will be another difficult game and with three players suspended and one at a wedding it will be another much changed team from that which performed such heroics tonight.    

Sunderland RCA 1 Bedlington Terriers 3

Saturday, 31 August 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: SRCA, Barton  Terriers: Mellish (2), Kerr.

Sunderland RCA welcomed high flying Bedlington Terriers to Meadow Park for this EBAC Northern League match. 

With three players suspended for today's game it was always going to be a difficult task for RCA. Shields, Dodds, Clough and Goss replacing Fryatt, Wardle, Home-Jackson and Winter respectively in the RCA line up, with Jury switching to a central midfield role.

Although RCA had the lion's share of possession and plenty of goal scoring chances they were defeated by a Bedlington team who took full advantage of some below par defending to record their second away win of the season and move to the top of the first division.

The game was slightly delayed due to an injury to the match referee Mr Liddle. The senior referee Ms Robinson took charge of the game with local referee Mr Hargrave coming to the rescue with minutes to spare.

Bedlington's goalkeeper McCafferty, was called into action in the first minute when he produced a top notch save from a stunning shot by Barton and only some last ditch defending kept out the attempt of Goss two minutes later.

A high powered start from RCA as they looked to capitalise on a shaky start by the visitors.

As the game settled down it became apparent that the use of the long ball was going to be a key factor in the outcome of the game. Both midfileds were finding it difficult to get hold of the ball and play football.

It wasn't until the 25th minute that RCA had their next real opportunity as McGuinness took possesion of the ball on the half way line. He measured his cross into the box and Thompson, with a deft header, produced a good save from McCafferty collecting the ball at the second attempt.

On the half hour mark the Terriers recorded their first really penetrating move of the game when Brittain crossed into the box for Kerr to head down to Loughborough, but the Terriers player was adjudged to be offside.

Bedlington were then lucky not to be reduced to 10 men when Barton was dragged back when he was going through on goal, Harmison receiving a caution. The freekick was taken by Edwards and cleared up field.

Bedlington took the lead in the 35th minute when a long ball into the box by Dixon was headed forwarded by Mellish and the ball squeezed into the net past the despairing dive of Jameson.

RCA's response was almost immediate from the kick off. Edwards picked up the ball and dribbled his way into the Terriers area before firing low into the side netting.

Within a minute Barton had a great chance, Goss broke to the by-line before crossing to Barton, but his header was cleared by Harmison.

In the final minute of the first half a long ball from Shields found Barton inside the area, but he was unable to get control of the ball and Leason cleared.

The Terriers started the second half on fire with Kerr and Morton combining to cause early problems for the RCA defence. In the 47th minute they went 2-0 up when a long clearance upfield from Donninger was allowed to bounce by Clough and Kerr was able to get a toe to the ball and steer it over the head of Jameson.

RCA once again took charge of the game and a Goss cross was palmed away by McCafferty only as far as Edwards, but he fired over the bar.

A lifeline was given to RCA when a cross from McGuinness was poorly headed by Harmison and fell to Barton who latched on to the mistake and buried the ball into the net past the despairing dive of McCafferty.

In the 70th minute a left wing corner was met by Loughborough and his header produced a good save from Jameson.

RCA were starting to apply the pressure now and when substitute Logan was fouled on the edge of the box McGuinness stepped up and curled the ball narrowly over the bar with the keeper struggling to get near it.

A minute later and a strong penalty appeal was turned down when Winter was caught by the keeper as he rounded him, somehow managed to stay on his feet, but could only manage a weak shot which was turned away for a corner. 

The body blow for RCA arrived in the 84th minute when they conceded a free kick right. The ball was swung in to the near post where Mellish out muscled Clough to get a foot to the ball and stab it into the net from five yards out.

RCA thought they must score in the 88th minute when Logan and Leason were locked in a battle for a bouncing ball, the defender looked to get a foot to the ball and it flew over the keeper's head, bounced six inches in from of the line and bounced over the bar with three RCA players chasing the ball in and unable to get a touch. 

When your luck is out it is out and RCA carried none today. Bedlington for their part took full advantage of their chances. McCafferty was by far the busier keeper and deserved the luck that he got on occasions, although his actions in the final minute when he took out Winter near the corner flag were a little unsavoury.

In the end I don't think that we can complain about the performance of the players, nor their commitment to the cause. We played very well without any reward. We were punished for defensive lapses of concentration.

September

Sunderland RCA 0 Bishop Auckland 4

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers:  SRCA , none  Bishops: Hawkins (2) L Bythway (2)

Unbeaten Bishop Auckland FC were the visitors to Meadow Park for this EBAC Northern League match.

RCA were still without the suspended Andrew Brown and injuries continue to plague the club with four players unable to play.

It was almost a dream start for RCA as from the kick off Edwards received the ball and played it forward into the path of Home-Jackson who lobbed the advancing Pocklington and watched as the ball drifted agonisingly wide of the goal.

Five minutes into the game and Brunskill picked up a through ball from Hawkins and was only denied by the quick thinking of Jameson who blocked the shot.

Bishops, slightly against the run of play, took the lead when a cross into the box was headed on by Luke Bythway and Hawkins was on hand to glance a header home past Jameson.

The goal seemed to pick up the tempo of the game as Bishops looked for a second quick goal. Attempts by Megran and Hodgson were dealt with by the RCA defence and having weathered a rough patch they came back strongly.

A thundering freekick by McGuinness was deflected over the bar by the Bishops wall, the resulting corner was headed down by Barton into the path of Jury, but his shot was cleared.

RCA were on the front foot now and a long ball from Bell was chested down by Barton into the path of Edwards who couldn't keep his shot down and it flew over the bar.

A minute later a dreadful back pass by an RCA defender forced a brilliant one handed save from Jameson, RCA Broke from the resulting corner and Winter really should have done better, having beaten the last defender he tried to curl the ball past the keeper but Pocklington was able to make an easy save.

In the 28th minute RCA were awarded a corner, taken by Edwards, the ball was flicked at the near post Home-Jackson and struck Pocklinton on the chest, the keeper was able to recover and pluck the ball out of the air with Barton in close attendance.

For all their pressure RCA were not able to take advantage and produce the goal that could change the game, indeed it was Bishop who came back at RCA and a cros into the box by Douglas was headed over by Luke Bythway.

A surging run by Douglas was stopped at the expense of a corner by Bell and Hodgson headed the ball wide of the upright from the resulting kick.

Thompson almost equalised as the half time whistle approached, picking the ball up on the right wing, he cut inside, beat several defenders before striking a low shot which went narrowly wide of the post with Pocklington struggling.

The first half was a fairly even affair with Bishops managing a goal which RCA couldn't. The second half was more like the battle of the Alamo with RCA unable to defend effectively against the Bishop Auckland onslaught.

Two minutes into the half and it was 2-0 when a right wing freekick taken by Hawkins was headed home by the unmarked Luke Bythway.

Three minutes later and a rampant Bishops made it 3-0, with the RCA defence at sixes and sevens, Douglas crossed into the box, the ball was flicked on and into the path of Hawkins ata the far post and he fired the ball into the roof of the net past the helpless Jameson.

It was all Bishops as they tore forward and a shot from Douglas dipped just under the bar but Jameson was able to save comfortably. Then Lee Bythway rose highest to power in a header which went just over the bar.

On the hour mark Hawkins was fouled inside the area and a penalty was awarded which was taken by Luke Bythway who sent Jameson the wrong way.

Bishops pushed forward at every opportunity after that and only some good saves from Jameson kept the score at 4-0.

RCA only attempt on goal came in the 86th minute when substitute Southern fired in a dipping 25 yarder which Pocklington spectacularly tipped over the bar.

Not a good day at the office for the RCA.

Seven goals conceeded in last two home games after only conceeding four goals in the previous five matches tells its own story. We need to revert back to the principles applied in the West and Spenny games.

That being said the squad is still doing well and only needs tweaking; get some players back from injury and we will be flying again.

Sunderland RCA 0 Dunston UTS 1

Richie Logan under pressure from two Dunston players.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Please click here for some photos from the match.

Please click here for Ken Fitzpatrick's photos from the match.

Please click here for the Dunston UTS match report.

Please click here for Sky Tyne and Wear video coverage.

Goal scorers: SRCA, none  Dunston UTS: Burrell.

RCA suffered their third consecutive home defeat at the hands of Dunston UTS when they succumbed to a goal deep into stoppage time.

The team are still missing a number of players through injury, Andrew Brown (groin), Kyle Morris (ankle), Wayne Henderson (groin) and Jack Lilley (knee) are just a few.

Liam Clough returned to the heart of the defence to partner Paul Wardle and Richard Logan was preferred up front to replace Winter. Goalkeeper Peter Jameson passed a fitness test on his shoulder and took his place between the posts.

After the heavy rain of yesterday the match kicked off in bright sunshine and for the second Saturday in a row the game was officiated by a female referee, Helen Conley taking charge in the middle in her first season in the Northern League Division 1.

Dunston started well forcing RCA onto the back foot. In the fifth minute Lee Bell headed over from a Gary Shaw corner.

Then the two ex-RCA players combined when Gary Shaw crossed into the box and Nicky Kane could only direct his header over the RCA crossbar.

In the early stages Gary Shaw was causing problems on the left and in the 12th minute he crossed toward the near post where Michael Dixon got to the ball just in front of Wardle. His glancing header was blocked by Jameson and cleared by Aaron Brown.

RCA started to get into the game, having weathered the early Dunston pressure and in the 16th minute a freekick taken by Aaron Brown saw Adam McGuinness rise perfectly at the back post, but his looping header landed on the roof of the net.

Two minutes later and a long throw from Adam McGuinness caused problems for the Dunston defence and Liam Connell could only punch the ball into the path of Edwards who stabbed the ball towards goal, but Gilhespy was on hand to clear off the line.

The game, although flowing from end-to-end, was producing little in the way of goal mouth action. A couple of poor headers over the bar from Dunston and a couple of long range shots from RCA, neither keeper being troubled.

In the 35th minute a brilliant crossfield ball from John Jury found Adam McGuinness in acres of space; the RCA captain picked out Josh Home-Jackson making a run into the box, but as his header slipped past the post the linesman had already flagged for offside.

In the 42nd minute Dale Burrell crossed and a Gary Shaw header hit the back of Aaron Brown and John Jury cleared.

RCA were almost one up in the 48th minute when John Jury sent an inch perfect pass to Richard Logan. His cross shot evaded Liam Connell and was just too far infront of the advancing Gavin Barton.

In the 50th minute RCA had a claim for a penalty as Keiran Edwards sent a cross into the box it was met by Stuart Thompson who looked to be fouled as he controlled the ball, but nothing was given.

Immediately Dunston went on the attack and another penalty appeal was waved away when Daniel Craggs went over under pressure from Clough.

A Gary Shaw cross was cleared away by Paul Wardle and Luke Gilhespy following up could only fire well over the bar and a minute later Michael Dixon turned and fire in a shot which went narrowly past the far post.

Dunston seemed to be getting up a head of steam as they poured forward in attack but RCA's resiliant defending was handling the pressure really well.

In the 72nd minute Luke Gilhespy shot into the area and Jameson did well to hold the ball under pressure and two minutes later Danniel Craggs tried to chip Jameson, but the ball drifted past far post.

As the game entered the final ten minutes both teams had great chances to win the game. In the 83rd minute, Stuart Thompson burst forward and with Gavin Barton and Keiran Edwards breaking with him he tried to pick out the former, but his pass was intercepted by Luke Gilhespy and the defender cleared the danger.

In the 86th minute Lee Bell shot well wide long range and then in the final minute of normal time RCA almost scored: John Jury, still full of running sprinted past two defenders before crossing to Gavin Barton who headed down for substitute Scott Richards but from ten yards out he fired over the bar.

Into time added on for a head injury to Adam McGuinness and Dunston continued to apply the pressure, especially substitute Lee McAndrew who had run and cross which went across the face of goal with two forwards inches away.

In the final minute of added time Dunston were awarded a corner which was taken by Lee McAndrew. Ben Cattanach headed goalwards and it was cleared by Aaron Brown, but into the path of Dale Burrell who slammed it home from three yards out.

A disappointing finale to a very well organised defensive display. I seem to remember doing the same thing to Dunston a couple of years ago in the League Cup.

It's disappointing once again to concede from a set piece, but positives have to be taken from this game we defended well, broke quickly and decisively and given a bit of luck could have scored a couple of goals. 

Next easy game away to Celtic Nation FC on Tuesday.

Celtic Nation 1 Sunderland RCA 1

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: Celtic Nation: Johnson SRCA: Callaghan.

My second attempt at this match report, the original confined to the annuls of hyper-space Whooooooooooo. I bet it's that gadgy from the cemetery's fault.

Why is it that every time we travel across the A69 to Cumbria we seem to end up losing at least one of our players en-route. So it was at Celtic Nation when yet another player failed to negotiate the long journey to the Gillford Park Stadium (Deja vu or what).

With McGuinness out suspended, Callaghan, recently signed from West Auckland FC after being released by Sunderland AFC, was given his debut. Jury reverted to right back and Aaron Brown moved to the left wing. There were also places in the starting line up for Halliday and Summers.

As expected the hosts started like an express train and in the opening minute Jameson was called into action when Luscombe crossed to Gibson and his first time effort was parried away before being cleared.

RCA responded immediately with Brown laying off a ball to Jury who crossed to Barton at the far post, but he could only direct his header into the arms of Lowson.

The home team continued to press with some good approach work, but were restricted to long range efforts and a Boyd freekick which Jameson saved easily.

In the 23rd minute a clearance from Wardle looked to be heading for a goal kick to Celtic Nation. Thompson had other ideas, chasing the ball to the byline before chipping it back into play then sending in a curling shot which went narrowly wide of the upright.

On the half hour Edwards sent in a terrific freekick which was saved by Lowson.

RCA were enjoying a bit of a purple patch and should have taken the lead a minute later when a cross from Brown was chested down by Barton into the path of Thompson who volleyed the ball off the crossbar.

The hosts went straight up the other end and a free kick from Boyd was headed out by Summers to McMenamin who headed goalward but once again the ball was headed out only as far as Gibson who headed back and Jameson was on hand to pluck the ball from under the bar.

RCA took the lead in the 42nd minute when an Edwards freekick was headed away and fell to Callaghan on the edge of the box where he found time and space to drill an unstoppable left-foot shot in off the far post.

There was still time for Nation to create chances before half time as McMenamin latched onto a lofted through ball and ran across the 'keeper only to see his shot blocked by Jury who was covering Jameson.

As half time approached RCA almost made it 2-0 when Barton played in Logan who controlled the ball before firing in a low shot which Lowson managed to fingertip round the post.

There was still time for Gibson to go up the other end and force Jameson into a stunning save and the follow up header by Luscombe was scramble away.

Four minutes into the second half and Skinner almost scored, curling a free-kick towards the top corner, but Jameson once again got a hand to the ball tipping it onto the crossbar.

RCA were on the back foot and the hosts were piling on the pressure.

When the equalising goal came it was a fairly tame affair. McMenamin's shot was saved by Jameson who could only palm it as far as Johnson who headed it back into the net.

In the 70th minute McMenamin headed a Luscombe cross back across the face of goal, but Taylor could only head the bal into the arms of Jameson.

The hosts were playing some good football without really penetrating the RCA defence. It was only late in the game when Luscombe went on good dribbling run that RCA were under real pressure, but his final effort crashed off the post.

In the dying minutes RCA created a great chance to claim all three points when Barton chased down a long ball out of defence, got a foot to it, but could only steer the ball into the arms of Lowson.

A much more stable performance than Saturday's 4-4 draw for Mick Wadsworth's men, but a great performance from Jameson in the RCA goal prevented the Nation from going joint top of the division.

A good defensive display by RCA who withstood a lot of pressure from a well organised Celtic Nation team who will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.

Sunderland RCA 2 Billingham Synthonia 4

Steve Halliday comes away with the ball in the second half of the match

Saturday, 14 September 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: SRCA Barton (2) Billingham Synthonia FC: Porritt (3), Alderson

Please click here for photos from the match.

Please click here for photos from the Billingham Synthonia photographer.

RCA's home form continues to be a major problem, this being their fourth defeat at home in a row. The team only showed one change from the team who performed heroics at Celtic Nation in mid week, Home-Jackson replacing Thompson who had a slight rib injury.

Synners who had only played four games before today's match started well, Magowan forcing the RCA defence to clear their lines under pressure, the ball fell to Garton who had his shot blocked by Summers before Wardle cleared up field.

A long diagonal ball from McWilliams fell at the feet of Osmond who lobbed Jameson but, had to watch the ball go narrowly wide of the post.

In the 10th minute a Porritt corner was headed over by Alderson, Jameson took a quick goal kick to Callaghan who playe the ball forward to Edwards who dribbled past two defenders before crossing into the box where Barton headed into the net only to be ruled offside.

This seemed to give RCA the confidence to go forward, and it was only some good defending by Burton which stopped Logan from getting in a shot when in a good position.

In the 20 minute a cross into the box by Jury was headed down by Barton to Home-Jackson but his shot was well blocked by Gaston.

As the game started to swing in RCA's favour they found themselves behind, Jury lost the ball inside the Synners half to McWilliams who sent a 40 yard pass straight to Porritt on the opposite wing, the Synner's wing man cut inside and curled a beautiful left foot shot into the top corner of the net.

Within a minute it could have been 2-0 when Osmond found himself in space, he turned and fired in a shot which took a wicked deflection which wrong footed Jameson and he watched helplessly as the ball struck the post and went behind for a corner.

As the game became more competative in mid field a string of minor offences were picked up by the referee and the game went through a scappy period.

Synner's goalkeeper, Briggs was called into action to tip a Callaghan free kick over the bar and from the resulting corner had to be aware as the ball dipped onto the crossbar and over for a goal kick.

RCA's equaliser came in the 33rd minute when Brown and Edwards did well on the right wing to conjour up some space before edwards was able send a cross into the penalty area, two Defenders completely missed the ball and it fell to Barton who fired past Briggs into the net.

The game looked once again to be swinging in the direction of the RCA, however, Synners had other ideas and in Porritt they had a great outlet when they were under pressure.

With half time approaching a harmless long ball seemed to be easily dealt with by the RCA defence, but a weak back pass was pounced on by Porritt who charged down Jameson's clearance and fired in a shot which Jameson chested away, Porritt again shot and this time Jameson saved with his legs, appeared to sit on the ball and as he picked it up Porritt nipped in again and volleyed into the net to make it 2-1 despite the protests of Jameson and the RCA defence.

After the drama of the last few minutes of the first half the second half started in high tempo with osmond heading just wide from a Porritt cross.

RCA found themselves back on level terms when a great passing move between Andrew Brown, Aaron Brown and Edwards saw the ball switched to the right wing where Aaron Brown sent an inch perfect pass into Barton who lifted the ball over the advancing Briggs and into the net.

Then came the second controvertial incident in the game, once again a poor back pass was intercepted and Jameson, charging out caught Osmond and was quite rightly cautioned. Porritt took the free kick which was headed away but only as far as Alderson who forced the ball goalward, Barton seemed to head the ball away towards the corner flag where the assistant referee was flagging for a goal. (Photographs appear to show that the ball did not cross the line.) Where is goal line technology when you need it?

There was no such debate about Synner's fourth goal and Porritt's hat-trick. Awarded a freekick on the edge of the box Porritt strode up and curled a shot over the wall and into the top corner of the net.

RCA almost got back into the game when a cross from Jury was brought down by Home-Jackson inside the area and althogh under pressure was able to get a shot at goal but Briggs was able to deal with it comfortably.

The final 10 minutes saw RCA trying to get something out of th egame and Synner's defending very well. There were a few scares for the visitors, not least when Home-Jackson slipped the ball to Andrew Brown who crossed to Barton but his header flashed inches wide of the upright.

In the fanal minute of the game Synners produced a great move involving Porritt, Osmond and Huggins with the ball being swung wide to Garton who crossed to substitute Cattermole but his low drive was well saved by Jameson.

Once again the home hoodoo struck, there appears to be no luck at all in Meadow Park at the moment. Two controvertial goals, both decisions going against us.

It has to be said that basic defending has also cost us, to many back passes to the keeper and poorly organised wall's for freekicks have cost us today but as was said after the game, you cannot defend for 90 minutes without making some mistakes.

Synners can also take some credit for the result today, as they played really well and in Porritt they have a real match winner.

Morpeth Town FC 7 Sunderland RCA FC 1

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup

Scorers: Morpeth: Anderson 3, Taylor 2, Chilton 2  SRCA: Logan

RCA started this game with only one change to the team that lost to Billingham Town on Saturday, Andrew Brown starting the game and Halliday moving to an unaccustomed central defensive role in place of Paul Wardle who has left the club to take up an asistant management job at Washington FC.

5 - 0 down inside 40 minutes showed up the problems that have beset RCA this season that of allowing crosses into the penalty area without any pressure on the ball.

Apologies to all Morpeth fans who read this, but I was unable to ascertain from anyone on the night the order in which the goalscorers scored, this was my best shot.

The game started in dramatic style as Morpeth went for the jugular from the off. Taylor picked up a loose ball on the left and his first time cross into the box was only partly parried away by Jameson and the ball was blasted into the bottom corner by Anderson.

Two minutes later and it was 2-0 to the Highwayman, when a slip by Brown allowed the ball to run to Robinson who then slipped the ball into the path of Taylor who slotted home past the helpless Jameson.

RCA almost responded immediately when from the kick off the ball was switched to the left and Home-Jackson fed the ball through to Barton, but the striker's finish was easily saved by Mundy.

It wasn't long before Morpeth recorded their third goal, this time it was one of stunning proportions. Henderson picked the ball up from Mundy, was allowed to run unchallenged for 15 yards before making a 50 yard pass into the left hand side of the RCA penalty area where Chilton was waiting unmarked 16 yards out; he hit the ball first time sending it crashing into the roof of the net with Jameson understandably rooted to spot. A truely wonderful goal and worth the entrance fee on its own.

For all their dominance it was RCA who next struck and it was only some superb goalkeeping that denied them a goal. Jameson sent a long freekick forward and Logan controlled the ball well before skipping past two defenders and shooting low toward the goal, Mundy managed to get a hand to the ball, but it was still heading toward the net until Walmsley headed off the line.

RCA continued to press forward, but were vulnerable to the counter attack. Hutchinson looked to stop the ball with his hand, but when appeals for a hand ball were turned down he sent the ball forward to Forster who clipped the ball into the six yard area for Anderson to Head home to make it 4-0.

Morpeth were on the rampage now and looked to be able to get behind the RCA defence at will, it was therefore no surprise when Taylor made it 5-0 just before half time.

RCA brought on Hassan after 50 minutes and his first contribution to the game was to rob Mundy of the ball before rolling in a cross towards, Barton which was intercepted by Tumilty.

Morpeth struck back and it took a good save from Jameson to stop them increasing their lead when Taylor burst through and shot low.

Hassan almost got one back for the visitors when he got past Tumilty before sending in a shot cum cross which went across the face of goal and narrowly wide of the far post.

In the 75 minute, Morpeth were awarded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area and Anderson fired it straight through the wall and into the net for his hat trick.

A minute later and RCA got a consolation goal when Edwards sent a cross into the box, Mundy dropped the ball under pressure from Hassan and the ball fell to Logan who volleyed the ball home.

The joy of getting a goal back was short lived as  Morpeth produced yet another flowing move which saw the ball switched from deep in their own half by Henderson in the right hand corner, to man of the match Taylor on the left wing; he in turn squared the ball to Chilton who finished the move with some aplomb, firing low into the centre of the goal.

RCA were, on the night, thoroughly outplayed by a Morpeth side who were up for the game. They are a very good competitive team and unless you match them for pace and strength then you will be, like RCA were, under pressure for 90 minutes.

Team Northumbria FC 2 Sunderland RCA FC 4

Captain Gavin Barton leaps high to head the first of his two first half goals.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

FA Vase 2nd Qualifying Round

Goal Scorers: TN: Watling, Colvin:  SRCA: Barton (2), Thompson and Morris.

Please click here for photos from the match.

After the mid-week capitulation at the hands of Morpeth RCA were again in cup action this time the FA Vase and a welcome return to fitness of a few of our players: Liam Clough, Kyle Morris, Wayne Henderson and Stuart Thompson have been out with long term injuries while Kris Summers, Andrew Brown and Josh Home-Jackson were declared fit after receiving knocks in the mid week encounter.

So it was a much revamped team that took the field at Coach Lane. The line up: Jameson, Jury, Clough, Henderson, Summers,  Brown (Andrew),  Thompson, Edwards, Barton, Home-Jackson and Callaghan: Subs from: Hassan, Halliday, Morris, Brown (Aaron), McEvoy.

The game got off to an explosive start as Team Northumbria surged forward from the kick off and a weighted ball from Sayer found Chippendale who crossed into the area for Watling to volley past the outstretched arm of Jameson; the goal was tmed at 27 seconds.

This set the standard for the rest of the match as both teams decided that attack was the best form of defence. Edwards picked up a loose ball in midfield, brought Thompson into the move with a great ball, the RCA winger cut inside before crossing but Jennison plucked the ball off the head of Barton.

The game was really open and when Watling intercepted a back pass from Clough he looked certain to add to his tally, but Jameson pulled off a great one-handed save at the expense of a corner. The corner was swung toward the far post where Colvin was unmarked, however he could only direct his header over the bar.

RCA came back and a threaded ball by Brown found Home-Jackson on the edge of the box where he was unceremoniously up-ended. Callaghan took the freekick and sent it inches wide of the post with Jennison stranded.

Team North broke again down the right where Chippendale seemed to have acres of space, his pass in to Luke was missed by the RCA defence and the midfielder was allowed time to shoot fortunately for RCA his fired high over the bar.

After 15 minutes RCA started to look a bit more coordinated and less panicky and it was the turn of the home team to start getting flustered under pressure. Edwards gained a corner and took it, sending the ball into the box where it was headed away by McKeown.

Storey was forced to concede a corner under strong pressure from Home-Jackson, Callaghan took the corner which was scrambled away but only as far as Callaghan to cross back into the area where Barton controlled the ball but his shot was blocked by McKeown and picked up by Jennison.

Jennison's clearance fell to Brown who in controlling the ball seemed to stumble and had to stretch to recover the ball. This was his last contribution to the game as he limped off to be replace by Aaron Brown.     

What a substitution, RCA forced yet another corner when McKeown headed away a dangerous cross, Edwards took the corner and Barton got in front of Jennison to head home the equaliser.

Team North's response was almost immediate as once again from the kick off they retained possession as they tried to carve out an opening, The ball eventually fornd its way to Watling after what seemed like 20 passes and the Team North forward curled in a magnificent effort which went inches over the bar.

It was the home team's turn to pile on the pressure and when Luke slipped the ball to Riley it looked certain that he would score, he chipped the ball over the advancing Jameson and watched as the ball rolled agonisingly wide of the far post.

Minutes later and RCA were in front, Jameson threw the ball to substitute Brown, he carried the ball forward before senting in a deep cross which was met on the edge of the penalty area by Barton who managed to power a header past the flat footed Jennison.

RCA were now looking to kill the game off and a surging run by Home-Jackson ended when he looked to have been impeded inside the box but the referee awarded a goalkick.

In the 40th minute RCA were let off the hook when Callaghan lost the ball in his own half and Chippendale, in acres of space was unable to capitalise on the mistake and fired his shot past the near post.

As half time approached Team North almost equalised when Glen-Ravenhill picked up the ball on the right wing and sent in a wonderful cross which Watling could only volley over the bar under pressure from Henderson.

Team North started the second half in total command and would keep up a constant bombardment on the RCA defence for the majority of the half. It was to be a great testement as to the resolve and commitment of the players that they did not concede early in the half.

Glen-Ravenhill, who had hardly showed in the first half, picked up the ball on the edge of the box and fired wide then a minute later he was involved in a great move with Luke which produced a shot from Watling which went narrowly wide.

In the 50th minute a crossfield pass from Sayer picked out the advancing Colvin, but he could only hit his first time shot into the side netting.

Against the run of second half play RCA went further ahead a clever pass from Edwards found Home-Jackson in an advanced position; he slipped between two defenders before crossing to Thompson who controlled the ball before shooting into the net off the near post.

RCA looked to capitalise on this good fortune and two minutes later Home-Jackson once again made a good run past two defenders before firing in a low shot which Jennison saved.

Team North, once again took up the reins and started to take command of the game and it was that man Glen-Ravenhill who started the ball rolling producing another shot at goal after some good build up play between Sayer and Luke.

It was one way traffic now as Team North looked to get back into the game. Jameson was forced into a tremendous save from Richardson and seconds later he was called into action as Riley burst into the box and fired in a shot.

The way the game was going it seemed likely Team North must scor,e but their final shooting, RCA defending and super goalkeeping all combined to deny them the lifeline their endeavours deserved.

Hassan replaced Home Jackson and with his first touch forced a save from Jennison after Barton and Jury had combined to set the substitute up.

Another good move by Team North ended with RCA conceeding a corner and from the resulting kick Colvin headed down and Henderson cleared off the line.

In the 80th minute the life line that they were looking for arrived, when Watling surging into the box was brought down by Summers. Watling took the kick, but Jameson pulled off a fine save to deny the home team captain.

Team North continued to press forward without any real success until the 86th minute when a poor back pass by Summers was pounced upon by Colvin and he blasted the ball past Jameson.

As Team North pussed forward looking for the equaliser they were leaving themselves exposed at the back and as the game moved into injury time a long ball out of defence found Hassan in space and past the Team North defence. As he entered the penalty area he was brought down from behind by McKeown. Hassan took the penalty and fired high over the bar.

The game was sealed a minute later when Hassan once again found himself beyond the last defender. This time he looked up and played the ball to Morris who calmly side stepped Jennison before sliding the ball home from an acute angle.

This was a hard, but entertaining, game. It was fairly obvious that some of the returning players were not fully match fit and that they tired as the game went on. There were some good displays today. Edwards seemed to be back to something near his best and Jury never stopped running, Barton continues to score goals and Clough looked good until he tired half way through the second period. Defensively we still look vunerable, but we need to get a settled back four which seems to have eluded us for the last two seasons.

We can now look forward to the First Round draw on Monday.   

Newton Aycliffe 2 Sunderland RCA 1

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers:  Newton Aycliffe: Owens, Lambert SRCA: Barton

SRCA gave a debut to new signing Philip Horsman and recalled Scott Richards to the team for this important League match against Newton Aycliffe FC. Matches against these two teams are always tight affairs and this one was no exception.

Newton Aycliffe as expeted were the first on the attack with Owen cutting in from the left before unleashing a shot which took a deflection and went for a corner.

The ball was cleared upfield from the corner and picked up by Thompson who outpaced the aycliffe defence before whipping in a cross which Gareth Young did well to get down to just in front of Barton.

A minute later and Edwards won the ball in midfield and slipped the ball wide to Barton who crossed into the area where Home-Jackson was waiting, but he could only manage to direct his header wide of the post although Young looked like he had it covered.

Aycliffe tried to get some forward momentum but were stopped in their tracks by some good defensive play by RCA.

In the tenth minute a ball from Richards found Callaghan on the left. With three players bearing down on him he somehow managed to slip between them all and found space for the cross; unfortunately he was unable to produce the cross that his endeavours warranted and Gareth Young was able to pluck the ball out of the air comfortably.

Once again Aycliffe moved forward. A ball from Salvin found Broom on the right and as he turned he was caught by Clough. From the free-kick the ball was switched to the left where Owens looked to have beaten the offside trap but in doing so was adjudged to have fouled Henderson.

RCA were, for the first time in the game, under a little pressure and a poorly headed back pass had to be hastily headed away by Jameson on the edge of the box, the ball fell to Martin Young who could only head the ball back to the waiting hands of the keeper.

The response from RCA was instant. Jury and Thompson combined down the right before switching the ball inside to Edwards who played a neat reverse pass to Thompson; his wickedly curling cross caused havoc in the Aycliffe defence and they were pleased to see the ball cleared by Salvin for a corner.

Aycliffe were now resorting to counter attacks and long range efforts as RCA started to dominate the game.

As the half hour approached a ferocious shot from Edwards was punched away by Gareth Young. Thompson picked up the loose ball and played in a cross for Home-Jackson whose shot was blocked.

The Aycliffe keeper was called into action again a minute later when a cross from Callaghan was only partially cleared and the ball was chipped back into the box. The ball fell between Gareth Young and Home-Jackson, but the keeper was just able to punch the ball clear.

The only contribution from Aycliffe in an attacking sense was a sweeping move which saw Selby pass the ball to Owens, he cut inside before sending in a cross which bounced just in front of Martin Young and from five yards out, in front of an open goal, he managed to put the ball wide of the far post.

RCA took the lead in the 43rd minute when Richards won the ball in midfield and the loose ball was picked up by Edwards who threaded an inch perfect pass into the path of Barton who finished superbly firing across the keeper into the far corner of the net.

RCA came straight back and forced a corner when a cross from Thompson was headed behind. Callaghan took the corner and Richards, inside the six yard area, headed against the bar and the ball was scrambled away.

In the opening minute of the first half RCA were back on the attack. A cross in from Jury was headed away for a corner, Callaghan took the kick and his inswinging corner was dropped by Gareth Young and cleared off the line by Gibson.

In the 50th minute Aycliffe were awarded a free kick on the left; the ball was crossed into the area and headed down by Owens to Broom who from an acute angle fired across the face of goal and away for a goal kick.

The game was flowing from end to end now and a good run from Thompson ended with the winger's shot being deflected over the bar for a corner.

RCA were starting to come under pressure as Aycliffe looked for an equaliser. In the 65th minute Owens should have scored as he found himself beyond the last defender. He went round Jameson, but his weak shot was cleared off the line by Clough.

Within two minutes Aycliffe were level when a cross into the box from Owen was headed away by Horsman. There then ensued a goalmouth scramble with the ball being finally headed away by Henderson, but only as far as Owens who headed the ball into the top corner of the net.

This gave a great boost to the Aycliffe team while RCA looked to visibly wilt. Aycliffe applied more pressure and a shot from Broom was well saved by Jameson. Then Mellanby was unlucky with a turn and shot which went narrowly wide.

RCA were finding it difficult to get a hold of the ball and in the 84th minute Aycliffe went ahead when a run by substitute Lambert was allowed to go unchecked. He beat two defenders before cutting the ball back onto his left foot and driving an unstoppable shot low into the net.

There was little left in the RCA tank and their efforts late in the game were fairly easily contained by Aycliffe's defence and Aycliffe looked to be happy to see out the final minutes with the three points in the bag.

After a good first half in which RCA dominated possession and territorial advantage they once again hit the 70 minute wall and were unable to respond to Aycliffes pressure.

While this was a disappointing result the performance in the first 70 minutes RCA showed signs of getting back to the sort of early season form which saw us take points off Spennymoor, West Auckland and Celtic Nation.

Sunderland RCA 0 Morpeth Town 0

Aaron Brown defends successfully in the first half of the match.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Please click here for photos from the match.

The injury problems continue to blight the season with Andrew Brown suffering a hamstring injury and Scott Richards out with a dead leg. Liam Clough declared himself fit while Wayne Henderson was unavailable due to work commitments.

There was also the shock news that the manager Neil Hixon had stepped down from his position as manager after six years in change and whilst remaining at the club it would be in an advisory capacity on the committee. Head coach George Herd has at the same decided to retire at the tender age of 77. A press release will be issued shortly regarding this matter.

The new joint management team of David Lee and Stephen Halliday was forced to make changes for the match today. Aaron Brown returned to right back and Kris Summers was recalled to fill in the vacancy left by Henderson. Upfront Kyle Morris was preferred to Home-Jackson and John Jury moved back into a central midfield position.

RCA took advantage of the slope in the first half, but it was Morpeth who had the best of the opening exchanges. Palmer collecting the ball from Mundy sent a speculative pass forward which was won by Anderson, he crossed to the far post, but Chilton at full stretch could only direct the ball wide of the upright.

Within a minute another good move was started by Palmer, this time switching play to the left wing where Taylor crossed to Bell who was off balance and fired over the bar.

RCA produced a spell of good play of their own, Morris winning the ball in midfield slipped the ball to Edwards who in turn played the ball forward to Barton who turned and snapped a shot inches wide of the upright.

In the 20th minute Jameson was forced into an excellent save as Henderson clipped a lovely ball into the path of Chilton; the RCA keeper read the move and closed down the Morpeth forward getting a hand to the ball and then pouncing on it at the second attempt.

Morpeth were starting to boss the game but were meeting a very resilient RCA defence.

Taylor, switched wings, received the ball from Henderson, cut inside and unleashed a shot which flew high over the bar.

As the game started to open up RCA were producing some good interplay in midfield, but as soon as the ball went forward they were met by the outstanding partnership of Hall and Jewels who commanded everything.

Another surging run by Taylor ended with the winger sending in a cross cum shot which Jameson was relieved to guide over the bar for a corner.

A promising move involving Edwards and Thompson saw the ball moved down the right, then Edwards switched play to the left with a lovely ball to Callaghan but the RCA winger allowed the Morpeth defence to regroup and his cross was easily dealt with by Hall.

In Morpeth's next attack the ball was played to Anderson who headed down to Taylor and his first time effort was brilliantly saved by Jameson.

As the game progressed toward half time play was being confined to the midfield were Jury and Edwards were looking to get a foothold. Jury was making tackle after tackle in an attempt to keep Henderson quiet while Edwards was picking up the loose balls and bringing both wingers into the game.

Unfortunately for RCA Hall and Jewels continued to excel at the back for Morpeth repelling any RCA attacks.

The second period started with RCA going on the offensive and a through ball from Edwards to Morris saw the RCA front man fouled as he tried to break past Jewels. The referee awarded a free kick and then showed Jewels a straight red card for denying a goal scoring opportunity.

The free kick was taken by Edwards who fired it into the wall. The ball rebounded to Jury who crossed low into the box, but Mundy got down to smother the ball in front of Morris.

Morpeth regrouped and reorganised after this set back and when Anderson crossed to the far post for Chilton it looked like Morpeth had taken the lead but the header went into the side netting.

RCA responded with a quick break and Edwards found Jury who crossed into the box. For the first time in the game the Morpeth defence panicked and it took a great save from Mundy to prevent his own full back Palmer from scoring in his own goal.

On the hour mark a great move by RCA saw Thompson ghost past two defenders, play a one-two with Barton, then slip the ball to Home-Jackson who played it back into the path of Thompson who fired over the bar from the edge of the box.

Almost immediately Morpeth were awarded a free kick on the left which was taken quickly by Anderson to Taylor who was all by himself on the right. He took control of the ball before forcing Jameson into a superb save.    

The game was swinging from end to end with both teams guilty of wasting chances when in good positions. Anderson had two efforts both of which went wide and then Barton was clear of the Morpeth defence, controlled the ball well but Mundy was equal to the RCA strikers thunderous shot.

Morpeth's Hall was showing great strength at the back and looked to be winning every ball in the air.

When Hassan burst past two defenders and crossed from the by line the ball fell to Home-Jackson, but the RCA substitute mishit his shot and the ball was easily saved by Mundy.

In the final minutes RCA tried to press home their man advantage. Two crosses into the area by Home-Jackson were met by Barton who first set up Thompson, but he fired over the bar. Barton then set up Hassan, but Hall was able to block the shot. 

The attacks continued into the final minutes when Mundy was forced to make a terrific save from Home-Jackson.

After the 7-1 defeat 10 days ago this was a much better display by RCA. The sending off changed the game to some extent, but both teams defended well and both keepers made important saves when required.

A hard earned point for both teams today and a good start for the new management team at RCA.

October

Ashington AFC 4 Sunderland RCA FC 0

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers:  Ashington: Johnson (2), Taylor, Walton.  SRCA: None 

Once again RCA have been hit by injuries, Horsman was admitted to hospital on Sunday and Callaghan has a groin injury. Henderson and Home-Jackson took their place in the starting line up. Further problems were to follow in the warm up with Shields pulling up with an ankle injury and being replaced by Fryatt. 

Not ideal preparation for a match against an Ashington team who had won their last four matches.

RCA started well, keeping the ball and denying the Colliers space. In the opening minute a cross into the area from Clough was headed away by Scott and Jury picked up the ball on the edge of the box before shooting narrowly wide. Then a mazy run by Thompson saw him go past three players before his cross was turned away for a corner.

In the seventh minute and against the run of play the Colliers took the lead. Norris outpaced Clough on the right before cutting the ball back into the path of Carson. His shot was blocked and in the scramble that followed Taylor reacted and rifled home from close range.

Two minutes later, Johnson made a great run down the left but could only shoot into the side netting.

RCA continued to have the majority of possession without finding the cutting edge in front of goal.

A corner from Edwards was headed goalward by Morris but McGlen got in a block to clear the ball. then a minute later Home-Jackson swung in a cross which which was met by Barton who fired inches wide under pressure from Scott, claims that he was held back were dismissed by the referee.

Morris then turned supplier when he fed the ball to Barton whose volley from the edge of the area flashed wide of the target.

The Colliers responded and on the half hour Carmichael was forced into action to make a save from Johnson. However he had no chance a minute later when Johnson picked up a ball from Walton before bursting forward unchallenged before chipping the ball over the advancing keeper into the net.

In the 40th minute another run down the right by Norris beat the RCA defensive line, he knocked the ball into the path of Johnson who curled a shot wide of the upright.

As the half came to a close Edwards almost reduced the arreas when he collected the ball 30 yards out and fired in a shot which was deflected wide with Dryden struggling.

The second half started with both teams guilty of missing early chances. Taylor broke past two defenders before firing wide then a lovely weighted pass from Brown was met by Home-Jackson, but he sliced his shot into the arms of Dryden.

Norris then had a shot blocked on the line by Brown. Brown was next in action at the other end of the pitch as he overlapped the run of Jury before cutting the ball back into the path of Thompson but he was guilty of mis-hitting his shot and the danger was cleared.

Those two RCA misses were to come back and haunt them as the Colliiers went straight on the attack Carson slipped the ball to Taylor then laid the ball off to Johnson who fired past Carmichael to make it 3-0.

RCA were visibly shocked by this goal and it got worse five minutes later when Jury was adjudged to have fouled Taylor, although the stud marks down the back of Jury's leg would indicate that he was the one who was fouled. Decision made Walton stepped up and slotted the ball into the corner of the net.

The final 20 minutes of the game were only notable for two cautions to RCA, a curling freekick from Home-Jackson which was saved by Dryden and a double save by Carmichael from Taylor and Briggs.

RCA will play worse than this during the season and get results. We proved tonight that we can pass the ball and create chances.

Unfortunately the clinical finishing of Ashington's strikers and the pace of their wingers was too much for us on this occasion.

 

Billingham Town FC 2 Sunderland RCA FC 4

Saturday, 5 October 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

RCA were on their travels again, this time down the A19 to Billingham Town FC who are languishing at the bottom of the table with no points from nine games, although a narrow defeat by West Auckland in midweek will have lifted their confidence.

With all the comings and goings in the last few weeks the team was once again changed for this match and it is as well to just list the team rather than go through the changes: Carmichael, Aaron Brown, Harrison, Horsman, Summers, Edwards, Fryatt, Jury, Barton, Home-Jackson, Morris. Subs: Clough, Andrew Brown, Wilson, Henderson, Hassan.

A beautiful autumn day greeted the teams as they walked onto the pitch.

Although Billingham Town started well it was RCA who had the first effort on goal when Aaron Brown picked up a ball from Jury before crossing into the box. Although the ball was headed away by Taylor it only went as far as Fryatt who headed the ball back across goal and wide of the far post.

Town were continually putting pressure on the RCA defence with some quick forward play and it was only some good defending that kept them at bay.

RCA almost opened the scoring in bizarre circumstances. A freekick was whipped into the box by Edwards and the ball was met by Cossavella who headed, very firmly, towardss his own goal and was a very relieved man to see Willey pluck the ball from under the bar.

Town had the ball in the net after 10 minutes. RCA conceeded their third corner of the game and although they defended it well the ball fell to Williams who Drove the ball back into the box where Livingstone was on hand to put past Carmichael; unfortunately for town the assistant's flag was up for offside.

Town continued to go forward and in the 15th minute some desperate defending by RCA saw them win another corner. This time when the ball was swung into the box, Cossavella rose high to power in a header which was cleared off the line by Harrison.

It was backs to the wall for RCA who were rocking. A long ball into the area from Perry caused mayhem in the RCA defence as they tried in vain to clear. As the ball bounced across the six yard area to Ormerod he looked certain to score, when his initial shot was blocked by Summers, he produced a stunning overhead kick from the rebound which went inches wide of the upright. 

Having withstood an immense amount of pressure RCA eventually got going again and when a freekick from Harrison found Fryatt free at the far post the winger cut the ball back and although it was defended the ball fell to Jury who blazed his shot over the bar.

RCA took the lead after producing the best passing move of the game, involving no less than seven RCA players. The ball was thrown out by Carmichael to Fryatt, he played the ball back to Aaron Brown who brought in Jury, he slipped the ball to Home-Jackson who played a one-two with Edwards before playing the ball wide to Harrison who crossed into the area where it was turned away for a corner by Taylor. Harrison took the corner and Barton rose majestically to head home past Willey. 

Town fought back and in the 29th minute forced yet another corner which was headed away by Horsman. The ball fell to substitute Evans who fired in a shot which flashed over the bar.

A minute later and Evans was back in the thick of the action as he dispossessed Aaron Brown before surging forward into the area and shooting wide.

RCA lifted themselves again and once again produced a neat move with Fryatt switching the ball to Edwards who clipped the ball into the area. Gamble headed away to the edge of the box where the ball was met by Jury who rocketed a shot into the top corner of the net.

This had a feeling of Ashington in reverse.

Within a minute RCA should have been 3-0 up. A mix up in the Town defence gifted the ball to Barton. 10 yards out with only the keeper to beat the usually dependable striker curled his shot over the bar.

The reaction from Town was instantaneous, a long ball forward caused havoc in the RCA defence and the ball was not cleared properly, landing at the foot of Williams who volleyed the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

Town picked up the momentum as the game moved toward half time and it was substitute Evans who was causing the RCA defence problems. He skipped past two defenders before feeding the ball to Livingston who turned and shot wide of the target and in the final minute of the half the same combination produced another near miss by Livingstone, this time his curling shot went wide.

At the start of the second period RCA almost went further ahead with a Wimbledon style route one move. Carmichael sent the ball forward where it was headed down by Barton into the path of Fryatt who headed the ball on before getting in a shot which was brilliantly saved by Willey.

Back came Town with a move started by the influential Williams who made a great run down the left before crossing into the box where Livingstone was on hand to head towards goal, but Carmichael made a good save.

In their next attack Town equalised. A long ball out of defence looked to be going nowhere when Williams out muscled Aaron Brown before squaring the ball to Charlton who side footed home under no pressure.

On the hour mark RCA re-took the lead when a cross in from Aaron Brown looked to be easily saved by Willey, but, under no pressure, he inexplicably dropped the ball and Barton was on hand to slot the ball home from close range.

Aaron Brown was replaced by Andrew Brown and he was immediately in the thick of the action picking up a loose ball and threading the ball through to Home-Jackson whose shot was blocked by Cossavella.

At the other end another goalmouth scramble resulted in Burton firing in a shot which was easily saved by Carmichael. This was followed by a flowing move by the Town with Charlton playing the ball to Gamble who sent in a great cross to Massaquoi but he could only direct his header into the arms of Carmichael.

Town were starting to tire and RCA where looking to take advantage. The introduction of Hassan brought added pace to the attack and when he skipped past two defenders into space he squared the ball to Barton, but his shot was blocked.

A minute later and Hassan set off on another run, this time cutting back inside the area before playing a one two with Barton and then slotting the ball past the despairing dive of Willey.

The game drifted towards full time with little to interest the fans of both teams other than the booking of Barton for a challenge on the keeper, which if it had happened in the middle of the pitch between two centre midfield players would not have warranted even a freekick.

Town will feel that they should have done better with their early pressure and RCA will need to up their game against Whitley Bay on Tuesday night if they are to get anything out of the game.

Obviously RCA will be pleased with the result and the performances of a number of their players, the return of a fitter looking Andrew Brown is a big plus as is the return to match fitness of Kyle Morris abd Hassn looked lively when he came on. Defensively we still need to get tighter and a bit more disciplined.

Whitley Bay FC 5 Sunderland RCA FC 2

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: Whitley Bay: Chow (3), Rivers, Smith:   SRCA: Hassan, Fryatt.

RCA were undone by a combination of poor defending and some good Whitley Bay defending.

Both teams made forced changes to their squads for the match. RCA have lost the services of Edwards who has decided once again that the grass is greener elsewhere. They gave debuts to three players, Daniel Wray, Nathan Wilson and Steven Baynes while notable absentees from the Whitley Bay team were Leon Ryan and Tom Kindley they also gave a debut to Robert Nolan. Both keepers lined up against their former clubs. 

The opening minutes of the game saw both teams passing the ball well without any real chances in front of goal. That all changed in the 10th minute when former RCA player Rivers made a mazy run towards goal where he was brought down by a clumsy challenge from Horsman. The  referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty which Chow took firing his shot low into the bottom corner.

RCA came forward looking for an equaliser and when Baynes picked the ball up inside the Whitley half he ran across field beating a number of defenders before being bundled to the ground, the appeals for a penalty were waved away.

The ball was cleared up field toward Carmichael who hesitated when coming for the ball and when he  miskicked the ball Rivers was on hand to dispossess him and shot into an empty net.

Within a minute a cross into the box by Harrison saw Ball lose control of the ball under pressure from Barton and the RCA striker turned and fired wide of the target. 

Whitley continued to press forward. Brooking had a weak shot easily saved by Carmichael and Nolan fired the ball over the bar when in a good position.

RCA, having withstood this pressure, gained some momentum of their own. A long throw from Harrison was returned to the full back by Morris and he curled a wicked cross into the area which was missed by everyone and went narrowly wide of the far post.

In the 38th minute RCA got a goal back when Jury won the ball on the right, crossed the ball into the box where Barton's volley was punched clear by Ball. Hassan, following up, got to the ball in front of Smith to stab  home.

Whitley were the first on the attack in the second half with Nolan bursting past the RCA defence but Carmichael was able to turn the ball for a corner.

RCA were not to be outdone and Fryatt made a good run down the left before shooting straight at Ball in the Bay keeper.

There then followed a manic period of football as Whitley went further into the lead when Smith, rose to meet an Anthony corner to head powerfully past Carmichael into the net.

RCA response was immediate. From the kick off the ball was switched by Wilson who sent the ball forward where Barton chased the ball into the area before squaring it into the path of Fryatt who slid the ball home.

The game swung from end to end. Chow had a shot blocked by Carmichael’s legs then Wilson had a great effort saved by Ball.

RCA looked to be in the ascendancy at this point and it was only some great goalkeeping by Ball that kept RCA from equalising, first saving from Harrison and then producing a tremendous save from Brown.

Midway through the half, Chow had two chances to extend the lead, firing just wide on the first occasion then bringing a block by Carmichael before the ball was cleared off the line by Jury.

As RCA pressed forward looking for the equaliser they were caught on the counter when Chow picked up a long ball from Robertson before firing the ball past Carmichael. Then, deep in stoppage time, the same combination were responsible for the fifth goal when Robertson sent in a cross which Chow took in his stride to guide into the net to complete his hat trick.

The result was in the balance right up until the last two minutes and on another night RCA might have expected to get a draw for their efforts.

Bridlington Town FC 2 Sunderland RCA FC 0

Kyle Morris makes progress against the Bridlington defence as captain John Jury looks on.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

FA Vase 1st Round

Please click here for photos from the match.

RCA made the long trip to Bridlington Town for this FA Vase First Round tie and once again there were significant changes made to the team, with Phil Horsman and Nathan Wilson cup-tied and leading goal scorer Gavin Barton suspended it meant a first run out of the season for Ross Preston and a debut for Callum Patton. Other changes saw Clough, Halliday and Hassan recalled to the team.

Please click here for the match report from the Bridlington Freepress. While a little biased towards the home team, it gives a good account of the match. Click here for video reaction to the match and here for the Bridlington Town match report.

Although this was not the result that RCA were looking for it highlighted the areas where we are vulnerable. It also highlighted out ability to control possession right up until the final third of the pitch where we seem to run out of ideas.

We have seen improvement in the team in the last few weeks. We just need to start turning that improvement into points.

Sunderland RCA FC 3 Team Northumbria FC 0

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: SRCA, Morris, Wray, Home-Jackson:  Team North: None.

After the disappointment of Saturday's exit from the FA Vase RCA were back in League action tonight against Team  Northumbria who they beat in the last round of the Vase.

The starting line up saw the return of Wilson and Horsman with Fryatt retaining the outside right berth after his impressive introduction on Saturday. Morris partnered Patton up front.

RCA's early possession almost paid dividends in the 2 minute when Jury played a perfect ball into the path of Fryatt, the winger cut inside before hitting a shot which struck the outside of the post.

Two minutes later and RCA were on the attack again this time it was a Wilson pass to Patton which split the Team North defence wide open and when Patton moved the ball across to Morris it looked certain the the striker would score but Hoyle threw himself across the line of the shot and the ball rebounded to safety.

Team North picked themselves up after this early pressure and when Jennison found Glen-Ravenhill from a hasty clearance the forward sent in a great cross toward Ingram and it took some great defending by Jury to clear the danger.

That was the last real pressure from Team North as RCA unleashed a succession of attacks down the right, Fryatt was in the thick of most attacks and in the 11 minute he cut inside before curling a shot inches wide of the far post.

Within minutes the ball was back in the Team North box this time the ball was crossed in by Wilson and as it bounced about in the penalty area Patton reacted with an overhead kick which went just the wrong side of the upright.

A lovely move by RCA saw Fryatt cross the ball in to Baynes who squared the ball to Patton who fired in a low shot which Jennison did really well to hold on to.

The quick thinking of Wilson almost broke the deadlock in the 38 minute taking a freekick to Baynes who crossed to Morris who slipped the ball across to the advancing Wilson but his shot was blocked by Lumsden.

Fryatt was once again causing mayhem down the right and was almost unplayable at times. A dribble and pull back resulted in him being fouled, from the freekick Wilson slipped the ball to Brown who, from an acute angle chipped the ball over both the goalkeeper and the bar.

Minutes later and with the half coming to a close Fryatt once again drifted past his marker got to the by-line before cutting the ball back for Morris who could only watch as his shot flew over the bar. The last action of the half saw Wilson send in another freekick which Patton headed over.

Team North, with the advantage of the slope, started the second half with a bit more purpose and when they were awarded a freekick on the right it was taken by McNamara who sent in a wickedly curling cross which Wray did well to head away.

RCA came back with a freekick of there own, this time Wilson clipped the ball toward the far post where Preston could only direct his header oner the bar.

The game was becoming scrappy and dis-jointed and the pitch was not helping as it started to cut up.

In the 53 minute, the breakthrough came for RCA and it was that man Fryatt who created the goal, cutting across the 18 yard box he went past two defenders before sending in a reverse pass to Morris who hit a low shot past the outstretched arm of Jennison and into the net.

RCA lifted their game and should have gone further ahead when a cross in by Wilson was met by Brown but he tried to glance his header in and missed the target.

Team North were trying to push forward but in doing so were leaving gaps in their defence and on the hour mark RCA extended their lead Fryatt won a corner which was taken by Wilson and headed powerefully home by Wray.

Fryatt almost set up Jury, as the two RCA players created havoc down the right, he slipped the ball to his captain inside the box unfortunately the final shot went wide of the post.  

 RCA were in almost total control as they restricted Team North to long balls forward which Wray and  Preston mopped up, when the ball did get past them the ever reliable Craig Shields was on hand.

Team North almost made it interesting in the last 5 minutes when a cross into the box from Ingram was met by Glen-Ravenhill but he could only fire over the bar from 10 yards out.

In the last minute, with Team North pushing forward a clearance from Jury found Patton on the right wing, unselfishly he crossed the ball into the middle of the park to the unmarked Home-Jackson who curled in an unstoppable shot which struck the inside of the post before settling in the net.

This was much better team performance than of late and by far the best defensive display this season.

RCA thoroughly deserved this victory, dominating from start to finish. There was not a poor performance by any player in a red shirt. We now no what it takes to win a game and if we maintain this level of performance in future games we will be ok. 

Bishop Auckland FC 1 Sunderland RCA FC 2

Saturday, 26 October 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: Bishops: Douglas SRCA: Barton, Baynes.

RCA visit Heritage Park twice in a week, on Saturday, to play Bishop's in the EBAC Northern League and next Wednesday, to play Darlington 1883 in the Durham Challenge Cup.

The injury bug appears to have returned with goalkeeper Jonathan Carmichael ruled out with a groin injury. Also missing was Daniel Wray who is abroad for the weekend. Taking their places for the match were Andrew Spence in goal and Liam Clough in central defence. The return of Gavin Barton to partner Callum Patton up front meant that Kyle Morris missed out.

A frenetic opening saw Bishops immediately on the front foot. A lovely through ball by Megran was partially cleared by Clough but the ball fell to Moncur who fired in a shot which Spence parried, Brunskill pounced on the loose ball but Spence flung himself in front of the shot to make a brilliant save on his debut. 

Almost immediately RCA went on the attack. Wilson found Fryatt on the right wing, he slipped the ball past the full back before pulling the ball into the path of Patton whose initial shot was blocked by Lawson, he then followed up but was unable to beat Pocklington.

Pocklington cleared the ball to Douglas who hit a first time cross into the path of Moncur who fired in a low shot which Spence saved diving to his left. The loose ball was picked up by Hodgson but his cross was easily plucked out of the air by Spence.

In the tenth minute a long crossfield ball by Hawkins picked out Douglas who squared the ball to Tarling who drove in a terrific low shot which Spence saved at the second attempt.

RCA, having withstood Bishops pressure, asserted some of their own. Patton and Baynes combined on the left to win a corner, Baynes took the kick which was headed away by Hawkins but as Horsman challenged for the high ball he was fouled and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. Up strode Barton to slam home the spot kick.

Four minutes later and RCA were 2-0 up when Wilson sent a long ball in to Patton who controlled it superbly before playing it into the path of Baynes who struck the ball perfectly from 22 yards out into the top corner of the net: a truely magical goal.      

RCA were looking to kill the game off but at this early stage it was always going to be difficult.

So it proved as Bishops opened their account with another astonishing goal. A pass from Megran was picked up by Douglas who from 16 yards out volleyed an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net.

With their tails up Bishops once again looked to put pressure on the RCA defence. A corner from Hodgson was headed away by Preston and when the ball was fired back in by Tarling it was Preston again who headed the ball away for another corner, this time the corner was collected by Spencer at the second attempt.

The RCA keeper sent the ball forward where Barton headed it down into the path of Patton who lobbed the ball over the keeper but wide of the post.

Bishop responded with a driven shot by the lively Douglas but it went well wide. A minute later and freekick on the right was flicked on to Moncur who shot wide of the upright.

RCA were looking to hit Bishops on the counter attack and in the final two minute of the half could easily have been 4 -1 up. First, Patton latched onto a long clearance by Preston and produced a stinging shot which Pocklington saved superbly. Then a great run by Fryatt took him past the last defender before he curled the ball into the box where Patton could not connect properly and the ball was deflected away for a corner.

Bishops started the second half in attacking mood and kept it up for the full 45 minutes.   

In the 50th minute a cross from Hodgson found Brunskill in the centre of goal, his initial shot was blocked by Preston and the follow up by Douglas was headed away for a corner by Preston. 

RCA continued to defend defiantly and looked to get something on the counter. In the 70th minute Fryatt and Jury combined to produce a cross to Morris who shot was blocked by McLane and cleared by Lawson.

Bishops continued to bombard RCA's goal but the visitors continued to defend well with Preston outstanding. Shots rained in from Douglas, Megran and Tarling but all to no avail as RCA held on to take all three points.

A well earned three points at Heritage Park which will move us further up the table.

A great defensive display which allowed the midfield a bit more freedom to express themselves. It also helps when attackers are able to take the pressure off by keeping hold of the ball.  

Darlington 1883 3 Sunderland RCA FC 1 AET

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Durham Challenge Cup 1st Round.

Goalscorers: Darlington, Moore, Johnson,  Turner,  SRCA: Home-Jackson.

As always the Durham Challenge Cup gives teams a chance to try out different formations and give fringe players a chance to impress. Both teams made substantial changes from the teams that started in the respective games on Saturday.

Into the RCA team came Aaron Brown, Josh Home-Jackson, Daniel Wray and debutant Jack Stanger even with the changes this was still a good line up.

Darlington  also gave a chance to their youngsters but added the fire power of Stevie Johnson, Nathan Fisher and Paul Robinson to the team. 

Both teams started well with the emphasis on attack. The first real chance of the game came when Home-Jackson's shot was blocked by Jordan Robinson who sent the ball forward to Fisher who was allowed to run 30 yards with the ball unchallenged before unleashing a shot which Spence did well to turn away for a corner.

The corner was defender by Wray who headed the ball clear but only as far as Moore who crossed the ball back into the area where it was picked up by Fisher who turned and shot but it was blocked by Clough.

A throw in by Aaron Brown fornd Barton who slipped his marker before setting up Patton, his shot seemed to be deflected by the hand of Mitchell and Jameson was able to make the save.

Darlington responded with a great ball from Robinson into the path of Thomas who ran at the RCA defence, twisting past two challenges, before seeing his effort blocked by Brown.

Darlington looked to be getting a grip of the gavme and it was robinson again in the thick of it as he received a ball from Moore before firing in a shot which Spence saved with his feet.

RCA were a little unlucky when a freekick from Clough cleared the Darlington defence and fell to Home-Jackson inside the area however his strike at goal was blocked away for a corner by Galbraith.

Minutes later and the tide seemed to be changing as Morris found Patton with a clever crossfield pass, the RCA striker controlled the ball but shot wide of the target.

These two efforts seemed to lift the pace of the game as Darlington reacted to the pressure RCA were exerting on them, a quick break by Thomas saw the RCA defence split and when he crossed into the box, it took a great bit of defending by Wray to clear the ball for a corner.

A minute later and Pilatos dispossessed Morris before setting off on a run which saw him beat 3 players before sliding th eball to Davis who ,moved the ball on to Thomas who went on a mazy run which saw him beat 3 defenders  before falling over, picking himself up and still getting in a shot which flew over the bar. 

Then came the clearest chance so far when after a bit of scrappy play by both teams saw the ball sent forward by Robinson into the path of Johnson, the Darlington Striker rounded the keeper but fired into the side netting.

RCA might have taken the lead in the 40th minute when a goal kick by Spence was picked up by Morris who played the ball back to Horsman he sent the ball forward into the opponents area where Barton was on hand to beat the advancing Jameson, unfortunately he could only steer the ball wide of the post.

However they did take the lead on the stroke of half time, a freekick taken by Clough found Home-Jackson inside the Darlington box, with time to control the ball and curl it round Jameson and into the net.

The second half saw Darlington fully committed to attack and RCA looking to break on the counter attack.

In the 50 minute another good run by Fisher saw him burst beyond the last defender only for his shooting to once again let him down.

Moore was starting to cause RCA problems down the right and in the 55th minute a great dribble and cross to the far post had to be headed away by Wray under pressure from Johnson.

As the pressure increased on the RCA defence it was left to Patton to try to hold the ball up front which he was doing to some effect.

In the 75th minute a great move by Darlington gave them a deserved equaliser Robinson picked the ball up on th ehalf way line and sent a 40 yard inch perfect cross to Moore who in turn played a quick 1-2 with Johnson which opened up the RCA defence and Thomas was able to side foot into the net.

Darlington were now going all out for the win and when Pilatos sent a great through ball forward for Johnson he looked certain to score but Spence managed to pull off a supurb save.

RCA, after a good move were awarded a freekick which was taken by Clough, the ball was headed down by Morris into the path of Patten who dragged the ball back before shooting wide of the far post.

With time running out RCA looked to be carrying some luck as a shot from Moore was saved by Spence th eball fell to Johnson 8 yards out but he somehow managed to hit the underside of the bar and the ball was cleared.

EXTRA TIME:

The first half of extra time was pretty much nondescript with few chances and little in the way of goal mouth action, a poor clearance by Spence fell to Johnson who chippe dthe ball back to th egrateful keeper and a shot from Jury cleared the Darlington bar and headed towards Sainsury's garage.

The second period had more to offer if you were a Darlington supporter, both teams were tiring noticably and it was going to take something special to win the game and so it was that in the 111th minute Moore took on the RCA defence, got a yard of space and sent in a telling cross which fell into the path of the sliding Johnson who found the net from close range.

3minutes later and it was all over when, Darlington were keeping possesion well inside the RCA half, when the ball looked to have been retreived by Jury, a tackle from Mitchell saw the ball spring to turner who fired in a low shot which although Spence got a hand to he could not prevent the ball from going into the net.

RCA did well for 90 minutes but were unable to cope with the fitness of their opponents in the final 30 minutes. Their was no disgrace in this defeat and we can move forward knowing that the squad is capable of competing against anyone on the day.     

November

Sunderland RCA FC 1 Shildon AFC 2

Saturday, 2 November 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: SRCA: Wray, Shildon: Wood (2)

Please click here for match photos by Zoë Vicarage.

Please click here for match video highlights from Shildon TV.

Please click here for match video highlights from Sky Tyne and Wear.

RCA entertained second placed Shildon in today’s League fixture, Shildon would go back to the top of the league with a win. RCA were looking to carry on with the improvement that they have shown in their recent matches.

After the mid week cup exit at the hands of Darlington 1883 in extra time the management team made several changes to the team: in came Carmichael, Jury, Preston, Andrew Brown, Fryatt and Baynes, out went Spence, Aaron Brown, Clough, Stanger, Morris, and Hassan.

The game started slowly with both teams feeling their way into the game. In the eighth minute RCA were awarded their first corner of the game and Wilson swung the kick towards the near post where Wray met the ball with a powerful header which struck the underside of the bar and was cleared by Stephenson.

RCA continued to press forward and a slick ball from Jury to Brown opened up the Shildon defence the cross into the area from Brown was met by Barton but he could only steer the ball over the bar.

The hosts took the lead in the 19th minute when they were awarded corner after some good interplay between Fryatt, Baynes and Patton produced a save from Graham in the Shildon goal. Once again Wilson took the kick, this time picking out Wray at the far post and this time the tall central defender made no mistake heading into the net past the despairing dive of Graham.

Shildon were visibly shocked by this and reacted with a spell of pressure which resulted in a corner which was taken by Hudson, his cross was met by Wood but went well over the bar.

A quick break by Harwood saw him turn defence into attack with a beautiful cross field ball to Ruddy who cut inside before firing in a shot which was blocked by Preston, the ball fell to Hudson who shot straight at Carmichael.

The game was starting to literally get bogged down in midfield with little in the way of goalmouth action.

As the game entered the final minutes of the half Shildon almost equalized when Wray blocked a shot from Ruddy into the path of Hudson who blasted in a shot which Carmichael somehow managed to get a hand to and the ball was cleared up field.

In the final minute of the half a cross into the box by Jury was headed over the bar by Barton.

Shildon started the second half pressing forward looking for an early equalizer but RCA where defending effectively. In the 47 minute a freekick taken by Hudson hit the RCA wall and went wide of the upright. The resulting corner was headed over by Stephenson.

In the 55th minute a through ball from Stephenson to Hudson split the RCA defence the ex-RCA midfielder fired in a low shot which was blocked by Carmichael and Hudson, in trying to get to the rebound,  fouled Preston. Penalty appeals waved away.

A minute later and a quick breakaway Fryatt saw him skip past Buzzeo before crossing into the Shildon area, Stephenson’s headed clearance fell to Baynes who sent in a great shot which brought a brilliant save from Graham.

In the 60th minute after a save from Carmichael the ball fell to Wray who tangled with Wood. The referee awarded a freekick to RCA which incensed the visitor’s manager who after exchanging words with the referee was ordered from the dugout.

The Railwaymen equalised in the 68th minute when a thow in was picked up by Hodgson who slipped the ball to Craddock his cross was met by Hudson who played the ball into the path of Wood who squeezed the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

RCA should have retaken the lead when some clever interplay between Barton and Wilson sent Fryatt into the box but the youngster could only fire the ball over the bar.

Then a shot from Hodgson went narrowly wide before the quick thinking Turnbull slide a freekick into the path of Hudson on the edge of the six yard box, he only managed to stab the ball well wide of the upright with an open goal begging.

In the 83rd minute Stanger intercepted the ball in midfield and sent a long ball forward to Patton who beat his marker before setting up Barton. The RCA leading goalscorer mishit his shot from eight yards out and it was cleared off the line by Craddock. Then with time running out a slide rule pass from Stanger found Patton inside the area, he struck a perfect curling shot which was magnificently saved by Graham.

The killer goal came in the 90 minute RCA were unable to effectively clear their lines and the ball was crossed into the box where it evaded three players before being picked up by Wood who fire home from eight yards out.

This was a sickening blow for RCA who defended magnificently and who had clear chances to win this match. As for Shildon, they will be a force to be reckoned with when they have all their squad to choose from.

RCA should take heart from this performance and take the positives out of the game.

Dunston UTS FC 1 Sunderland RCA FC 1

RCA forward Callum Patton attacks during the final minutes of the match.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers:  Dunston: Goddard  SRCA: Fryatt.

Please click here for photos from the match.

Please click here for match photos from Neil Smith.

RCA made the short trip up the A1 to play an in form Dunston UTS team who had taken 16 points in their last six games and are currently lying in sixth place in the league.

After fitness tests on Preston (groin) and Wilson (knee) the management team named an unchanged starting 11 for the first time this season. Dunston's squad included two ex-RCA players in Gary Shaw and Nicky Kane.

In the opening minute of the game RCA were unfortunate not to take the lead when a through ball from Andrew Brown found Barton in acres of space and with only the goalkeeper to beat he hit the ball goalward, but it struck Connell's leg and was cleared by Cattanach.

The heavy pitch was causing a few problems in the early stages as players tried to get to grips with staying on their feet never mind playing football.

After 10 minutes a great run by McAndrew saw the UTS winger leave the RCA defence in his wake as he cut inside before unleasing a thunderbolt of a shot which Carmichael was pleased to parry away for a corner.

Within a minute Ormeston played in Teasdale who had his shot blocked by Wray. The ball rebounded to Goddard, but Carmichael was once again in the right place to turn the ball round the post.

Dunston took the lead in the 16th minute when Kane picked the ball up on the right wing, squared it to Teasdale who chipped the ball forward into the RCA area where Goddard struck a sweet volley which looped over the outstretched hand of Carmichael and into the top corner of the net.

RCA almost got an equaliser straight from the kick off as the ball was fed to Fryatt who dribbled past three defenders before sliding the ball to Barton who hit a first time shot which was blocked by Burrell.

McAndrew with his pace and tricky dribbling was causing all sorts of problems down the left and when, in the 20th minute, he crossed into the box Goddard must have thought he would score as he fired in a terrific shot which Carmichael somehow managed to claw away from the bottom corner and round the post for a corner. The corner was taken by Craggs and his cross was met at the near post by Teasdale who directed his header wide of the post. 

RCA survived these scares and came back strongly. Wilson crossed in a freekick which was met by Barton, but his header went wide of the upright, then a lovely run by Patton, drifting past three challenges, ended when he passed the ball into the path of Brown who fired over from 20 yards out.

On the half hour RCA persistence paid off when after a good run by Baynes the ball was switched to the opposite wing where Fryatt won a corner. Wilson sent in a teasing cross which was headed up in the air by Burrell. In the scramble that followed the ball was cleared to the edge of the box where Fryatt sidefooted the ball towards goal and although it took a deflection off Gary Shaw it was destined for the back of the net from the second it left his boot.

In the 38th minute McAndrew once again produced a moment of brilliance as he went clear of the RCA defence, but his cross was met by Preston who cleared the danger.

With minutes to go before half time a cross into the Dunston area looked to be heading for the safe hands of Connell. Barton had other ideas and challenged the keeper for the ball which spun into an empty net, unfortunately the goal was ruled out for a foul on the keeper.

The second half started as the first, with a ball into the box by Wilson being picked up by Barton who turned and shot but the ball was deflected away for a corner.

This had the effect of spurring Dunston on and they launched a succession of attacks at the RCA defence. A cross into the box by McAndrew was cleared by Wray and Craggs following up fired in a 30 yard drive which flew high and wide.

On the hour mark another McAndrew cross was headed away by Wray and fell to Ormston who hit a first time shot wide of the target.

RCA were looking to hit Dunston on the break and in the 62nd minute had the ball in the net following a quick break which saw the ball moved forward from Jury to Barton who controlled the ball before playing in Patton who slipped the ball under the body of Connell only to be ruled offside.

Three minutes later and Carmichael was forced into a brilliant save when Burrell connected with a far post corner powering in a header goalwards, Preston picked up the pieces clearing up field.

As the game entered the final 10 minutes Dunston were almost constantly on the attack with RCA forced to defend in numbers.

Goddard should have sealed the points in the 80th minute when, after a great move involving Kane and Steven Shaw, the Dunston striker found hinself free inside the area but he fire wide of the post.

In the 88th minute a shot from Craggs went just wide of the upright.

Then in a bizarre ending to the game, man of the match, Goddard was dismissed for contesting a throw in. Although he did slam the ball into the ground it was never in danger of hitting anyone and probably deserved no more than a Yellow unless he said something to the officials. 

RCA are starting to look like a strong unit from back to front. They have determination and resilience. All we neeed is for Patton and Barton to relax more in front of goal and watch the goals start to flow.

It is a testament to the team that we have gone from conceding 15 goals in four matches to conceding only seven in the last five matches and these against teams like Darlington (AET) Shildon (injury time) and today Dunston - all top teams.

The management team have got to take credit for putting together a competative team who look to be playing with a freedom to express themselves. 

Onward and upwards.

      

Sunderland RCA FC 4 Consett AFC 1

Aristote Guerin-Lokonga, returning to Meadow Park for the first time since his move to Consett, finds his options limited by RCA's Philip Horsman and Steven Baynes.

12 November 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: SRCA.  Patton (2), Barton, Fryatt.   Consett: Guerin-Lokonga.

Please click here for some (noisy) match photos.

RCA made one forced changed for the visit of Consett, Andrew Brown was unavailable through work commitments and Jack Stanger stepped in to replace him.

Consett included ex-RCA players Aristote Guerin-Lokonga and Andrew Cuthbertson in their squad. 

What a game the two teams conjured up with the play switching from end to end throughout the whole 90 minutes a cracking match which the statisticians will say favoured Consett (Shots 20 - 11, Corners 15 - 3) but in the end it is goals that settle matches and RCA proved clinical, if a little fortunate, in front of goal.

What an opening to the match two disallowed goals in the opening minute, from the kick off Wilson sent the ball forward to Barton who controlled the ball before chipping it over the Consett defence, he then ran onto his own pass before firing the ball home, unfortunately Patton was adjudged to be in an offside position. From the restart Consett moved the ball forward and a cross into the area from Bell was punched away by Carmichael , the ball fell to Sullivan who fired goalwards, Mackay flicked the ball into the net but was also adjudged to be offside.

After that opening anything could happen in the next 89 minutes. The game settled down with Consett, kicking down the slope, having a lot of possession but unable to produce anything from the final pass.

In the 10 minute Mackay found acres of space on the right edge of the box, took control of a pass from Piecha before turning and shooting wide of the post.

5 minutes later and it was the turn of Barton at the other end with an almost replica as the ball was pushed forward by Wilson, A deft flick by Baynes found Barton and RCA’s leading goascorer fired in a low shot just wide of the upright.

Consett continued to press forward and only a double save from Carmichael stopped then from taking the lead, a cross from Chris Bell found Mackay, his shot was blocked by Carmichael and Sullivan following up saw his shot superbly saved by the keeper.

RCA were restricted to quick counter attacks as Consett pushed forward.

In the 33 minute, the tide changed as RCA hit back in emphatic style, a ball out of defence by Preston was picked up by Barton who cut inside towards the gaol area, he then produced a beautyfully weighted pass into the path of Patton who finished with some style, recording his first goal for the club.

Within a minute RCA were back on the attack Stanger slipped the ball to Barton who moved it on to Fryatt he squared the ball to Patton who fired over the bar.

Consett sent men forward again and Ryan Bell picking out Mackay with a great ball but the Consett Striker fired straight at Carmichael who cleared the ball up field where it was met by Patton who flicked the ball through to Barton he controlled the ball and curled the ball past Norton, it hit the post and rebounded into the keepers arms.

RCA went 2-0 up in the 44 minute when they were awarded a freekick , Wilson curled the ball into the 6 yard area where Barton was on hand to steer the ball into the net from 4 yards out.

The second half was almost a mirror image of the first with Consett setting out to attack at every opportunity and RCA looking to defend in numbers and break quickly.

The first real effort if the half fell to Patton who blazed a volley over the bar from 10 yards out after some good work by Stanger.

The visitors responded through Lund who dribbled through three tackles before crossing to Mackay who fired his shot well over the bar.

Then a Mackay freekick was headed down by Piecha into the path of Sullivan but the Consett striker’s finish went woefully high over the bar.

Consett continued there relentless attacking and and when Chris Bell slotted the ball through to Mackay it was only a great goal line clearance by Preston which kept the scoreline at 2-0.

RCA were finding it difficult to string two passes together and on the hour mark had another lucky escape when Sullivan, who had obviously left his shooting boots at home, once again shot wide when in a good position.

As in the first half RCA weathered the storm and came back in double measure, a quick throw in by Stanger found Patton near the corner flag, the RCA striker dribbled past two defenders on the by-line before cutting the ball back exquisitely to Fryatt who sent a thunderbolt of a shot into the roof of the net.

RCA were back on the attack a minute later when Wilson slipped the ball through to Patton who force a great save out of Norton.

The visitors did get a gaol back in the 75 minute when a cross into the box Sullivan was not cleared by the defence and Guerin-Lokonga pounced on the loose ball to stab it out of the reach of Carmichael and into the net.

As Consett started to tire RCA pushed forward and were able to capitalise and an absolute howler by Norton, full back Brown played the ball to Norton inside his own 6 yards area, the keeper slipped as he tried to dummy Patton and gifted the RCA forward with his second goal of the night.

4-1 might have flattered RCA on the night but it is goals that win matches and RCA took their chances. How many times this season have we been on top and lost to a late strike?

It’s nice to see both strikers on target and feeding off each other. As the Internationa break has effected us our next fixture will be at home next Tuesday against Guisborough Town.

 

  

Sunderland RCA FC 0 Guisborough Town FC 3

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goal scorers: SRCA: None  Guisborough:  Johnson (2), Gell.

A familiar pattern is emerging with the team as once again only one change was made with Andrew Brown replacing the unavailable Jack Stanger.

The game itself was end to end with Guisborough having the lion's share of possession and RCA breaking effectively on the counter attack. Two late late strikes sealed it for the visitors in the 88th and 89th minutes, as RCA pushed forward looking for an equaliser, adding to their first half goal in the 13th minute.

The teams took to the field in almost sub zero temperatures, but it didn't take long for the hands of RCA keeper Carmichael to warm up as he was forced into a great save after Wood latched onto a cross from Risborough and hit a terrific first time shot.

RCA, with the advantage of the slope got into gear with a good run by Patton who crossed into the box towards Barton, but Carling was first to the ball clearing it over the bar. The resulting corner was cleared up field by Bishop and, when Horsman slipped in trying to clear the danger,  the ball was picked up by Johnson, the Guisborough striker set off on a 25 yard run and with only Carmichael to beat made no mistake in opening the scoring.

A good passing move saw Guisborough move the ball from defence into the final third where Wood, managed to slip the ball to Johnson inside the area, but his final effort was uncharacteristically off target.

As the game settled down RCA moves the ball to Fryatt on the right wing and he was looking to get the ball into the danger area at every opportunity.

On the half hour Fryatt sent and inch perfect pass to Patton inside the visitors penalty area. RCA's striker turned and squared the ball to Barton who fired wide.

RCA were being put under a lot of pressure and were responding with some strong challenges and the game became very scrappy as the match headed toward half time.

A blistering start to the second half saw Guisborough pour forward in an attempt to finish off the game, but the RCA defence withstood the onslaught.

In the 50th minute Roberts picked up the ball before sliding a pass to Johnson who tried to chip Carmichael, but the RCA keeper was equal to it and palmed the ball out where it was cleared by Jury.

Two minutes later and Roberts beat the offside trap but, with only the keeper to beat, fired well wide of the far post.

RCA replied with a great run from Fryatt which ended with the winger being upended. Wilson took the freekick to the near post where Baynes flick the ball into the path of Barton who fired over from 10 yards out.

For the first time in the game RCA were looking to move the ball forward with a degree of success. A charge up field by Baynes saw the winger play in Patton, but his shot was blocked by Bishop.

In the final 10 minutes the visitors were constantly being caught offside as RCA defenders played a high line. From a quick freekick taken by Carmichael the ball fell to Patton on the edge of the 18 yard line. He fired in a thunderbolt of a shot which went narrowly over the bar.

The response was instantaneous as Johnson, clearly offside, was allowed to continue, his shot struck the inside of the far post and rebounded kindly for him as he followed up and although Carmichael got a hand to the shot he could only parry it into the net. 2-0 up in the 88th minute.

Worse was to follow a minute later when Carmichael slipped when clearing the ball up field and it fell to Gell who struck a perfect lob over the scrambling Carmichael and into the top corner.

Credit must be given to a well organised Guisborough team who took full advantage of a below par performance from RCA. The first under the new management team. We will be looking for a favourable response on Saturday.

Note: Guisborough_Town_Red, the players response at the end of the game was an overreaction to a poor performance and certainly not the views of anyone else at RCA. Your support of Guisborough Town FC is to be commended and I trust that the next time I see you it is behind the home team goal supporting your team and doing what you like doing.

Newcastle Benfield FC 2 Sunderland RCA FC 2

John Jury shows the determination found throughout the side in the second half come back.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: SRCA:  Patton, Barton:  Benfield: Stephenson, Bowey.

Please click here for photos from the match.

With a number of players unavailable for various reasons the management team were forced into team changes for the visit to Newcastle Benfield for this EBAC Northern League match. The late withdrawal of Daniel Wray due to a family bereavement was unforseeable and meant a phone call to Wayne Henderson, who  confirmed his attendance immediately. Further calls to Hassan and Shields meant that we at least had a full bench.

Benfield started well and as early as the second minute full back Riley sent a long diagonal ball through the RCA defence and into the path of Brayson who controlled the ball brilliantly, but fired wide of the target.

However in the eighth minute a through ball from Luccock once again split the RCA defence and this time it fell to the feet of Stephenson and he made no mistake from 12 yards blasting the ball past Carmichael.

RCA looked to get on the front foot through Patton and Barton and the combination set up the visitors first chance of the half as a loose ball fell to Patton but he shot straight at Grainger.

Benfield started to dominate and when Clough completely missed a defensive header the ball fell to Stephenson who tried to square the ball to Brayson but Jury was alert to the danger and cleared up field.

Two minutes later and another defence splitting pass from Riley found Luccock in acres of space. The winger took the ball forward before firing in a shot which Carmichael managed to block. The ball fell to Horsman who, in clearing the ball up field, hit his own team mate Stanger full in the face. Although he continued for a few minutes, it was clear he was not fully fit and was replaced by Morris.

As the half hour approched RCA had their best spell of the first half. First, Patton's cross into the box was intercepted by Grainger with Barton bearing down on the goal. Then a minute later a quick throw in by Wilson was flicked on by Barton into the path of Fryatt who fired into the side netting, then, moments later, the little winger latched onto a loose ball from Carr but could only watch as his chipped shot fell onto the roof of the net.

Back came Benfield with a spell of sustained pressure which resulted in a string of freekicks being given away. In the 38th minute a  freekick on the edge of the box was taken by Bowey, Carmichael produced a great save at the foot of the post, the ball rebounded to Luccock who fired in a shot which the keeper saved from point blank range, unfortunately the ball looped up in the air and Bowey was the first to react heading home from close range.

RCA started strongly in the second period. Fryatt, in trying to go past his marker, was fouled and the resulting freekick from Wilson caused panic in the Benfield defence and only a block from Carr stopped Patton from scoring.

In the 53rd minute Morris intecepted a poor pass, crossed the ball into the area where Patton laid the ball off for Barton to thunder in a shot which went narrowly wide.

Two minutes later and RCA were back in the game. This time Brown broke down a Benfield attack before sliding the ball to Morris who produced a defence splitting pass to Patton. The RCA striker deftly chipped the advancing Grainger to make it 2-1.

The tide was starting to change in RCA favour and Benfield were restricted to the odd breakaway with Stephenson still looking dangerous.

Another great tackle from Brown won the ball in midfield and he again gave it to Morris who crossed into the area for Fryatt who's deft flick was picked up by Patton and the striker was denied his second goal by a good save from Grainger.

As RCA exerted more pressure it took some good defending to keep the score at 2-1 to the home team.

In the 65th minute a ball into the box by Wilson was won by Barton who headed teh ball into the path of Jury and he fired in a low shot across the face of goal but wide of the upright.

RCA didn't have to long to wait for the equaliser which had been threatening for the last 10 minutes. A long clearance up field was not defended by Carr and the ball landed at the feet of Barton. RCA's leading scorer made no mistake from 10 yards blasting the ball past Grainger.

Two minutes later and Benfield could have retaken the lead. A cross into the box was headed away by Preston and cleared out by Brown, but it fell invitingly to Slaughter who fired in a cracking 35 yard screamer which rebounded off the crossbar and away from danger.

In the final minutes of the game RCA nearly snatched victory when Patton fired in a shot which was saved by Grainger, the ball rebounded to Fryatt who tried to hammer the ball into the net, but it was blocked on the line by Turnbull.

The remainder of the game got a bit scrappy with no real chances for either side.

After a very poor first half RCA produced one of the best performancs of the season in the second half. The transformation was almost unbelievable as they took charge of the game and almost won it.

 

Sunderland RCA FC 0 Durham City FC 0

RCA forward Callum Patton holds off determined tackling in the second half of the match.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

No Goals:

Please click here for photos from the match.

RCA welcomed Durham City to Meadow Park and after the excellent second half performance from the RCA players last week there was an air of anticipation around the ground.

Two changes to the starting line up saw Fryatt and Stanger replaced by Morris and Aaron Brown. Otherwise it was a familiar looking squad which is what the management team are looking for.

Unusually for this time of the year it was a mild afternoon, the setting sun casting a red hue over the cemetery gave the ground an eerie look which film directors of horror movies would have loved and no doubt the Ghostly Gadgie very much approved of. (Not sure if Tim captured any pics).

There was an explosive start to match when Jury mistimed a challenge in the opening seconds giving Durham their first opportunity to test the RCA defence, Hotchkiss took the kick, but fired straight into the arms of Carmichael who sent the ball forward to Morris, who played in Jury, with Durham struggling to get back Jury crossed in to the near post where Patton met the ball perfectly, but his clipped shot was superbly saved by Brass.

As the game settled down it became clear that it was going to be a competitive match as both sets of players cancelled each other out.

The next chance of the game fell to Durham when Hotchkiss picked up a pass from Harrison and sent the ball forward to Scott who fired wide of the far post from a very good position.

RCA responded a minute later when Barton won a header and the ball landed at the feet of Patton who turned quickly before firing in a low shot which Brass saved low to his left.

Although the game was very entertaining there were few real chances being created which was as much to do with some excellent defending as both teams were putting together some decent attacking moves.

On the half hour RCA were awarded a corner which was taken by Wilson to the far post where Aaron Brown headed the ball down into the path of Barton, but his shot was blocked and cleared by Stoker.

There were some very competitive battles taking place on the pitch and it was a testament to the players respect for each other that there were some full blooded tackles being made but they just got on with the game.

In the dying minutes of the first half Durham had their clearest chance when Scott was once again sent clear of the RCA defence by Hotchkiss but the striker fired well wide of the target.

The second half saw Durham take the game to RCA, in the opening minute of the half Harrison sent a great ball forward to Turnbull blasted in a great volley which went the wrong side of the post.

Two minutes later and RCA conceded a freekick 30 yards out and Hotchkiss picked out Scott and, although his header was well directed it was cleared off the line by Preston.

It took until the hour mark for RCA to record a meaningful attack but when it came it was a brilliantly worked move which saw Andrew Brown play the ball to Morris, he beat his marker slipped the ball to Patton who jinxed past two defenders before shooting but the ball clipped a defender's knee and went for a corner.

This was the cue for a little pressure from RCA and a succession of corners played short caused a few panicky moments in the Durham defence but they stood firm and responded with a well worked move of their own. Walker receiving the ball from Brass passed the ball on to Turnbull who, in space, clipped the ball forward to Scott, but the Durham striker obviously didn't have his shooting boots on as he lobbed the ball straight at Carmichael.

A minute later a RCA had a claim for a penalty turned down when a high ball forward by Horsman was headed on by Barton, Aaron Brown was first to react to the flick on and as he tried to chest the ball round Brass he appeared to be pulled back by the keeper and the chance was lost.

As in the first half the game was being played in the midfield with both defences able to cope with everything that was thrown at them. Few real chances were being created in the final third.

Durham had a corner headed wide by Galloway and Patton had a shot which went wide of the target.

In the final minute of the game Barton had a great chance to snatch victory for RCA as he poked the ball past Brass towards goal only to see a Durham defender come to the rescue to clear the ball for a corner.

This was another hard fought draw against a top ten team. As 0-0 games go it had a lot to entertain the crowd but both teams, on the day, lacked the clinical finishing that was required to win this match.

No let up in the fixtures as next up is Crook Town followed by Maske United away. Are there any easy games in this league?

December

Sunderland RCA FC 1 Crook Town FC 2

RCA winger Kyle Fryatt wins the ball in the second half of the match.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: SRCA: Wilson.  Crook Town: Davis, Bird.

Please click here for photos from the match.

RCA were forced to make one change to the team that drew with Durham City last week with Jack Stanger coming in for the suspended Andrew Brown.

After the heavy frost of Friday the pitch was looking in remarkably good condition.

Crook took advantage of the slope and wind in the first half, but it was RCA who dominated the opening exchanges. In the opening minute Wilson released Fryatt on the right and the tricky winger slipped past the full back before cutting the ball back towards Patton, he swung a boot at it and missed, but the ball fell to Baynes who managed to fire high over the bar from 12 yards out.

Two minutes later and Patton latched onto a Barton flick on and forced a great save from Poskitt who turned the ball away for a corner. Wilson's corner was headed down by Preston, but cleared to the edge of the box where Stanger was on hand to fire in a low drive which was deflected for another corner. From this corner Poskitt managed to punch the ball away only as far as Barton who headed the ball wide of the target.  

Fryatt was running the show on the right wing and and was getting the ball at every opportunity and giving Hetherington a torrid time. 

In the 15th minute Fryatt was fouled as he moved towards the penalty area. From the freekick Clough headed the ball on and Barton at the back post could only head wide.

20 minutes into the game and RCA were in total control of the match Carmichael was a virtual spectator as the defenders in front of him made light of an Crook attacks.

Poskitt again came to the rescue when another freekick, awarded for a foul on Fryatt, was launched into the box by Wilson, Barton stabbed the ball goalwards and it was cleared off the line by Pearson, in came Stanger to fire in a shot which hit a Crook defender before bouncing fortuitously into Poskitt's arms.

Crook's first attempt on goal came on the half hour when Davis picked up the ball from a Poskitt clearance cut inside before sliding the ball to Teasdale who forced a save from Carmichael.

This carved the way for a little purple patch for the visitors as the pushed forward and two minutes later it was Davis who found space on the right side of the area but blasted his shot wide of th efar post.

As the game moved toward half time Davis again won a header, this time from a Pearson clearance, he directed the ball into the path of Price who fired high over the bar.

RCA responded through Wilson who sent in a tantilising cross which was met by Barton but once again he could only direct his header wide.

In the final minute of the half Fryatt was once again fouled, this time on the half way line, Wilson's freekick found Stanger who slipped the ball to Patton inside the area, but his shot was saved by the feet of Poskitt.     

The second half saw Crook take the game by the scruff of the neck and forced RCA onto the backfoot. A through ball from Price fell to Hodgson and he ghosted into the box before unleashing a terrific shot which Carmichael did well to block and Horsman was on hand to clear off the line.

Crook took the lead in the 61st minute when Hughes picked the ball up on the half way line and sent in a perfect cross which was met by Davis who powered in a header which flew into the net with Carmichael stranded.

RCA's only response to this set back was a lovely run by Morris who drifted into the box past two defenders before guiding a low shot toward the far corner of the goal but Poskitt, at full stretch managed to get a hand to the ball.

As the game wore on the Crook midfield took control with Bird, Hodgson and Price at times overrunning Wilson and Stanger.

The game came to life in the final minutes, Crook extended their lead in the 88th minute when a cross into the box was headed away by Preston, the ball fell to Bird who drilled in a low shot which thundered into the bottom corner of the net.

A minute later and a lifeline was thrown to RCA when for the first time in the game they showed a bit of composure in the box, Morris won the ball on the left passed inside to Barton who passed the ball on to Wilson who side footed the ball goalwards, it took a deflection before going into the net.

RCA piled forward in a vain attempt to get something out of the game but the Crook defence held firm.

This was another game that should have been won in the opening 20 minutes but woeful finishing and a lack of composure inside the area meant no return in a game which we deserved to get something from.

The good things we were doing in the first half we stopped doing in the second half and we started relying on the long ball down the middle to Barton and while Barton had a decent game he was far too many times receiving the ball with his back to goal.

Marske United FC 3 Sunderland RCA FC 2

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goal Scorers: SRCA: Barton, Fryatt  Marske: Alexander, Earl, Wheatley.

RCA named an unchanged eleven for this EBAC Northern League away match against a Marske team who started the season with a 17 game unbeaten run follow by eight straight defeats but who seemed to have steadied the ship of late.

RCA had the ball in the net within two minutes of the start when a cross field ball from Baynes found Fryatt free, the diminutive winger cut inside, rounded the keeper and slotted home only to find that the assistant had raised his flag for an offside against Patton who didn't seem to be interfering with play.

Three minutes later and Marske took the lead, a quickly taken throw in by O'Sullivan found Stewart on the left and the ex-RCA Winger crossed low into the box where Alexander took full advantage of a mix up in the RCA defence to force the ball home at the second attempt.

RCA where back level within five minutes when a free kick was awarded for a foul on Fryatt. Wilson crossed high into the box and Barton, rising above Oliver in the Marske goal headed home.

Marske applied a little pressure in the next 10 minutes. A shot from Butterworth went well wide and then a promising move saw Macdonald slip the ball inside to Earl who played the ball forward toward Alexander who beat Carmichael to the ball and slid the ball goalwards but Horsman was on hand to clear the danger.

RCA almost took the lead in the 20th minute when a Oliver, looking a little casual, was caught in possession by Patton. With the goalkeeper out of position he laid the ball back to Barton, but his effort was blocked, at the expense of a corner, by Wheatley. The resulting corner was headed wide of the target by Preston.

Back came Marske with full back Gott sending a long ball forward to Earl whose shot was blocked by Carmichael and cleared upfield by Horsman.

A through ball from Stanger was intercepted by Tidy and sent forward to Earl who looked to lob Carmichael, but it flew well over the bar.

The game then became a bit scrappy as both teams started to find it hard to create openings for their forwards and the game got bogged down in midfield.

A Clough headed clearance flew all the way back to Oliver who mis-cued his clearance and it fell to Stanger who tried to find Fryatt, but his pass was blocked by Wheatley.

Another long throw by O'Sullivan almost caught RCA out in the 40th minute and although Preston read the danger his clearance only went back to O'Sullivan but he blazed his shot over the bar.

Two minutes later and RCA were awarded a penalty when Fryatt was uppended in the box. Barton stepped up to take and Oliver made a terrific save and Wheatley blocked the followup shot from Barton.

Immediately after the restart a through ball from Wilson was miskicked by Oliver and fell to Patton who was fouled by the keeper on the edge of the box. The referee awarded a freekick and gave Oliver a yellow card.  

Wilson took the resulting freekick firing the ball straight at the keeper who dropped the ball again but this time Fryatt was on hand to stab the ball home. RCA 2-1 up, should have been 3-1 up and game over.

Dean replaced Oliver in the Marske goal.

In the 55th minute Butterworth picking the ball up in his own half played a magnificent pass into the path of Alexander who fired in a shot which beat Carmichael but rebounded off the post to safety.

On the hour mark Patton picked up a pass from Baynes and dribbled past three defenders before firing in a low drive which Dean managed to get a foot to. The ball spun away to Fryatt who was following up and he drilled in a shot which was blocked by Wheatley.

Butterworth was staring to see more of the ball in the final 20 minutes of the game and was using it intelligently. A through ball to Macdonald split the RCA defence and Carmichael had to be at his best to turn the ball round the post.

It only delayed the equaliser for a matter of minutes as O'Sullivan swung in the corner and it was met by Earl who headed home from 10 yards out.

Both teams made substitutions in an effort to win the game, but until the final minutes neither keeper was really tested.

In the 91st minute and with the game drifting towards a draw RCA conceded a corner and once again O'Sullivan took it and swung the ball into the danger area. There followed a scramble in which Wheatley managed to get a head on to the ball and direct it into the net. A massive blow to RCA who had battled hard to try and get something out of this game.

Substitutions can make or break a game and the substition of Oliver for Dean by Ted Watts was a good decision as the ex-Spennymoor keeper made a couple of good saves and also kept on top of his defenders.

RCA conceded from two corners late in the game after taking off Barton who is augably our best defender at corners. There was probably a reason for the change and the fact that the player is unavailable for the weekend might have been a factor.

All in all RCA probably deserved something out of this game but we have said that in a number of games this season and we need to start picking up points to avoid a similar fate as last season. 

Sunderland RCA FC 0 Celtic Nation FC 3

RCA's Kyle Fryatt and Phil Horsman combine to crowd out the Celtic Nation forward.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers:  SRCA: none  Celtic Nation: Murphy (2), Coleman

Please click here for photos from the match.

Sunderland RCA made a number of changes to the squad for the visit of title chasing Celtic Nation. Into the starting eleven came Ross Wilkinson, on loan from Shildon, Stephen Halliday, Aaron Brown and Andrew Brown. The team started the game in an unfamiliar 4-5-1 formation.

The match was completely ruined as a spectacle by the blustery wind which was blowing straight down the pitch. It has to be said that the Celtic Nation players coped better with the weather conditions than our lads.

Celtic Nation took advantage of the slope and the wind in the first half and pressed forward early in the game, the first chance of the half fell to Atkin at the far post a cross in from the right by Coleman found the tall centre forward, but Carmichael was able to turn the header wide of the post.

The home team tried to respond but were finding it difficult to get the ball up to lone striker Patton and Celtic's defence where picking up the loose balls easiliy.

Ten minutes into the game and the lively Fryatt skipped past two tackles before cutting the ball back into the path of Aaron Brown, but he snatched at his effort and it flew harmlessly over the bar.

The wind was playing havoc with the game as Celtic Nation looked to take control, ball after ball was being caught on the wind and ending up going out of play and goalkicks were only just getting out of the 18 yards area.

On the quarter hour mark a cross in by Gibson was met by the head of Atkin who headed the ball back across goal toward Coleman, but Preston reacted quickly to clear the danger.

Celtic took the lead in the 24th minute when the impressive Murphy dribbled into the area before unleashing a shot which was blocked by Wilkinson, the ball fell to Coleman who chipped the ball back into the box where Murphy was on hand to head home from six tards out.

They increased there lead five minutes later when a poor clearance fell to Murphy who played a great ball in to Coleman. The ex-Penrith striker held off the challenge of Preston before turning and striking a low drive into the bottom corner of the net.

It was almost all one-way traffic as Celtic poured forward looking for the goal that would surely kill the game off. Luscombe was unlucky not to divert a hasty clearance into the top corner as the ball struck his boot and flew inches over the bar.

To their credit, RCA continued to try and play football with Andrew Brown and Stanger looking to create things in the centre of the park, but it was difficult in the conditions to string any meaningful passes together.

The second half saw RCA looking to mount a comeback with the assistance of the wind, but it was Celtic who had the first attempt on goal when a cross from Gibson was headed away for a corner by Wilkinson. The left wing corner was headed well wide by Johnson who was in a good position and unmarked.

RCA changed formation and introduced Wray in the heart of the defence pushing Wilkinson forward in an attempt to unsettle the Celtic defence and almost immediately it had an effect as the ball was played forward into Wilkinson he headed the ball back to Andrew Brown 35 yards out and he curled a wonderful shot inches wide of the upright with Taylor rooted to the spot.

Five minutes later and a through ball from Stanger found Patton on the edge of the box, the striker turned and shot but Taylor was equal to it and made a comfortable save.

RCA were, for the first time in the match looking likely to score and when Jury slipped the ball to Aaron Brown his cross into the box was sloced away for a corner. The corner was headed clear by Johnson but only as far as Andrew Brown who picked out Wray at the far post with an inch perfect pass but he could only steer the ball wide of the target.

Back came Celtic, having stopped RCA from scoring they were now looking to run down the clock with some good passing and movement, retaining possession for long periods.

As the game looked to be petering out up popped man of the match Murphy. He picked up a clearance on the edge of the box, controlled the ball with one touch and drilled in an unstoppable shot into the net giving Carmichael no chance.

As has been mentioned already the wind played a big part in today's match and it was obvious that the team pushing for promotion were looking to bag all three points and were the better side overall.

Having said that RCA proved once again that they are good enough to play at this level against good opposition and with the team spirit that has developed they will only get better. What we really need is a win to boost our confidence.

After the game a good night was had by all who attended the Race Night and a big thank you to the players and supporters who contributed to the proceedings.  

Sunderland RCA FC 0 Newton Aycliffe FC 4

RCA's Aaron Brown battles for the ball in the first half of the match.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: SRCA: none      Aycliffe:  Owens (2), Atkinson, Butterworth.

Please click here for photos from the match.

A dismal performance against a vastly improved Newton Aycliffe side ends a disappointing year at RCA. Just 11 wins and nine draws in 53 matches means yet another battle against relegation is looming.

2013 has certainly been unlucky for the small band of RCA followers who have braved the eliments in support of their team and I for one am hoping for a much better 2014.

Andrew Brown was unavailable due to tonsilitis and John Jury moved into the centre of midfield giving an opportunity to Aaron Brown at right back. This looked like a babtism of fire as he would be up against the vastly experienced ex-RCA winger Harrison Davies. In the centre of defence Wray was preferred to Wilkinson.

RCA started well but it was Aycliffe who had the first effort on goal when Owens slipped his marked before firing ina low shot which was blocked by Preston at the expense of a corner.

RCA were quickly back on the attack and a long range effort from Wilson was deflected for a corner, the naer post corner was partially cleared but fell to Patton who stabbed the ball toward goal however Raitt was on hand to clear off the line.

In the 10th minute Raitt again had to scramble the ball away when Baynes shot looked destined for the back of the net.

A long ball from Mitton found Davies on the left wing and he sent a 40 yard diagonal ball to Butterworth who fired in a low shot which Carmichael did well to save.

A minute later and Aycliffe took the lead, Wilson was dispossessed on the half was line and the ball was played forward to Owens who dribbled past two defenders and from an acute angle blasted the ball into the net off the chest of Carmichael.

Aycliffe almost doubled their score when Atkinson broke clear of the RCA defence but his cross shot went well wide of the far post.

RCA were reeling under the constant pressure being applied by Aycliffe and it looked to be only a matter of time before Aycliffe would score.

In the 32nd minute a freekick was awarded to Aycliffe on the angle of the area. The cross was charged down by the two man wall, but the referee awarded a penalty as the ball had struck the raised arm of Wilson. Up stepped Owen to send Carmichael the wrong way and double the visitors lead.

Worse was to follow five minutes later when a cross from Davies was picked up by Atkinson who blasted the ball home from 10 yards out.

RCA responded as the game headed toward half time. Patton went on a good run but his final shot was off target. Then in the final minute of the half Wray thundered a header against the bar with Spence well beaten.

The second half saw a much better display from RCA and in the opening minute they should have reduced the deficit when Patton played in Barton, but his shot was well blocked by Mitten. The loose ball fell to Wilson who drilled the ball low and it was saved by the legs of Spence.

RCA huffed and puffed in an attempt to get back into the game but all to often they were let down by the final ball which was invariably intercepted by Mitten who had an outstanding game at the heart of the Aycliffe defence.

On the hour mark Aycliffe made it 4-0. A corner was swung into the box where Butterworth rose unmarked to send a bullet header into the roof of the net. Simplicity itself.

The final 30 minutes produced little in the way of goalmouth action as Aycliffe killed the game off. Any threat from RCA was easily extinguished by the efforts of Mitten and Young with Raitt playing his part in midfield.

For RCA Jury was the only player who shone although the introduction of Stanger mid way through the half lifted the team and his passing opened up the Aycliffe defence on a couple of occassions but Spence was able to respond when called upon.

Too often today we gave the ball away our passing was poor, our positional play was non existent and when we resorted to playing a long ball game we made life easy for the Aycliffe defence.

Lets hope for a better 2014.

January

Consett AFC 3 Sunderland RCA FC 4

Kyle Fryatt, who opened the scoring for RCA with a terrific goal, in second half action.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers:  SRCA:  Fryatt, Morris, Barton, og   Consett: Mellish, Sullivan, Mackay.

Please click here for photos from the match.

Please click here for NLFPP video from the match.

An away day at the new Belle View Stadium to face a Consett team who were in free-scoring mode on the artificial surface.

The ground is indeed impressive and the off field facilities are very good. However the pitch surrounding leave a lot to be desired. Whenever the ball went over the barrier surronding the pitch it had to be retreived by a ball person wearing a pair of Wellington boots due to the quagmire conditions.

On the pitch SRCA made four changes to the team so comprehensively defeated last weekend by Newton Aycliffe. Andrew Brown returned to the centre of midfield after a bout of tonsilitis, Ross Wilkinson came in for Ross Preston who was on holiday, Kyle Morris was preferred to Steven Bayles and Jack Stanger would partner Brown against his former club.

Both teams started well trying to play football on ground. Gilberto was finding a lot of space in the centre of midfield and his range of passes was causing RCA problems, while the lively Fryatt was causing the Consett defence problems of their own with his mazy runs.

The first real shot on goal came in the 10th minute when Sullivan picked up a ball from Gilberto, squared the ball to Mackay and the former Hartlepool striker fired in a low shot which Carmichael turned round the post for a corner. Wilkinson headed the resultant corner forward to Fryatt who slipped his marker and set off on a 20 yard run; his cross into the box was well held by Elliott.

A throw out from Carmichael found Jury on the right. He moved into space before playing the ball into the path of Barton who cut the ball back to Morris; his first time shot flew inches wide of the upright.

Consett responded to this threat and Gilberto twice set up Mackay, but both efforts were sent well wide of the target.

In the 24th minute of the game a Carmichael freekick was headed down by Barton into the path of Morris who once again fired wide of the target.

Two minutes later RCA had the ball in the net. A cross from Fryatt was heading toward Barton when Elliott managed to get a hand on it and the ball fell to Morris who fired into the roof of the net, the referee disallowed the goal for a foul on the keeper.

It wasn't long before RCA went in front a ball in from Stanger fell to Fryatt and the RCA winger rode three challenges before rounding the keeper to slide the ball into an empty net.

Back came Consett, Sullivan picked up the ball from Gilberto, played a quick one two with Mackay before sending in a thunderous shot which Carmichael saved low down to his left.

RCA were coming under a lot of pressure as the game neared half time and after a number of near misses Consett finally equalised. A corner was headed away by Wray only as far as Smith who headed the ball back into the area where Mallish was first to react heading into the net betond the outstretched arm of Carmichael.

The momentum of the game was swinging from end to end with both teams committed to all out attack.

In the final minute of the half RCA took the lead, Brown picked up the ball on the right wing and sent a 50 yard pass just beyond the Consett's defence. Morris controlled the ball on his chest before dispatching the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

The second half started as the first half had ended. RCA were awarded a freekick on the left which was crossed into the 18 yard area where, under pressure from Barton, Piecha headed past Elliott and into his own goal.

RCA looked to control the game now, but this is never easy against a Consett team who move the ball from defence to attack so quickly.

In the 55th minute RCA were awarded a freekick on the right. Jury sent in a good cross which was met by Brown, Mellish picked up the loose ball and sent it forward into the RCA box. Sullivan, with his back to goal, chested the ball into the air before producing a perfectly executed bicycle kick into the roof of the net for a truly superb finish.

RCA almost extended their lead minutes later when Jury picked up a great ball from Fryatt and burst into the penalty area before cracking in a shot which Elliott just managed to turn away for a corner.

Consett continued to press forward in search of the equaliser and in the 70th minute a corner from Bell was headed goalward by Smith, but Jury managed to head the ball off the line with Carmichael beaten. The ball fell to Mackay who fired just wide.

Consett were applying constant pressure on the RCA defence which had been reorganised due to an Injury to Wray, Horsman and Wilkinson fought valiantly for every ball ably assisted by Aaron Brown and Jury.

However there was little they could do about the 85th minute equaliser. A shot from Smith appeared to be going wide of the target when it struck Wilkinson and rebounded to Mackay who struck a powerful drive into the bottom corner of the net.

Consett went all out for the winner as they pressed forward, RCA were resolute in defence and the game looked to be heading for a draw. Deep into stoppage time - five minutes on my watch -  a long, hopeful ball was played into the box where Barton forced a mistake by the Consett defence. The ball fell into the area and Barton didn't need a second touch; he just slid the ball home.

What a game, both teams attacking at every opportunity, some absolutely brilliant goals and both defences putting their bodies on the line.

For RCA to take six points off a very good Consett team this season is little short of a miracle but the effort and commitment shown today from 1 - 16 is what makes the spirit in the team so special.

Unbeaten this year onward and upward, next up Whitley Bay, can we improve our home record if we can then we should finish well above the relegation zone. A great effort by everyone today.

Sunderland RCA FC 2 Whitley Bay FC 1

Kyle Morris, scorer of RCA's first goal, on midfield ball winning duties.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: SRCA: Morris, Hughes    Whitley Bay: Reid

Please click here for match photos.

SRCA were forced to make two changes to the team that played so well in last week's win against Consett FC. Danny Wray failed a late fitness test and was replaced by Ross Preston; Jack Stanger was unavailable due to work commitments and Nathan Wilson stepped into the vacated midfield position.

Whitley Bay took advantage of the slope and the wind in the first half and were quickly on the attack forcing RCA to defend in the early stages. A ball into the box by McFarlane was headed away by Preston but fell to Chow on the edge of the box, the Bay striker fired in a low shot which was deflected for a corner.

In the ninth minute a free kick taken by Anderson was headed goalwards by Chow, but Jury was on hand to clear off the line. The ball fell to Novak 30 yards out and the full back crossed into the box towards Rivers, but Preston got to the ball first and was able to clear.

RCA tried to pick up the pace of their game and when Brown slid the ball to Fryatt the winger showed tremendous pace to outstrip the Whitley Bay defence, but when he cut inside to shoot he found Ameobi in his path and he was easily dispossessed by the defender.

On 20 minutes a cross into the RCA penalty area by Anderson was picked up by Rivers, but Preston was once again on hand to block the shot.

The Bay were in control of the match at this point in the game and when Novak picked up the ball on the left wing he was left unchallenged as he ran twenty yards before crossing into the area where Chow controlled the ball on his chest before turning and shooting into the side netting.

Novak was seeing a lot of the ball in the first 30 minutes and was involved once again in the Bay's next attacking move which saw him hit the post from 20 yards out after RCA defence had not dealt with a corner very effectively. Minutes later the full back struck a 40 yard shot well wide of the target.

The Bay continued to press and when Rivers and Chow played an intricate one-two the ball fell to McMullen inside the six yard area, but his shot flew well wide of the goal.

RCA eventually started to make inroads into the Bay's defence. Patton received a great through ball from Wilson, jinked past one defender, but was tackled by Ameobi and the ball was cleared.

Within a minute RCA had their first shot on target when Morris slid in an inch perfect pass to Wilson who fired in a low shot which was collected by Harley.

In the final moments of the half Fryatt slipped past his marker again and this time managed to  get in a shot  which went narrowly wide.

Whitley Bay continued to press forward at the start of the second half and Rivers was guilty of missing the target after being sent clear by Chow's lovely through ball.

Against the run of play RCA took the lead. A cross field ball found Morris on the angle of the penalty area, the RCA winger rode three tackles as he worked the ball into a central position before unleashing a terrific low shot past the outstretched hand of Harley and into the bottom corner of the net.

The goal lifted RCA and they could have been two up five minutes later when Barton headed the ball on to Patton who found space for the first time in the game, but could only shoot straight at Harley.

The introduction of Moore almost had an immediate effect as, with his first touch, he went clear of the RCA defence before blasting his shot well wide of the target.

In the 80th minute a corner for Whitley Bay was headed down by Reid and cleared off the line for the second time in the game by Jury. The play was quickly switched to the other end of the pitch and where Barton's shot was blocked by Ryan, the ball spun past Marley but Ameobi was quick to react and cleared the ball off the line,

In the 85th minute substitute Hughes was fouled on the edge of the box by Ameobi. Wilson struck a beautiful free kick which was brilliantly saved by Harley, but the ball fell to Hughes who volleyed the ball home from close range to record his first goal for RCA on his debut.

Whitley Bay got back into the game in the last minute of normal time when a corner wasn't cleared by the RCA defence. The ball fell to Chow who had his shot blocked, but Reid was on hand to stab the ball home from close range.

This set up a final few fraught minutes for RCA who once again were forced to defend deep in their own half and it was of great relief to the RCA players when the final whistle was blown.

On another day this could have been a heavy defeat for RCA, however, it shows how far we have come in recent weeks. Everyone is now showing great commitment to the cause and in this game it was evident right throughout the team.

Whitley Bay for their part will reflect on the amount of possession they had and on the amount of missed chances.

Next week we play Team Nothumbria in what will undoubtedly be classed as a six-pointer. If we produce the same level of performances as the last two weeks then we should be capable of getting a result there.

Sunderland RCA FC 0 West Auckland Town FC 2

Saturday, 25 January 2014

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: SRCA - None  West Auckland: Close, Campbell

SRCA welcomed title chasing West Auckland to Meadow Park and after their defeat at Ashington in mid-week they would be looking for a much improved performance today. RCA were without a game for two weeks and were looking  to continue their undefeated start to 2014.

The pitch passed a 10:30am inspection and the match referee declared the game on at 1:45pm, although the rain that had fallen in the intervening three hours made for very slippery and boggy conditions underfoot.

RCA took advantage of the slope in the first half, but it was West who created the first opportunity when Garthwaite slid the ball to Richardson on the edge of the area, but the West front man fired well wide of the target.

West were playing some good passing football at this early stage of the game and it was causing RCA problems just trying to get a touch of the ball.

In the ninth minute Richardson picked up a loose clearance, passed the ball forward to Moffatt who laid the ball off to Richardson, he, in turn, squared the ball to Close who drilled in a powerful low shot which flew into the bottom corner of the net to record his first goal for West, ironically against his former team.

The match could have been level a minute later when Barton met a Wilson corner, but his powerful downward header was somehow tipped round the post by Nixon in the West goal.

The game had livened up and West went back on the offensive with Richardson picking up a pass from Close, cutting inside before unleashing a terrific effort which flew inches wide of the far post 

RCA struck back and when a cross field ball from Brown was missed by Green and fell to Fryatt, he sent in an inch perfect low cross into the path of Patton who guided the ball into the net past Nixon, unfortunately it was, harshly in my opinion, ruled out for offside.

With 20 minutes gone West upped the tempo again and RCA were forced onto the back foot, a cross from Briggs was headed against the bar by Richardson and scrambled clear by the RCA defence. The passing and movement of West was almost unbelievable at times, especially given the condition of the playing surface.  

However RCA were not finished yet, not by a long chalk and it was they who had the next real effort. Fryatt picked the ball up from Jury, slipped past his marker before sending in a cross shot which Adam Wilkinson headed inches wide of his own goal with Nixon stranded.

Moffatt had a great chance to settle the game in the 37th minute when a long clearance fell to him 20 yards out, but Carmichael produced a brilliant save, racing from his line to block the shot and collect the ball at the second attempt.

As the game drifted towards half time RCA started to push forward, but were leaving themselves open to a quick counter attack and in the 42nd minute the quick thinking of Close sent the ball forward to Garthwaite who fired wide of the target.

The opening of the second half started in bizarre fashion. Nixon picked up the ball in his area, his clearance struck Patton on the back, as the RCA forward reacted to the loose ball he looked to be fouled by Nixon inside the area and fell to the ground, the referee stopped play and awarded a freekick to West for a hand ball by Patton.

West took control of the second half as they went forward at every opportunity, leaving RCA to respond with quick breakaways.

Moffatt headed over the bar after some good work by Briggs down the left wing.

In the 55th minute a freekick by Garthwaite was headed over the bar by Adam Wilkinson, then a last ditch tackle by Ross Wilkinson prevented Moffatt from scoring. This was immediately followed by more pressure as Richardson once again rattled the woodwork with a great header.

Although under massive pressure RCA were still in the game at 1-0 and Ross Wilkinson almost restored parity when he rose unchallenged to a Wilson freekick but his header went over the bar.

At the other end Close released Briggs who shot low and hard toward goal but Carmichael proved to good for him with an exceptional one handed save.

In the 80 minute a good piece of play by Jury and Brown released Hughes who controlled the ball but before he could get in a telling shot Green somehow got acroos to block the ball at the expense of a corner.

Carmichael was called upon a minute later as substitute Banks twisted and turned inside the area before shooting  into the arms of Carmichael. There was even time for another substitute Byrne to get in on the action with a long range effort that Carmichael dealt with somewhat dismissively.

Unfortunately for Carmichael and RCA, West's other substitute Campbell did get on the score sheet in the 92nd minute when Carmichael made a terrific save from Briggs, but the ball fell to Campbell five yards out and he made no mistake.

After the match both managers were interviewed by Ray Simpson: West manager Peter Dixon said; “I think we should have scored more goals, but their keeper had a blinder. We couldn’t make the game safe until late on, and there was always a risk that we could leave the back door open.”

Sunderland RCA manager David Lee said; “We were always in the game at 1-0, and if we’d taken one of our half chances, then we would have caused them problems. But keeper Jonathan Carmichael and defenders Ross Preston and Ross Wilkinson were excellent.”

Next up Penrith at Home on Tuesday. However, the weather forecast for the next few days is for RAIN followed by RAIN followed by more RAIN with a possibility of SNOW.

February

Sunderland RCA FC 5 Hebburn Town FC 3

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: Barton (2), Hughes (2), Patton   Hebburn:  North (2), McMahon

RCA welcomed Hebburn Town to Meadow Park on a calm, tranquil evening. The pitch was looking in remarkably good condition given the unusually bad weather of recent weeks and a massive thank you must go out to the ground staff who have worked so hard just to get a game on.

The last match played by either team was on 25 January 2014: three and a half weeks of inactivity and it was to show in the performances of both teams tonight.

RCA's line up was fairly familiar with the only changes being the inclusion of Jack Stanger in place of the injured Nathan Wilson and Joseph Hughes preferred to Callum Patton up front.

The game started slowly as both teams tried to get used to the underfoot conditions, Fryatt picking up the ball on the right was the first to threaten a shot on goal in the fifth minute slipping past his marker but his shot was easily blocked by Watson.

Two minutes later and the visitors took the lead. Callum Smith collected a pass from Watson, rode two tackles before slipping the ball into the path of North who slotted the ball past Carmichael and into the net.

It could have been made even worse minutes later when a foolishly conceded freekick on the edge of the box gave Hebburn another chance to test the RCA defence; the high ball meant for North was headed clear by Wilkinson.

RCA were not playing anywhere near there normal passing game as time after time passes went astray.

In the 19th minute a little bit of magic produced the equaliser. Brown won the ball in midfield and played an inch perfect curling pass, inside the full back, to Fryatt inside the 18 yard area, his low cross was met by Hughes at the near post and he guided the ball past Rogers.

This opened the game up and both teams looked to go forward at every opportunity. The conditions were also playing a part as lots of mistakes were being made and only poor finishing kept the scores level.

This all changed on the half hour. RCA were awarded a corner which was hit to long by Brown. Wilkinson managed to recover the ball and chipped in a beautiful ball to the far post where Barton rose highest to head for goal, Rogers managed to get a hand to the ball but Barton following up scrambled it home.

With Hebburn reeling from the goal RCA struck again, a long clearance by Brown was chased down by Barton, Rogers seemed to get to the ball first but his clearance struck Barton who shot straight into the empty net.

RCA looked in control of the game as they tried to create more chances. The speed of Hughes was causing problems for the Hebburn defence and on two occassions he was unlucky not to add to the scoring.

At the other end McMahon was winning his fair share of the ball and causing a threat to the home defence.

In the 40th minute a slick move between Wallace and McMahon set up North, but his shot was blocked by Wilkinson and cleared up field.

In the final minute of the half Hebburn got their reward for some enterprising play when they were awarded a corner. The kick was taken long to ex-RCA player Summers who was unmarked at the far post; he headed the ball back into the danger area where North was able to outjump the whole RCA defence to head home from two feet out.

RCA always keep their supporters on the edge of their seats and tonight was no exception.

The second half started with RCA, kicking with the advantage of the slope, looking to add to their goal tally.

Unfortunately Hebburn were not in a mood to just lie down and roll over. A header from Barton was the only real chance of the second half before Hebburn equalised in the 70th minute.

Wallace who had been a threat throughout the second half burst into the box and Wilkinson, coming across to cover was adjudged to have fouled him inside the area, up stepped McMahon to blast the ball home past Carmichael.

Hebburn, with their tails up looked to take advantage and almost took the lead when, in a carbon copy of the first goal, McMahon slipped the ball to North but this time Carmichael was able to make the save. His long clearance upfield was headed down by Barton, into the path of substitute Patton who slotted home past the helpless dive of Rogers.

Three minutes later RCA sealed the points with a great move. Stanger won the ball in midfield before firing the ball into the path of Patton, he controlled the ball then crossed to the far post where Hughes was free and the RCA striker made no mistake volleying home.

It could have been worse for Hebburn in the 80th minute when Hughes picked up the ball inside the box, but the striker decided to shoot when a square ball to Barton would have been the better option.

Hebburn where not finished and continued to show a lot of spirit towards the end of the match. Wallace produced a great shot which was well saved by Carmichael. Had it gone in then it would have set up a grandstand finish.

This was by no means a classic, the fact that both teams hadn't played for a number of weeks certainly contributed to an under par performance. RCA can take heart in getting the three points making it nine points in the last four games and Hebburn must feel that they have turned a corner with performances giving  hope for the future.

RCA have done the business tonight securing all three points in their bid to get away from relegation. The fight continues at Penrith on Saturday - weather permitting.

Team Northumbria FC 3 Sunderland RCA FC 1

Monday, 25 February 2014

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers:  SRCA: Hughes   Team North:  Lumsden, Aird,  Sayer

RCA's unpredictable season continues with a below par second half performance in this bottom of the table clash. Team North were simply better at finishing than RCA on the night.

An injury to Kyle Morris had forced a change to the team with Joseph Hughes moving to the left wing and Callum Patton returning up front. There was also a start for Aaron Brown at right back with John Jury moving into a central midfield position in preference to Jack Stanger.

The game almost had a dramatic start as a poor clearance from Jennison struck Barton, rebounded kindly for the RCA striker who responded quickly but could only lob the ball over the bar while Jennison watched helplessly.

Team North started their usual passing game which resulted in a good move involving Morgan and Storey before the ball was played into the box where Preston managed to get to the ball first to deny Sayer their first chance of the game.

A minute later and play switched to the other end where Fryatt picked up a pass from Jury before cutting inside and crossing towards Barton, but Morgan cleared the danger.

The game was end to end with both teams guilty of misplaced passes in dangerous positions which allowed chances to be created at both ends.

Team North created the next scoring opportunity when a pass from Andrew Brown was intercepted by Lumsden who was allowed to run twenty yards before playing in Watling. The Team North striker's shot was deflected away for a corner and from the resulting kick Sayer headed over the bar.

RCA seemed to pick up the pace of the game and a snap shot from Jury went narrowly wide of the upright.

A great ball from Horsman found Patton inside the penalty area, he dribbled past two defenders before shooting and Jennison was forced to parry the shot, the ball fell to Hughes who volleyed the ball straight at the keeper and the ball drifted out of play for a corner.

In the 27th minute RCA deservedly went ahead when a freekick was headed powerfully goalwards by Preston, the partially cleared ball fell to Hughes whose shot crossed the line before being scrambled out, in the melee that followed the ball was again forced over the line this time by Brown.

Team North responded with Sayer feeding the ball to Watling who spun and shot but Carmichael was on hand to save.

Almost immediately RCA were back on the attack, Horsman whipping in a cross which Barton met supurbly but could only steer his header over the bar.

Team North were back in the game in the 43rd minute when they forced a corner on the left, Aird's cross seemed to be to long for everyone, however, Lumsden chased the ball into the opposite corner before chipping it back in toward the far post and unfortunately for RCA into the net.

In the final minute of the half RCA almost made it 2-1 when Hughes picked up a ball from Horsman, beat his marker and blasted in a shot which beat Jennison before hitting the inside of the far post and rebounding past the prone Jennison and Lumsden and was finally cleared by Morgan.

RCA started the second half on the attack a good dribbling run by Patton saw him force yet another save from Jennison. A minute later and a cross into the box by Aaron Brown was headed down by Barton into the path of Patton who fired straight at the keeper.

Hughes was switched up front with Patton moving to the left wing as RCA continue to push forward and the change almost had instant success as Jury slipped in a great ball to Hughes who was only stopped from scoring by a supurb piece of defending by Storey who threw himself in front of the shot.

As the hour mark approached the tide turned and Team North looked to capitalise on some poor passing by RCA, after a spell of pressure they won a corner which was taken short by Aird to Luke who curled a lovely shot narrowly wide of Carmichael's goal.

Within minutes a long clearance from Tumilty found Luke in acres of space unfortunely his shot was well off target.

RCA appeared not to have learnt from these two chances and a minute later found themselves behind when they lost the ball in midfield, the ball was lofted into the area where Wilkinson looked to have cleared the danger however the ball fell to Aird 35 yards and he struck a perfectly place shot out of the reach of Carmichael and into the top corner of the net.  

Two minutes later and it was 3-1 when Tumilty once again intercepted a pass before sending a long ball forward to Sayer who controlled the ball before moving forward to unleash a terrific shot which rocketed into the net.

With twenty minutes still to play it was all over as Team North ran down the clock effectively and RCA where unable to produce anything of note in front of goal.

A disappointing second half performance by the lads after they promised so much in the first.

We now find ourselves dragged back into the relegation battle, however credit must go to Team North who looked down and out for almost an hour but kept on going and got the reward their effort deserved. 

March

Sunderland RCA FC 1 Billingham Synthonia FC 1

RCA defender Ross Preston clears the ball in the first half of the match.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: SRCA Hughes  Synners: Wray (og)

Please click here for photos from the match.

Please click here for the Billingham Synthonia photographer's photos.

After the disappointment of Monday at Team Northumbria the Management team made wholesale changes to the starting line up and the formation for today's match.

Playing an unfamiliar 3-5-2 or 5-3-2 whichever way you look at it this was a vastly improved performance from everyone in the squad.

Wray and Preston teamed up with Horsman in the centre of defence and the inclusion of Player/Joint Manager "Buddy" Halliday in midfireld along side Nathan Wilson and Stanger was a master stroke, as they stifled the usually inventive "Synners" midfield. Jury and Aaron Brown played as wing backs and Hughes and Barton were up front.

RCA got off to a dream start, from the kick off the ball was played to Horsman, he found Brown on the left wing, Brown slipped the ball to Wilson who played the ball to Barton who switched play to Jury on the other wing he crossed into the box where Hughes finished sublimely to give RCA the lead on 25 seconds.

Synners responded immediately, a freekick taken by Edwards was floated to the back post where Abel headed the ball back into the danger area to Sweet who could only direct his header straight at Carmichael.

A minute later Burton shot wide from 20 yards out after being played in by Osmond.

Another well taken freekick from Edwards in the 12 minute was headeed away by Preston, the loose ball was picked up by Abel but he fired wide of the target.

Synners were piling on the pressure but the RCA defence was holding firm, dealing effectively with everything that was being thrown at them.

In the 22 minute Hillaby played a one two with Hughes before striking a low shot which Carmichael was able to smother.

The RCA keeper then turned defence into attack as he kicked the ball out to Hughes who showed great pace in getting past his marker before shooting towards goal where Briggs brought off a great save.

Synners equalised in the 25 minute when Woodhouse won the ball inside his own half and sent a long ball forward, the ball fell to Sweet who set off towards goal, Wray made a great tackle but the ball was diverted the wrong side if Carmichael and into an empty net.

As the half wore on it was clear that both defences were well on top and goalmouth action was very scarce.

The second half saw Synners attacking almost constantly with RCA reduced to defending and trying to hit them on the break.

On the hour mark a corner on the right was palmed away by Carmichael under pressure and the ball fell to Hillerby who curled his shot wide of the target.

A minute later and Edwards was once again the provider of a clear chance for Synners, his freekick into the box was met by Abel but Carmichael produced a great save from the centre half's header.

RCA continued to deny Synners and were always a threat going forward especially with the pace of Hughes and the introduction of Fryatt added more pace to the attack.

In the 75th minute a great ball from Hughes to Woodhouse beat the RCA offside trap and when the ball was played into the six yard area for Sweet it looked a certain goal but the Synner's striker placed the ball inches wide of the post.

That was the last real chance of the game as both teams cancelled each other out in every department of the pitch.

Synners for all there efforts could not breach a well organised RCA team who gave nothing away cheaply. A well deserved point picked up away from home at a top ten team was the reward for a fantastic team effort.

Next up is Marske United on Tuesday night.

Sunderland RCA FC 2 Marske United FC 0

Strength of purpose: RCA's Phil Horsman shows the ball out for an RCA throw in.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: SRCA: Fryatt, Barton Marske: None.

Please click here for photos from the match.

Work commitments meant that Stanger, Patton and (Andrew) Brown where unavailable for selection. Into the squad came the evergreen Wayne Henderson.

The selection of the starting eleven was further disrupted when both Nathan Wilson and Ross Wilkinson reported niggling injuries. Therefore the team reverted to the familiar 4-4-2 formation, (Aaron) Brown swapped to right back, Jury into the centre of midfield and both Baynes and Fryatt recalled as wingers.

After the excellent display in securing a point on Saturday hopes were high of adding to our points tally against a Marske United team who seem to have fallen away of late.

RCA started with their, now familiar, trademark of scoring inside the first 30 seconds of a match. From the kick off the ball was collected by Brown who slide the ball into midfield where Halliday sent a slide rule pass into the path of Fryatt who outpaced the Marske defence before rounding the keeper and slotting home 1-0 up in 23 seconds.

The lead was almost short lived as Marske moved forward and a cross into the box by Stewart was met by ex-RCA player Marshall, but he headed well over the bar from a promising position.

The next chance of the game fell to Barton, Jury won the ball in midfield and sent the ball out wide to Baynes who crossed low into the box to Barton whose shot was well blocked by Collins.

As with the match on Saturday, RCA were forced to defend in numbers as the opposition took the game to them and it took some excellent defending by Preston and Wray to keep the Marske strike force from scoring. They did so well that Carmichael was not forced to make a save in the first half hour.   

Marske were playing some good possession football without penetrating the RCA defence and for their part RCA were quick to break when the chance arose.

In the 28 minute RCA were awarded a Corner which Baynes took, picking out Barton on the penalty spot the RCA striker headed down toward goal where Hughes stabbingg the ball forward producing a great reaction save from Dean who took a knock to the head in the process.

The reaction from Marske was predictable as once again they started to play the ball about without creating a worthwhile chance although Butterworth did have a long range shot in the 42 minute which went wide of the target.

The  second half started with a flourish for RCA, Fryatt, pushed up front to replace the injured Hughes, was in the thick of the action within a minute of the restart as he ran at the Marske defence, unfortunately his final ball, meant for Barton was a little to heavy and was collected by Dean.

Two minutes later and Brown played a delightful ball forward to Baynes who played a one two with Barton inside the penalty area before striking a low drive which Dean saved supurbly.

Marske with the advantage of the slope started to make inroads into the RCA defence and a great ball in from Stewart was met by Macdonald who blazed his shot high and wide. at the other end Jury tried his luck from 25 yards out but his effort went well over the bar and a Wilson freekick was headed straight at Dean by Shields.

A mistake in the heart of the RCA defence saw a sliced clearance fall at the feet of Marshall but his shot was poor and easily dealt with by Carmichael.

In the 80th minute RCA thought that they had extended their lead when a cross into the box was headed away by O'Sullivan, the ball fell to Fryatt who set himself up before volleying the ball into the bottom corner of the net. Unfortunately the linesman ruled that Shields was in an offside position and interfering with play.

The game switched to the opposite end almost immediately when a ball into the box by Mcdonald resulted in a goal mouth scramble and the ball could have gone anywhere, as it happened Halliday took control and played out a great ball to Shields who held the ball up before playing in Brown, he returned the ball to Shields who crossed into the box where Barton made no mistake from 5 yards out.

Marske made one last effort to get back into the game but a header from Marshall and a long range effoert by Dougall didn't really threaten the RCA goal.

Another all round team performance and just rewards for the effort that they have put in. 13 points out of the last seven games is a great achievement given our predicament just before Xmas.

Some excellent performances tonight, Wray and Preston seem to be getting a great understanding at the heart of the defence and what can you say about Halliday, he is leading by example and what an example. We are also chipping in with some goals now which was a problem area before the turn of the year.

Morpeth on Saturday and I am sure that they will be trying to turn their season round. No easy games in this league.

Morpeth Town FC 5 Sunderland RCA FC 0

Saturday, 8 March 2014

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: SRCA: None:  Morpeth: Forster (3), Wright, Swanson.

Changes were forced on the Management team for today's match at Morpeth Town, Horsman with a foot injury sustained at work will be out for a few weeks and Hughes on holiday in Mexico is out for three weeks.

In to the team came Wilkinson in a three man defensive unit and Jim Wilson started in the midfield for the first time.

5 0 may on paper look like a drubbing for the team, but in effect Morpeth had about 10 minutes in the first half and scored two fantastic goals then in the second half they scored two goals in a minute as RCA started to wilt. Unfortunately for RCA they only tested the home keeper on twooccasions  and for all their possession were unable to put pressure on a Morpeth defence which looked in total control.

The game started at a frantic pace with both teams committed to attacking at every opportunity, a good piece of link up play between Wilson and Halliday, set Brown away down the right and when his cross was met by Barton it looked like an early goal was on the cards unfortunately the striker header was turned round the post by Mundy.

In the nonth minute Grant made a great interception in the heart of the midfield before releasing the ball to Forster who made no mistake blasting the ball past the advancing Carmichael.

RCA responded almost immediately, Wilson found Fryatt in space and the dimintive striker skipped past two challenges before crossing into the box where Jewels was forced to concede a corner, from the corner the ball fell to Halliday who slipped the ball to Wilson but his shot missed the target.

Morpeth went 2-0 up in the 20 minute, a great piece of individual skill from Forster as he cut inside the full back before sending the home fans delerious with a 35 yard looping shot the flashed past Carmichael and into the top corner.

Minues later Fryatt again slipped past his marker but once again his cross into the box was met by a Morpeth defender and cleared.

RCA were starting to get a grip of the midfield and when Wilson slipped the ball to Fryatt inside the area it took a supurb covering tackle from Jewels to deny Barton a chance to get on the score sheet.

In the 36 minute Morpeth won a corner which was headed clear by Brown but the ball fell to Fry who sent the long range effort wide of the RCA goal.

A minute later and a corner at the other end this time Jewels headed clear only as far as Brown who chipped in across to the far post Wray headed the ball out to Wilson who fired low but wide.

As the half time whistle approached Wilson again played in Fryatt and again his effort was blocked by Jewels.

The second half followed the pattern of the first half RCA with a lot of possession but unable to penetrate a very well organised Morpeth defence and Morpeth doing what they do best counter attack at speed.

In the 50th minute a lovely through ball from Halliday found Barton who slammed the ball home only to be ruled offside. From the freekick the ball was played up field to Forster who, controlled the ball well before firing in a shot which went inches wide of the upright.

Five minutes later and substitute Nathan Wilson took a freekick to Fryatt who sent a lovely ball into the box for Barton but he fired over the bar. That could have been 2-2 what happened next was Morpeth at their best.

Henderson won the ball on the right, ran 30 yards with the ball before sending in a teasing cross which was met by Wright who headed the ball home past a helpless Carmichael.

RCA kicked off lost the ball on the right again and the ball was played forward quickly to Swanson who clamly slotted the ball into the net.

A nightmare minute and 4-0 down.

The only meaningful contribution from that point on was a little dribble and a cross shot from Patton which Mundy saved superbly diving to his left.

Forster completed his hat trick in the 90 minute when again he latched onto a long clearance before finishing with some aplomb.

Morpeth obviously had a point to prove after their set back last week against Billingham Town.

RCA having defended really well in their last two matches never got to grips with the game today. We looked decent going forward but where hit time and again by the quick counter attacking play of Morpeth.

Lesson to be learnt in this match is that we need to defend first and the attacking options will come. Morpeth showed that today, We showed it against Marske last Tuesday.

Next up is Billingham Town who beat Morpeth last week so this will be no pushover. 

Sunderland RCA FC 3 Billingham Town FC 1

RCA's central defender Danny Wray takes on attacking duties in the second half of the match, where he's up against ex-RCA man and Billingham Town captain Michael Dalton.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: SRCA:  Barton (2), N. Wilson:   Bilingham Town: Dalton

Please click here for photos from the match.

Please click here for Neil Smith's photographs.

Further team selection problems beset the management team ahead of this crucial EBAC Northern League Div I fixture, Stephen Baynes and Andrew Brown were both sick, Philip Horsman foot injury and Joseph Hughes Holiday were also unavailable and Ross Wilkinson returning to Shildon did not help the situation.

The formation reverted to 4-4-2 with Jury returning to full back, Jack Stanger started in midfield, Shields on the right wing and Patton up front returning to the team. Looking at the team it looked a little unbalanced with no left sided players in the squad. There was some light on the horizon with the return of Kyle Morris to the bench  after a long lay-off with an ankle injury.

RCA started the game kicking up the slope and against a very strong blustery wind. As has become customary in recent matches RCA took the lead inside the first 2 minutes when a through ball from Stanger was chased down by Shields, the Billingham defender Hodgeson was first to the ball but his attempted back pass to Pisani was poor and the keeper mis kicked straight to Barton who made no mistake from 5 yards out.

It could so easily have been 2-0 a minute later when Halliday took a quick freekick to Shields who slipped into the box before crossing to Barton who powered in a header which was brilliantly saved by Pisani.

Billingham settled into the game and started to utilise the wind to their advantage in the 10 minute after some good work by Dalton and Hill the ball fell to Crust who fired over the bar from 25 yards out.

A quickly taken throw in by Dixon found Dalton and Billingham set up another attack this time Dalton played the ball into the path of Jackson who fired low but just wide of the upright.

RCA countered immediately as Carmichael found Stanger from the goalkick, he played the ball wide to Fryatt who clipped the ball first time into the middle of the park where Patton was completely free, his fierce drive was well saved by Pisani.

With Billingham forging forward with the assistance of the wind the RCA defence appeared to be coping well and looked fairly comfortable until the 30 minute when Fryatt was dipossesed on the half way line and the ball was sent forward, took a wicked bounce and landed at the feet of Dalton and the Billingham Town Captain did not need a second chance striking the ball into the roof of the net from 10 yards out.

There was a frantic end to the half with Shields sliding the ball through to Stanger who shot narrowly wide then at the other end a freekick by Ballantyne was headed into the arms of Carmichael by Horsley.

The second period took place almost entirely in the opposition half with RCA throwing the ball forward at every opportunity and Billingham defending supremely well.

Fryatt almost unlocked the Town defence with a mazy dribble which ended when Hodgson blocked the final shot.

Then Patton dribbled into the area only to be stopped by Hodgson and the ball fell kindly for Pisani.

A corner into the box by Patton was headed down by Preston and blocked on th eline by Jackson, in the gaolmouth scramble that followed the ball was cleared up field only to set up another RCA attack.

It looked likely the that game was going to end 1-1 as both teams looked to cancel each other out. Then in the 85 minute RCA were awarded a freekick 25 yards out up stepped substitute Nathan Wilson to strike in an absolute thunderbolt of a shot which rocketed into the net.

The final nail in the coffin of a very spirited Billingham Town team came in the 89 minute when a cross into the box found Barton who mishit his shot which struck Pisani but the rebound fell to Barton who scrambled it over the goal line.

Not a vintage performance but it was workmanlike effort in atrocious conditions. It was also a well earned three points which move us back up the table.

Billingham can take heart from this match and their recent form suggests that they are capable of mounting a challenge for promotion from the second division next season.

From RCA's point of view we have to make sure that the points earned today are not wasted and that we match or better all of Team Northumbria's results.

Next up is Penrith on Tuesday.

Sunderland RCA FC 0 Penrith FC 1

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers:  SRCA:  None   Penrith: Gardiner.

RCA welcomed, after umpteen postponements, Penrith to Meadow Park for this important EBAC Northern League match; three points for either team would almost certainly guarantee survival in the first division for next season.

Once again their was a strong blustery wind blowing directly down the slope which Penrith took advantage of in the first half.

However it was RCA who had the first real opportunity to attack with Shields getting past one marker before crossing into the box to Patton who fired straight at a Penrith defender.

The game was in danger of getting out of hand as early as the eighth minute when a reckless challenge on Jury by Read went unpunished by the referee and a minute later he had to have a word with Jury and Davidson after words were exchanged.

In the 10th minute a corner was awarded to Penrith and the cross in by Cameron Wilson was headed over the bar by the Rigg.

A midfield battle ensued for the next 10 minutes with both teams fully committed to winning the battle.

In the 19th minute a long throw from Williams was collected by Gardiner in the penalty area; the Penrith striker swivelled with the ball before sending it into the bottom corner of the net just out of reach of Carmichael.

Penrith, for all their possession, were not creating many real chances with to many long range efforts flying well wide of the target and when they did try to get into teh penalty area they were met with a very resilient RCA defence.

On the half hour mark Penrith had only their second real shot on goal when Read managed to slip his marker before firing in  a low driven shot which Carmichael saved supurbly.

RCA were being forced to defend in numbers but were always dangerous on the counter attack, especially with the introduction of the pacy Fryatt for the injured Shields.

In the 40th minute it took a great defensive covering challenge from Jury to deny Jackson a strike at an empty net after Carmichael looked to have been fouled in the original build up play.

As the cliché goes this was always going to be a game of two halves and so it turned out as RCA piled on the pressure in the second half but like Penrith in the first half they were finding it difficult to get a clear shot on target as Penrith's defence held firm.

In the 65th minute a breakaway by Davidson ended with a good challenge from Preston sending the ball for a corner, inexplicably the referee awarded a goal kick to RCA. This started a serious of bizarre events which culminated in the game getting out of hand as the players got frustrated at the some of the decisions given.

Fryatt was on the end of a number of cynical fouls, all of which went unpunished and in the 67th minute RCA recorded their first shot on target when they were awarded a freekick after yet another foul on Fryatt. Patton struck a sweet freekick which brought a truly spectacular save from Richardson.

From the resulting corner the ball was headed behind for a second corner by Taylor, this time when the ball was played in Barton's header struck Davidson and went over the bar, a goal kick awarded infuriated the RCA players.

From the goalkick the ball was played wide where Fryatt won the ball and played the ball into Barton who spun past his defender before chipping the keeper only to have the goal disallowed for offside.

Then within a minute, as RCA started to dominate, the ball was played into the area by Stanger to Barton who in the process of shooting was hauled to the ground and the ball spun away harmlessly to Richardson in the Penrith goal.

RCA continued to dominate possession without testing the keeper and you could not fault the effort of the players from both sides.

However as the game drifted toward full time the game became scappy and disjointed. Andrew Brown had an effort saved by the keeper. Stanger also had an effort which went wide and in the dying minutes a shot from Barton was blocked by Rigg.

If effort and endeavour won football matches then we would have won this one comfortably. A draw would have been a fair result unfortunately, on the night Penrith carried that little bit of luck.

Guisborough Town FC 2 Sunderland RCA FC 1

Saturday, 22 March 2014

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: SRCA: Jim Wilson  Guisborough : Roberts, Bythway.

How the fortunes of these two teams have changed in recent years. Two years ago it was RCA who were flying high in the First Division and now it is Guisborough Town who are enjoying a truly remarkable transformation.

RCA welcomed Philip Horsman back after his foot injury and Shaun McAvoy, a recent signing from Chester Le Street, started in the centre of midfield.

The Priorymen started well and  as early as the third minute they had their first effort on goal a long ball from Bythway was collected by Gell on the left wing; he played the ball into Johnson but Guisborough's prolific goalscorer drilled his shot wide of the target.

At the other end some good work by Stanger saw him win the ball in the centre circle before distributing it forward to Barton; his knock on fell into the path of McAvoy who forced a good save from Coddington.

Guisborough continued to press forward and were playing some controlled football out of defence but they were finding it difficult to get the ball to their minfielders as Stanger and McAvoy looked to dominate the middle of the park.

Guisborough, somewhat fortuitously, took the lead in the 23rd minute when a Horsman slip allowed Risborough into the box where he was fouled and the Referee pointed to the spot. Up stepped Roberts to hammer the ball into the net from the penalty spot.

RCA were almost level five minutes later when a freekick just outside the area was taken by Patton who floated the ball to the far post where Preston rose to head back toward goal forcing Coddington to tip the ball over the bar.

Guisborough were under pressure a minute later giving away another freekick 25 yards out. This time Stanger took the kick quickly to McAvoy who turned and fired in a low shot which Coddington saved at the foot of the post.

In the 33rd minute the Priorymen went 2-0 up, a corner was passed out to Bythway about 30 yards out and he fired in a stunning shot which left the RCA defence rooted to the spot as it rocketed into the net.

It could have been worse a minute later when Carling sent Roberts away but the striker, under pressure from Horsman, fired wide.

RCA came back and yet another freekick caused problem for the home defence, Stanger's freekick was headed backwards by Bishop and Jim Wilson could only head into the side netting with Bythway in close attendance.

Two minutes from half time Patton crossed in a corner which was met by Barton, his header was cleared off the line by Oldfield and in the ensuing goalmouth scramble both Carling and Bishop blocked shots before the ball was cleared.

The second half started with RCA on top, forcing Guisborough to defend in numbers.

In the 56th minute they were rewarded when a freekick, taken by Carmichael, was allowed to run through to Wilson who was ghosting in at the far post and the RCA winger got to the ball first to divert it past the keeper and into the net.

This gave RCA the boost that they needed and it took some desperate defending to stop Hughes from getting onto the score sheet when he slipped past two defender inside the penalty area only to see his shot hit Carling and rebound to safety.

Guisborough were still dangerous on the counter and Jury had to be at his very best to intercept the ball after Bythway had found Gell in acres of space the ball bounced away from the Guisborough player and Jury was able to nip in and clear.

In the 70th minute RCA had a penalty appeal turned down when Barton looked to be fouled by Bythway as he tried to get a header on target.

With time running out RCA threw caution to the wind pushing players forward in an effort to get the equaliser. A shot from Hughes struck Barton and went wide for a goal kick.

Guisborough tried to take advantage of RCA over commitment to attack and almost scored again when Johnson picked up a loose ball before firing in a shot which Carmichael did well to save and Wray was on hand to clear up.

RCA had the lion's share of the game for the last 10 minutes without testing the Guisborough keeper and the home team held on to the end.

This was avery spirited display from the whole  RCA team against a Guisborough team who are flying high in the league. If we can produce performances like that from now until the end of the seasonthen we will be ok.

We certainly deserved something out of this game. 

Sunderland RCA FC 1 Ashington FC 2

RCA forward Joe Hughes in first half action.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers:  SRCA: Fryatt  Ashington: Walton (2)

Please click here for photos from the match.

Please click here for Ashington manager's comments on the match.

Please click here for Dave Lee's comments on the match.

With both Wray and Barton missing because of work commitments the managers were forced to make changes to the team that performed so well last Saturday at Guisborough Town. In came Hughes to partner Patton up front, Horsman moved to central defence and Aaron Brown, playing his last match for RCA before leaving for Scandanavia, was brought in at left back.

This game had everything, three goals, two disallowed goals, penalty appeals turned down, woodwork rattled and a sending off and that was just the first half. The game turned in the final five minutes after RCA had dominated for most of the second half and Ashington took full advantage the winner coming in the 89th minute.

Another bright start from RCA saw them almost open the scoring inside two minutes, Fryatt running past two defenders, as they appealed for offside, before clipping the ball into the six yard area where it was cleared by Taylor.  A minute later and a long clearance from Carmichael was headed on by Hughes to Fryatt but he shot wide of the target.

Ashington responded through Walton, the Colliers' striker getting between two defenders before firing into the side netting.

A long ball out of defence by Christensen set up another Ashington attack, the ball falling to Glen Taylor, but he shot well wide of the target.

The game was end to end and in the 10th minute after Walton had forced a save from Carmichael the ball was sent up filed were Hughes controlled the ball before setting up Patton but his shot was blocked by Christensen.

Two minutes later Patton returned the favour this time heading the ball on to Hughes who was quickly closed down by Dryden in the visitors goal.

In the 22nd minute the Colliers took the lead when a defensive clearance fell to Carson who delivered a good cross to Walton who finished well from eight yards out.

Within a minute RCA almost got the equaliser when Hughes fired wide from the edge of the area then  agreat through ball from Stanger was picked up by Hughes who sent in a terrific shot which had Dryden at full stretch to save. the rusultant corner was only partially cleared to the edge of the box where Stanger was on hand to fire in a shot which went inches wide of the upright.

The game seemed to be turning RCA way a Jim Wilson effort from 16 yards struck the underside of the bar and was scrambled clear the ball was forced back into the penalty area where Hughes mishit his shot and Dryden was able to make a comfortable save.

Then Hughes looked to have a good shout for a penalty when he burst between two defenders before being barged off the ball inside the 18 yard area.

Ashington responded with a fine effort from Glen Taylor which was well saved by Carmichael. Almost immediately play switched to the other end where Jim Wilson once again powered in a shot which struck the bar and fell straight into Dryden's arms.

During the next few minutes the game became scrappy as both teams looked for the half time whistle, during this time the referee was alerted to a problem in the Home team technical area which led to the dismissal of Stephen Halliday, for a comment made to the Assistant Referee. 

With time running out in the first half RCA got back on level terms with a well deserved eqauliser, when the ball was played across from McAvoy to Fryatt who ran onto the ball before cracking it out of the reach of Dryden and into the corner of the net.

With the advantage of the slope in the second half RCA pushed forward looking to capitalise on their good end to the first half. the first cahance of the half fell to Hughes who was put through by Stanger his turn and shot was saved one handed by Dryden.

The game, as it did in the first half, swung from end to end and the next opportunity fell to Walton who, with his back to goal, picked up a pass from Johnson before turning and forcing an excellent save from Carmichael.

In the 65th minute RCA thought that they had taken the lead when Hughes slipped past two defenders, got to the by line before crossing low into the box, the ball was cleared by Christensen, but went straight back to Hughes who again put the ball into the danger area where the ball was bundled into the net. It was a great disappointment to see the Assistant Referee flagging for offside.

RCA were in the ascendancy and were trying to make their extra possession tell, McAvoy fed the ball to Fryatt who crossed to the far post where Wilson was unmarked, the RCA winger volleyed the ball gaolward but Dryden, who was having a great game, once again pulled off agreat save.

RCA started to tire and the Colliers looked to have weathered the storm as they started to make in roads into RCA's defence. A shot from Carson in the 75 minute was well saved by Carmichael.

Two minutes later Glen Taylor found space on the edge of the box, but fired well over the bar.

Oliver and Johnson combined in the 80th minute to create a chance for Walton, but his shot was blocked by Preston; in the goalmouth scramble that followed no fewer than four shots were blocked by RCA defenders before the ball was eventually cleared up field. Two minutes later and a cross into the box was met by Walton who headed home, but once again the Assistant Referee's flag was up for offside.

RCA were shocked into all out attack now looking for the winner that would give them three vital points in their fight for relegation.

Stanger played the ball to Fryatt who played in Patton, surrounded by Asshington players the RCA striker curled in a shot which only just cleared the bar. 

The killer blow came in the 89th minute when Johnson picked up the ball on the left and the Colliers' captain took on two defenders before crossing into the path of Walton who mishit his shot into the net.

With minutes on the clock Ashington blocked any further attempts on their gaol.

This was a cracking game of football for the neutral, how RCA didn't come away with anything from this match is unbelievable but the spirit shown and the passion to fight for the cause can not be questioned. Once again every player was exceptional today.

We take on Bedlington next week and it will be another battle, two young sides looking to the future.         

April

Bedlington Terriers FC 2 Sunderland RCA FC 4

RCA captain Gavin Barton leads by example as he tackles and wins the ball.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: SRCA: Barton (2), Hughes, McAvoy: Bedlington: Williamson, Dobson

Please click here for photos from the match.

This match was billed as a six-pointer, two teams at the wrong end of the table playing for their survival in the ENL first divison. Neither team were looking at the results of other clubs to help them, the pre match talk on the terraces was of getting something out of todays match to relieve the pressure at the bottom.

RCA recalled captain Gav Barton to the team replacing Jim Wilson and the evergreen Wayne Henderson was brought into cover for Aaron Brown who has left for foreign lands. Danny Wray was unavailable due to work commitments.

Both teams started, understandably, nervously and the opening ten minutes were very scrappy with neither team coming to terms with a very uneven surface.

In the 10th minute Fryatt was released on the right wing by Jury; his cross into the box was met by McAvoy 12 yards out and he hit the ball first time over the bar.

The reaction from the Terriers was instantaneous. Goss won a header inside the RCA half and the ball fell to Watson who sent in a terrific volley which was cleared off the line by Henderson. The ball was then picked up by Williamson who made a great run forward before unleashing a low drive which Carmichael did well to save at the foot of the post.

The ball was sent forward by Carmichael to Patton who controlled the ball superbly on the left wing before setting off on mazy, dribbling run which saw him beat three players before firing in a low shot which Towart could only parry into the path of Barton who made no mistake fron five yards out.

RCA started to get to grips with the midfield and looked in control of the game. Fryatt was causing all sorts of problems down the right and when a through ball from Stanger was picked up by the winger he burst into space before sending in a low cross which again was met by the advancing McAvoy who forced a great save from Towart.

The Terriers continued to battle away and almost got the equaliser on the half hour when Watson nipped past two defenders before sliding the ball to Goss who's shot was well saved by Carmichael and a minute later Goss fed the ball to Williamson who broke into the box before stabbing the ball goalward, producing another super save from Carmichael.

RCA went 2-0 up in the 35th minute when a dribble by Fryatt saw the ball switched to Patton who lobbed the ball forward to the edge of the area were Barton controlled the ball before firing in a truely superb volley which Towart could not stop nestling in the bottom corner of the net, despite getting both hands to the ball.

The young guns of Bedlington earned a lifeline in the 40th minute when, from a RCA throw in, they won the ball on the left wing. Dobson played the ball to Goss who slipped the ball into the path of the advancing Williamson and he made no mistake, slamming the ball home from 10 yards out.

The second half opened in electrifying fashion. A freekick was awarded to the Terriers and from about 30 yards out Watson struck a great shot which Carmichael could only palm up into the air and luckily for RCA Preston was on hand to head clear with Goss in close attendance. From the resultant corner Carmichael punched clear (it was later discovered that he had damaged his hand in doing so).

The ball was cleared to Patton who moved forward before bringing Hughes into the play, the RCA forward  dribbled into the box before stabbing the ball wide of the target, a little bit more composure and he could have sent the ball sideways to Barton who was in a great position to complete his hat trick.

RCA were once again starting to impose themselves on the game and in particular Patton who was seeing a lot of the ball.

In the 53rd minute a lovely through ball from Stanger released Patton inside the box and it was only some brilliant defending by Dixon that prevented him from scoring.

A minute later and Patton picked the ball up on the left, cut inside before slipping the ball to Hughes who crossed to Barton who could only steer the ball over the bar from six yards out.

RCA went further ahead in the 60th minute. Hughes won a corner on the right which was swung to the back post by Patton, picked up by Preston who fired in a shot which was deflected wide for another corner. Patton again took the kick and this time it was aimed to towards the fornt post where Hughes swooped to glance a header into the top corner of the net.

The relief on the pitch was evident and whether the RCA players relaxed or the Bedlington players upped their game is debateable, what was clear was the sudden surge of energy the the Beddlington team got as they went for broke.

Patton was replaced after picking up an ankle injury after a clumsy challenge by Watson.

Watson picked up the ball in the centre of midfield and sent a great ball forward to Williamson who blazed the ball wide of the upright.

A minute later and Williamson was on hand to send in a cross which was defended at the near post by Jury. Then McRoberts chipped in a teasing cross which looked to strike the bar but was adjudged to have been tipped over the bar by Carmichael. 

Carmichael punched the ball clear from the corner, but it was won back by Watson, who was having an outstanding game; he slipped past the tackles of two defenders before shooting past the post.

In the 77th minute, McAvoy had a wonderful chance to finish the game off when he broke away from the last defender but with only the keeper to beat he lobbed the ball straight into the arms of Towart.

RCA killed the game off in the 84th minute. A throw in by Jury was controlled by Barton who flicked the ball over his head into the path of Hughes who outpaced the Bedlington defence before looking up and cutting the ball back into the path of McAvoy who slammed the ball home from ten yards out to make it 4-1.

Bedlington showed their resilience and spirit when, after Davison had fired wide in the 91st minute, they got a consolation goal when a tantalising cross into the box was met by Dobson who volleyed the ball dramatically into the net giving Carmichael no chance. 

The relief of the RCA players, management team, committee and supporters was evident as First Division survival was all but secured with this win.

Team Nothumbria, having lost today, need to win all their remaining games against Ashington, Spennymoor and West Auckland to stand any chance of staying up.

After two brilliant performances against Guisborough and Ashington, RCA never reached those heights today, but what they did do was to grind out a result against a young spirited Bedlington side.

RCA will have learned a lot from today's experience, they were able to cope with a tricky surface continued to play some good football and also scored some good team goals.

We need to start looking at next season and let's make sure that we keep hold of the good youngsters on our books and next season could well see SRCA fighting for a top ten position.  

Finally congratulations to West Auckland FC on reaching the FA Vase final, especially to ex-RCA player Brian Close who deserves more than most his day out at Wembley.        

Shildon AFC 4 Sunderland RCA FC 0

Kyle Fryatt evades Shildon captain and ex-RCA player Mark Hudson in the second half of the match.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goal scorers:  SRCA : none,      Shildon: Emms (2), Richardson (2).

Please click here for photos from the match.

Ashington’s win against Team Northumbria on Thursday guaranteed First division status for RCA for next season. This is a great achievement for David Lee and Stephen Halliday with the small squad of players at their disposal and the commitment of the players to the club has been first rate.

Today’s match against title chasing Shildon was a time to relax and try and enjoy the game. With Ross Preston leaving for Thailand on business and not available for the rest of the season it was left to Daniel Wray to step back into the central defensive position, Jim Wilson came in for Callum Patton in the only other change to the team that won so convincingly at Bedlington last week.

Shildon, who needed a win today to keep up the pressure on the other top teams started the game in determined mood as early as the third minute a quickly taken freekick by Hudson released Garvie on the left and his cross was palmed away by Carmichael before Horsman cleared from the toe of Scroggins.

Further pressure from Shildon ensued and it was only some brilliant defending by Henderson and Wray that kept the score line at 0-0. A wicked curling cross from Garvie was met by Connor who was tackled by Wray, the ball rebounded to Greulich-Smith but his shot was charged down by Henderson and the ball fell kindly for Carmichael.     

The only real chance of the half came in the 35th minute of the match when Craddock took a quick freekick, something which was causing RCA some problems, the ball was headed away by Wray only as far as Greulich-Smith whose snap shot went over the bar.

As the half closed RCA mounted number of counter attacks without seriously troubling the Shildon defence and it was the home side who produced a counter attack of their own when a long ball out of defence by Richardson found Emms in space on the right, the winger cut inside before unleashing a low drive into the side netting.

A very tight and easily forgettable first half was followed by a very open second half as RCA tried to take advantage of the win, unfortunately for them it had somewhat died down from the level of the first half.

A run by Fryatt into the box had the Shildon defence a sixes and sevens but his final ball toward Barton was intercepted by Jones and the ball was cleared.

In the 52nd minute Shildon took the lead when Scroggins won the ball in midfield, sprayed the ball wide to Garvie who cut the ball back into the box where Emms was on hand to fire an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net.

RCA tried in vain to get back into the game and in the 55th minute Horsman was unlucky when he picked the ball up on the half way line, ran 15 yards before striking a thunderous shot goalwards, only for it to take a deflection which took it narrowly wide of the upright.

Ten minutes later Shildon were awarded a dubious freekick near the corner flag, Emms this time became provider sending in a perfect cross which was met by Richardson who headed into the net.

RCA were shell shocked and it got worse two minutes later when Scroggins picked up a loose ball before sliding the ball into the path of Emms who scored easily from close range.

It was left until the 90th minute before Shildon finished the scoring Emms once again found space on the right before crossing into the box where Richardson was on hand to volley home from 10 yards out.

RCA seemed to run out of steam in this game and after the first goal went in Shildon looked likely to score every time they went forward. After a fairly even but uneventful first half Shildon stepped up a gear.

Unusually for RCA they seemed to lose control of the midfield area and this resulted in the defence becoming stretched. After the heroics of the last few weeks the team can be forgiven a below par performance.

Next up a trip to Penrith on Tursday.

Penrith FC 5 Sunderland RCA FC 1

The 'Blood Moon' lunar eclipse phenomenon was apparent in Cumbria during the match.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: SRCA: Morris :  Penrith: og. Hall, Rigg, Coleman, Wilson.

The 170 mile round trip to Penrith turned into a disastrous night for RCA as another abject second half performance saw them well and truly beaten by a much better organised and disciplined Penrith outfit.

With Stanger and Patton unavailable due to work commitments and Barton and Jury stuck in traffic on the A66 the team that started was as follows: Carmichael, Halliday, Horsman, Wray, Henderson, McAvoy, Fryatt, N Wilson, Morris, Hughes, J Wilson. Subs: Barton, Jury, Shields, Stanger and Patton were named in case they could get off work early.

RCA opened the game on full throttle and pressed Penrith onto the defensive, they deservedly took the lead in the eighth minute when a through ball caught the Penrith defence flat footed and Morris took full advantage bursting into the box before slipping the ball into the net past a bewildered Newton to make it 1 0.

Unfortunately that was as good as it got for RCA's following supporters as Penrith took the game by the scruff of the neck.

Why it took until the 23rd minute for the home team to equalise was down to some good saves by Carmichael and at least one shot cleared off the line.

Penrith's equaliser had a bit of luck attached to it as the ball was centred into the box from a freekick on the right, McAvoy, under no pressure at all, headed sweetly into his own goal.

Three minutes later and a through ball from Rigg found Coleman in acres of space, but Carmichael was equal to the striker's shot, saving low down to his left.

On the half hour Penrith upped the tempo again and Carmichael had to be at his best to save from Coleman again and then a flowing move starting with Davison saw the ball switched to Tinnion who played the ball into the path of Read whose crafty little backheel found Coleman and once again Carmichael was equal to the shot.

In the final minutes of the half RCA withstood a barrage of shots in a goalmouth scramble which saw shots rain in from Coleman, Rigg and Hall before the ball was cleared off the line by Henderson.

In the final minute of the half Penrith were awarded a corner which was swung towards the far post where Hall rose unchallenged to head home from close range.

In the opening minute of the second half RCA won a corner and Nathan Wilson took it, sending the ball to the far post where Horsman headed the ball down toward Barton whose snap shot was blocked by Little and cleared up field.

Two minutes later and a Penrith corner was headed toward goal by Rigg and cleared by Horsman.

On the hour mark another corner for Penrith saw the ball headed down by Tinnion to Coleman, but he shot wide.

Twice in quick succession a long ball from Simpson found Tinnion in acres of space and on the second occasion he forced a superb save from Carmichael.

The RCA keeper sent his clearance forward where Barton controlled the ball well before scuffing his shot and it was easily picked up by Newton.

Penrith killed the game off in the next two minutes when Tinnion once again found space on the left before crossing into the box where Rigg was first to the ball heading powerfully past Carmichael.

From RCA's kick off the ball was won by Paul on the left, he sent the ball forward to Coleman who somehow managed to squirm his way past four RCA defenders before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net, 4-1 down in the blink of an eye.

RCA's response was via Hughes who found himself one-on-one with Newton, but could only chip the ball straight at the Penrith keeper.

A Shield's free kick caused problems in the Penrith box when Newton punched the ball away, but it fell to Horsman however his cross was missed by Barton and cleared.

In the 87th minute Penrith completed the scoring when substitute Wilson latched onto a through ball and fired first time into the net.

This was a night to forget if you are a fan of RCA. 

Crook Town FC 3 Sunderland RCA FC 1

Phil Horsman clears ahead of Crook player-manager Gary Pearson, but the whistle has been blown for a Crook free kick.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

EBAC Northern League Div. I

Goalscorers: SRCA: Wray,    Crook: Davis (2), Wallace.

Please click here for photos from the match.

The end of season blues have well and truly set in at RCA, since confirming First Division survival we have lost our three matches, conceeded 12 goals and scored only two.

Today, against an under strength Crook team, we capitulated in a crazy 20 minute second half period which saw us concede three goals. Maybe the enforced lay off with no game for 13 days was a factor as we looked heavy legged in the second half.

Crook used the pace of their front men to great effect and for most of the game, on a bobbly pitch, they missed out the midfield playing long balls into open spaces on both wings which stretched our defence.

RCA's Team : Carmichael, Jury, Horsman, Henderson, Wray, McAvoy, Wilson J, Stanger, Barton, Hughes, Patton: Subs. Wilson N, Shields G, Fryatt, Morris, Brown Andrew.

The game started in a flurry of activity with Bird getting loads of space on the right crossing into the area where Wilson cleared under prssure from Davis.

Two minutes later and a corner by Patton was punched clear by Poskett; it fell to Stanger on the edge of the box but the midfielder volleyed well over the bar.

RCAQ almost took the lead in the 10th minute when Hughes slipped the ball to Patton who forced a reaction save from Poskett, the ball spun away to Barton who tried to pick his spot, but Poskett was able to save with his feet before scrambling the ball away.

Off to the other end of the pitch where a long ball out of defence found Bird in acres of space and the speedy forward took the ball forward before unleashing a shot which went wide of the target.

Two minutes later and Bird was once again found in acres of space on the right. He took the ball to the byline before cutting it back to Davis whose first time shot was parried by Carmichael and cleared up field by Wray.

The game then became a bit scrappy with both defences able to cope with anything that was thrown at them. It was a typical end of season match between two teams who had little to play for.

Although the game continued to be end to end there were few chances of note until the 27th minute when Pearson produced a lovely through ball for Davis, but the striker shot well wide from a good position.

Almost immediately RCA struck back with an attack of their own. Jury picked up the ball on an overlap run before sending in a testing cross towards Barton, but Poskett was alert to the danger and plucked the ball of fthe RCA striker's head.

RCA were starting to to get a bit of possession and when Wilson slid the ball into Hughes it took a good save from Poskett to deny the striker.

As the game flowed back to the other end of the pitch Bond latched onto a ball from Wallace and sent in a great cross which Davis headed straight at Carmichael.

Carmichael sent a long ball forward towards Barton on the left wing. The striker did well to beat two players before slipping the ball into the path of Patton who took the ball in his stride before firing low, but Evans was able to get across to block the shot.

The game was starting to bubble now and another long ball found Bird in space and past the last defender, with Carmichael charging off his line the Crook striker lobbed the ball goalwards, but Wray somehow managed to get back and clear off the line.

The writing was on the wall for RCA as early as the second minute of the second half when a cross field ball from Wallace found Davis in front of an open goal, but he mishit his shot wide.

Two minutes later Crook took the lead a little fortuitously when a long ball forward looked to be an easy clearance for Carmichael, but the keeper's clearance struck an RCA defender on the back and fell into the path of Davis who made no mistake this time stroking the ball into the back of the empty net.

During the next five minutes RCA where bombarded by a rampant Crook team with shot after shot sailing wide of the target.

On the hour mark they doubled their advantage when a shot from Bird was parried by Carmichael but went straight to Wallace who slammed the ball home from close range.

Ten minutes later and the game was over when RCA conceded a corner on the right. Bird took the kick and it was flicked on by Wallace to Davis who fired home through a crowd of players to make it 3-0.

RCA got a consolation goal in the 76th minute when a free kick from Patton was headed home at the far post by Wray.

They were almost given a lifeline a minute later when substitute Brown played the ball to Wilson who dribbled into the box, but his effort was well saved by Poskett.

There was still time for Man of the Match Bird to strike the bar.

Next up is a trip to League Champions Spennymoor Town who clinched promotion to the Evostick with a 1-0 win against Guisborough Town. 

Spennymoor Town FC 3 Sunderland RCA FC 0

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Scorers SRCA: None Spennymoor: Dodds, Cogdon, Capper.

The final game of the season saw us drawn against League champions Spennymoor Town.

RCA made two changes to the team that started on Saturday, Brown replaced the unavailable Henderson and Fryatt returned to the right wing in preference to Hughes.

The game started at a pedestrian pace with Spennymoor content to keep the ball and RCA were happy for them to have the ball at the back.

RCA looked to be getting the better of the midfield exchanges, but the game livened up in the 20th minute when a Capper freekick was headed away by Wray. Stanger picked up the loose ball before sending an inch perfect pass to Barton. The RCA striker clipped the ball into the box where it looked certain that Patton would score if he got his head to the ball, but Jeffries was first to the ball to avert the danger.

He rolled the ball to Richardson who sent a great ball forward into the path of Dodds who kept his cool to slot the ball home low to Carmichael's right.

A minute later it was two when an almost identical ball found Capper who switched the ball inside to  Cogdon  who blasted the ball home.

Spenny were rampant now but RCA regrouped and got themselves sorted out defensively.

Unfortunately, in the 40th minute, they were reduced to 10 men when captain Barton was dismissed for an alleged elbow.

The second half saw Spennymoor with massive amounts of possession, but nothing that posed a threat to RCA until Capper popped up with a goal, starting and finishing the move.

RCA huffed and puffed, defended really well at times, but were not creating anything going forward.

In the last 10 minutes of the game a terrible challenge by Walton left Wilson with a nasty gash in his leg, it could so easily have been worse. Yellow to the ex-RCA player another night another referee could have seen red.

Next up Seaham Red Star on Saturday. Unfortunately no match report from me. However it is possible that Seaham's programme editor will be producing one.

See you all next season.    

Squad pen pictures

Gavin Barton

Gavin returns for his third spell at Meadow Park, he is a recognised striker with a very good scoring record at this level. Had spells at Spennymoor, Celtic Nation and Bishop Auckland in the last couple of seasons. If fully fit, and there are signs that he is getting there, he will be a handful for any defence.

Steven Baynes

Steven joins us from Billingham Synthonia FC. He is a left sided player who is equally proficient as a full back or as a winger. Enjoys getting forward at every opportunity and causes defenders problems with his pace.

Aaron Brown

Signed from West Auckland FC, Aaron is a right sided player, equally happy at right back or on the wing. He has great energy and can whip in a very effect cross. Another younster who will improve if given the opportunity.

Andrew Brown

Central midfielder, signed from Jarrow Roofing. Andy has youth on his side and has the makings of a superb player. Good tackler, excellent vision and loads of pace. Back after injury Andy is out to take over the midfield role permanently.

Anthony Callaghan

Anthony, a local lad, was released by Sunderland AFC in the close season and after several trials with pro-clubs was signed by West Auckland FC. We have recently aquired his services from West Auckland and he is a great aquisition to the team. A speedy left winger / full back he has the ability to take on defenders and send in telling crosses.

Jonathan Carmichael

Jonathan (Josh) has been recently signed from Whitley Bay FC after the departure of Peter Jameson to Darlington 1883, Josh is a great shot stopper, has goos awareness in the box and his distribution skills are excellent. He is well capable of turning defence into attack.

Kyle Fryatt

Kyle, a local lad, has joined us from Esh Winning. A quick winger he is still young and will develop into a good Northern League player given time and patience.

Callum Hassan

Callum was released by Hartlepool AFC in 2012, he has played for a number of Northern League clubs including West Auckland, Billingham Synthonia and Bishop Auckland. He is a big strong centre forward who combines ths with a lot of pace and he has a decent goalscoring record. Once fully fit he will be a force to be reckoned with.

Wayne Henderson

What can we say about Wayne that has not already been said? In his 15th season with the club he is still has the enthusiasm that he had when he first signed, if not the legs. Injuries and recovery time have limited his appearances in recent years but when he plays, he always gives 110%. Still not the oldest player on the books but by far the longest serving. 

Philip Horsman

Philip joins us from Thornaby FC. He is a strong Central defender who is also good on the ground. His awareness and vision set him apart from the average defender. He has been around the Northern League for some time having previously played for Billingham Synthonia FC.

Joseph Hughes

Joseph has recently signed from Durham City FC. His direct approach to the game and his pace make him a handful for defenders. He has scored a plenty of goals at all levels that he has played. An exciting prospect for the future and one we are sure the fans will like. Scored on his debut for the club.   

John Jury

Full back/ midfielder signed in the close season from Team Northumbria. John is a tenacious tackler who has a great engine and loves to overlap. He has proved he has the ability and the quality to play at this level and above and is an outstanding addition to the team.

Shaun McAvoy

Kyle Morris

Striker who has beenin the USA for the last two years, he has a good strike record and has produced a number of goals during the pre season. Kyle is able to play in a number of forward positions, possesses great vision is always looking for goals.

Callum Patton

Recently signed from West Auckland Callum is an exciting young striker who was with Gateshead FC last season. He is quick and loves to attack defenders. He has excellent feet and is good in the air. Tends to wear his heart on his sleeve 

Ross Preston

Ross returns for his second season with the club, after spending an extended close season holidaying in the Far East. This ex Leed United player is a commanding central defender who has plied his trade at a higher level and it shows in his composure and presence on the ball.

Gary Shields

Gary has a wealth of Northern League experience, scores his fair share of goals and is a great, committed team player. A bit of a joker off the field, he has been known to upset a few opponents with his banter. The ever youthful Shieldsy still has the pace to beat most players at this level and still produces quality performances week in week out.

Alex Smith

Alex is a young defender who has a lot to learn at this level, recently had County trials and will be a one to look out for in the future.

Jack Stanger

Midfielder signed from Hebburn Town. He is a strong central midfielder who has great vision. He provides the link between defence and attack, isn’t scared to put a foot in and can open up defences with one pass.

Ross Wilkinson

Signed on a two month loan from Shildon AFC, Ross is a powerful central defender who reads the game well, is light on his feet and likes to tackle. His height serves him well in aerial battles where he wins his fair share of headers.

Nathan Wilson

Another signing from Billingham Synthonia, Nathan is a hard working midfielder who has a wonderful range of passes. He is not afraid to tackle and has a great engine. We will see the best of Nathan as the season progresses.

Jim Wilson

Younger brother of Nathan, signed from Billingham Synthonia as a utility midfielder. Jim is a versatile player who has good passing ability likes to tackle. 

Daniel Wray

Daniel is a central defender who reads the game brilliantly, very rarely misses a tackle and is strong in the air. Due to his ability to read the game he can look casual but this belies his pace a commitment to the defensive cause. He also has an uncanny knack of chipping in with a few goals.

Management Team:

Neil Hixon - Director of football

Neil has been around the Northern League for more years than he cares to remember and has brought all of that experience to Sunderland RCA. He sets high standards and is ably assisted by his backroom staff, which now also includes David Lee as Assistant Manager.

David Lee - Joint Manager

Dava has been brought in to assist Neil with the team. Vastly experienced at Northern League level he will lead by example and will when required don the team kit and play. As player/coach he will be a great asset to the team both on and off the pitch.

Steve Halliday - Coach

Stephen joins the coaching staff after a long and distinguished career in football. His career included spells at Hartlepool United, making 167 appearances and scoring 27 goals, Motherwell, Carlisle and Doncaster before joining Northern league side Durham. Since then he has played for a number of Clubs including, Nissan, Sunderland RCA and Esh Winning.

George Herd – Head Coach

Nothing can be written about George that has not already been said. As a coach he is second to none at this level, possibly at any level. He has the respect of everyone at the club and his enthusiasm is infectious. He is at an age when most people would be looking to put their feet up, but not George. He continues to coach at a high tempo and will not accept second best from anyone. A legend in his playing days at Sunderland, he is now a Super Legend as a coach at Sunderland RCA FC.

Ian Smith - Coach

Sunderland born Ian has joined us from Redby CA, where he was head coach. He's looking to advance his coaching career with RCA completing his UEFA B coaching qualification last season.

RCA Grangetown Florists

Results

Reports

Ryhope CW (Sunday) 1 RCA Grangetown Florists 3

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Sunderland Sunday League Premier Division

RCA Grangetown Florists finaly overcame stubborn resistance from a determined Ryhope CW by three goals to one in a very scrappy game. Ryhope played very tightly in the first half and RCA Florists just could not get into their stride, so 0-0 at half time.

RCA Florists got the breakthrough after 50 minutes when full back Gary Innes foraged forward, exchanged passes on the edge of the box and shot acroos the keeper into the bottom left hand corner. This was quickly followed by a second from a Martin Metcalfe header after 55 minutes.

RCA Florists went 3-0 up after 70 minutes with a similar goal to the first, but this time slotted home by Dean Arkley. Ryhope never gave up and were rewarded with a consolation goal by Anthony Rogerson after 85 minutes to give a final scoreline of 3-1 to RCA Grangetown Florists.

 

Hartlepool Diablos 2 RCA Grangetown Florists 3

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Durham County FA Sunday Cup : First Preliminary Round

RCA Grangetown Florists stumbled into the next round of the County Cup with an unconvincing 3-2 win over Hartlepool Diablos.

Forced to play three full backs in midfield due to various withdrawals, RCA Florists began with a very strong wind in their favour and completely dominated the first half, without ever really looking that convincing. However they went into half time with a 2-0 advantage thanks to goals from skippper Phil Hall and a good finish from Mick Wharton.

The second half produced no real dramas until RCA Florists decided to defend a corner in similar fashion to  Crystal Palace's first goal against SAFC to concede and allow Disablos back into the contest with 20 minutes left. Another corner produced the equaliser with ten minutes left when the Diablos' centre forward had a simple unchallenged header from six yards.

Extra time was looming until Jason Gargett received a long diagonal ball from right to left and found himself inside the box at an acute angle beyond the far post, but after taking a good first touch he volleyed left footed into the roof of the net to give RCA Florists a fortunate victory.

 

Washington River Bar 3 RCA Grangetown Florists 1

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Sunderland Sunday League Premier Division

Washington River Bar completed a comfortable 3-1 victory over a depleted RCA Grangetown Florists, with a determined and committed performance.

RCA Florists only had 10 fit players, although the 40 year old Keith Churchill came on second half, loads missing, some with reasonable excuses, others just couldn't be bothered (it's something thats becoming more and more prevalent).

River Bar took the lead on 30 minutes through Lee Baxter and increased it in the second half with strikes from Daniel Pearson and another from Baxter, to go 3-0 up after 70 minutes. RCA Florists consolation came from a Steven Clark penalty with the last kick of the game.

Well done to the River Bar lads who showed what commitment and hard work can achieve.

 

RCA Grangetown Florists 6 Southwick 2

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Sunderland Sunday League Cup - Second Round

RCA Grangetown Florists booked a third round place in the League Cup with a comfortable 6-2 victory over Southwick.

It took half an hour for RCA Florists to break the deadlock when Ross Stead stroked home from close range after a goalmouth scramble and this was quickly followed by Martin Metcalfe firing home a second, to give a half time score of 2-0 to RCA Florists.

RCA Florists quickly went three up early in the second half through John Turvey, before Southwick scored through a Gavin Foot penalty on 55 minutes. RCA Florists then re-established their three goal cushion when Metcalfe headed home from a Philip Hall cross, only for Southwick to bounce back with a crisp volley from the edge of the box from Thomas Tansey.

RCA Florists though upped their game and sealed the 6-2 victory with Metcalfe's third goal and a strike fron Graham Thornton.

Colliery Tavern await RCA Florists in the Third Round, at Meadow Park on 6 October.

 

RCA Grangetown Florists 7 Port Clarence 1

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Durham County Sunday Cup - 2nd Preliminary Round

RCA Grangetown Florists easily went through to the third preliminary round of the County Sunday Cup with a straightforward victory over Stockton League opponents Port Clarence by a 7-1 scoreline.

RCA Florists got off the mark quickly after four minutes when Steve Clark hit home from close range and goals followed at regular intervals with a further four coming before half time, with Martin Metcalfe helping himself to another hat trick and Graham Thornton tapping in from a Metcalfe cross.

RCA Florists struck after only three minutes of the second half through Scott Kelly and although Port Clarence grabbed a goal on 70 minutes, man of the match Metcalfe had the last word five minutes before time when he slotted home from close range for his fourth and RCA Florists' seventh.

 

RCA Grangetown Florists 4 Northallerton Sportsman 3

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Carlsberg FA Sunday Cup : First Round

RCA Grangetown Florists began their journey in the National FA Sunday Cup with an exciting 4-3 victory over Northallerton Sportsman FC.

In perfect conditions Spotsman took an early lead when the outstanding Anderson got behind the Florists defence and crossed low and hard for a easy tap in from close range. Florists responded well and drew level after 10 minutes when Scott Kelly drove home from the edge of the box following good work down the left flank. Things got better five minutes later when a long cross to the far post was met by MOM Martin Metcalfe's header into the path of returning Gareth Hill to bundle home from close range.

Both sides were playing attractive attacking football and only a brave block from David Rush prevented a Spotsman equaliser. Florists were then awarded a rather harsh penalty when the ball struck the hand of a defender after a deflection, and Martin Metcalfe stroked home to put Florists 3-1 up after 35 minutes. Sportsman nevertheless fought back and in turn were awarded a penalty on 40 minutes for a robust challenge, which was struck home to give a ht score of 3-2 to Florists.

The second half was barely five minutes old when Florists again went two goals ahead when Matty Harrison's delightful lob from 25 yards cleared the despairing dive of the keeper. Sportsman upped the pace, but the game flowed from end to end until in the 75th minute a floated free kick from the right was misjudged by keeper Donnely and escaped his grasp to bring Sportsman back into the game.

The last 15 minutes, plus six minutes overtime, were played out at a furious pace, but produced no further goal to give RCA Grangetown Florists a hard fought 4-3 victory and passage into the Second Round.

Witton Park Rose & Crown 0 RCA Grangetown Florists 0

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Carlsberg FA Sunday Cup Second Round

RCA Grangetown Florists exited this national competition with a 7-6 reverse on penalties after 0-0 at full time and after extra time.

All any team asks for in any match is a level playing field, well that was definitely not the case in this game, when all the cards were well and truly stacked against RCA Florists. The three match officials were individually very poor and collectively were shocking.

The game itself was an aside to the their display and I will precis it as follows: pretty even for the first 30 minutess apart from RCA Florists centre forward being shoulder charged into the surrounding block wall (when the ball was out of play) and suffering serious damage to his arm and shoulder. Referees action, nil. RCA Florists player being physically abused and attacked, standing his ground and getting a red card, home team players no action, after 35 minutes. 0-0 HT.

Second half RCA Florist player shown red card for abusing the linesman (first instance) after 70 minutes, despite the referee being given similar previous abuse from the home team on more than one occassion but taking no action whatsoever.

RCA Florists then proceeded to put up magnificent resistance for the remaining 20 minutes of normal time and 30 minutes of extra time to take the game to penalties. They then had an opportunity to win the game with their fifth penalty, but it was saved by the home team keeper, who should not have been on the pitch, as he should have been dismissed in the first half incident when RCA Florists first red was shown. The next penalty to be missed was by RCA Florists and so they got nothing, other than pride, out of a game they were never really given a chance in.

Very disappointing and you expect better from so called top officials.

I have deliberately not named anyone in this report as every player who represented RCA Grangetown Florists in this match deserves equal praise for their attitude and application.

The Times Inn 4 RCA Grangetown Florists 2

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Total Sport Challenge Trophy 

A totally inept performance from both management and players saw RCA Grangetown Florists deservedly go down to a 4-2 defeat against a fitter, more determined and ultimately superior Times Inn, and exit the Total Sport Challenge Trophy. RCA Florists started brightly but that did not last long, but nevertheless they took a somewhat fortunate lead through a Martin Metcalfe penalty on 30 minutes. They had one chance to increase that to 2-0, but Owens shot flew high and wide. From there they proceeded to shoot themselves in the foot with mistake after mistake which resulted in the equaliser on 40 minutes from Chris Patton. 1-1 at half time.

Another mistake allowed Paul Muir to score off his back when a cross was missed by the keeper and defenders to put Times Inn ahead on 55 minutes. RCA Florists however did draw level with their only bit of decent play in the second half, when Metcalfe scored under the keeper to make it 2-2. This bit of fortune was however undone when further calamitous defending allowed a cross to the near post where the unmarked  Luke Bell had time and space to pick his spot and put Times Inn ahead again with 15 minutes remaining. The final goal came with the last kick of the game when Paul Muir scored his second and Times Inn's fourth to give them a well deserved passage into the next round by a 4-2 scoreline and we wish them well for the third round.

Meanwhile RCA Florists will have to improve drastically to have any chance this coming Sunday against F.A. Sunday Cup semi-finalists Humbledon Plains Farm, who they meet in the Quarter Final of the League Cup at Meadow Park, 10.30am ko.