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Match reports

Whickham 0 Sunderland RCA 5

Submitted by Simon Mears on Wednesday, 18 January 2017
Tuesday, 17 January 2017 - 7:30pm
Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup

Brad Wilson made an impressive Northern League debut in the League Cup victory at Whickham. Photograph: Simon Mears.

For more photos from the match please click here.

RCA goal scorers: Callen; Charlton; Cassidy; Larkin; Preston.

Following last Saturday’s abandoned match at Newcastle Benfield, Sunderland RCA made the trip to Whickham for a Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup Third Round tie. For RCA, this was a third Division Two side to be faced in this season’s League Cup - having beaten Esh Winning and Northallerton Town in previous rounds. Whickham, meanwhile, had a good win at Jarrow Roofing in the previous round.

RCA were looking to put in a much-improved performance from our last visit to The Glebe in February for a Durham County Challenge Cup match in which the team - clearly still reeling from an FA Vase Fifth Round exit just days earlier - were woeful and deservedly beaten 2-0 on the night by a very good Whickham side.

RCA made sweeping changes to the side that beat AFC Mansfield in the FA Vase 10 days ago. Neal Bussey returned in goal after nearly four months out with a broken ankle. Kevin Gordon replaced Clayton Davis at right back. The returning Nathan Cummings slotted in at centre back in place of Greg Swansbury - who took a place on the bench. Ross Preston was recalled and captained the side. Adam McGuinness, who was cup-tied at Mansfield, was in at left back. Kieron Martin returned on the right wing with Stephen Callen partnering Colin Larkin up front.

The two sides lined up as follows:

Whickham: Mordey, Lancaster, Hedley, Clasper, Soutar, Martin, Broadhead, Peareth (c), Aiston, Nicholson, Candlish.

RCA: Bussey, Gordon, McGuinness, Preston (c), Cummings, Armstrong, Cassidy, Charlton, Callen, Larkin, Martin.

AFC Mansfield 0 Sunderland RCA 1

Submitted by Simon Mears on Sunday, 8 January 2017
Saturday, 7 January 2017 - 3:00pm
FA Vase

The Butler did it: John Butler celebrates scoring the winner in the FA Vase match at AFC Mansfield. Photograph: Simon Mears.

For more photos from the match please click here.

RCA goal scorer: John Butler.

Sunderland RCA travelled to Nottinghamshire and to the Forest Town Arena - home of AFC Mansfield - for today’s eagerly anticipated FA Vase Fourth Round tie.

Here’s how the day the unfolded:

Sunderland RCA 2 Ryhope CW 0

Submitted by Simon Mears on Tuesday, 27 December 2016
Monday, 26 December 2016 - 12:00pm
Northern League 1

Jonathan Carmichael kept a third clean sheet in four matches in the Ryhope derby victory on Boxing Day. Photograph: Simon Mears.

For more photos from the match please click here.

RCA goal scorer: Callen (2).

The Ryhope derby - Sunderland RCA versus Ryhope Colliery Welfare. A High Noon shoot-out between the two highest ranked non-league clubs in Sunderland. Back on August Bank Holiday Monday it was honours even on a baking hot day at the Recreation Ground as RCA failed to capitalise on a host of first half chances and paid the price as RCW finished the match strongly.

Following a dismal run of results in October - seven straight league defeats and conceding a whopping 32 goals in the process - immediate relegation for RCW was looking like a distinct possibility. But the last couple of months have seen somewhat of a revival, with notable wins against the likes of Seaham Red Star, Marske United, Washington and most recently, and remarkably, a win at West Auckland Town in which three late goals saw RCW from 3-1 down to win 4-3 in one of the comebacks of the season. These results have propelled them to lower mid-table and given much-needed breathing space over the three teams currently in the relegation zone - who are now beginning to get cut adrift from the rest.

RCA are currently on their best run of the season - one defeat in eight now, winning the last four and playing some terrific stuff that’s great to watch.

Prior to the match a quick glance at the current form guide revealed that both RCA and RCW have accrued 10 points from their last six matches - with three wins and a draw apiece.

RCA made two changes to the side that won at Dunston in midweek. Ross Preston was fit to return to the centre of defence and Mark Robinson returned to the starting line-up after an impressive performance off the bench at Dunston.

The teams lined up as follows:

RCA: Carmichael, Davis, McGuinness, Preston, Swansbury ©, Robinson, Charlton, Hodgson, McBryde, Larkin, Callen.

RCW: Ball, Francis, Gordon, Bott, Ryan ©, Trewick, Chapman, Braithwaite, O’Neill, Weirs, Ellis.

Dunston UTS 2 Sunderland RCA 4

Submitted by Simon Mears on Wednesday, 21 December 2016
Tuesday, 20 December 2016 - 7:30pm
Northern League 1

James Cassidy competes for the ball at Dunston. Photograph: Simon Mears.

More photos from the match are here.

RCA goal scorers: McBryde; Charlton (2); C Davis.

Just 17 days since that memorable FA Vase afternoon and Sunderland RCA were heading back to Dunston for a Northern League fixture. RCA are currently in a rich vein of form, having won their last three matches and lost only one of their last seven - and in that defeat played superbly at West Auckland for well over an hour with ten men. Since the Vase match Dunston have beaten Newcastle Benfield, but lost at home to North Shields and were beaten at Seaham Red Star on Saturday.

RCA made one change to the side that beat Whitley Bay. Ross Preston, injured on Saturday, was ruled out and replaced by Clayton Davis. Kevin Gordon was also ruled out with a hamstring injury.

The sides lined up as follows:

Dunston: Holden, Pearson, Halliday, Slaughter, Hall, Capewell, Saunders, Burrell ©, Heslop, Luccock, Youldon.

RCA: Carmichael, Davis, Richardson, McGuinness, Swansbury ©, Larkin, Cassidy, Charlton, McBryde, Hodgson, Callen.

Sunderland RCA 2 Whitley Bay 0

Submitted by Simon Mears on Sunday, 18 December 2016
Saturday, 17 December 2016 - 3:00pm
Northern League 1

Stephen Callen at full pelt on his way to opening the scoring against Whitley Bay. Photograph: Simon Mears.

For more photos from the match please click here.

RCA goal scorers: Callen; Robinson.

Sunderland RCA welcomed Whitley Bay to Meadow Park for an important mid-table clash - with both sides looking for a win to push towards the upper echelons of the table. Last season RCA ‘did the double’ over Bay in the league, however, this season Bay took the points at Hillheads with a 3-2 win in the reverse fixture back in September.

RCA made two changes to the side that defeated Penrith last Saturday. Craig Hodgson returned to central midfield and Stephen Callen to the left wing, in place of James Armstrong and Kevin Gordon, who took a place on the bench.

The sides lined up like this:

RCA: Carmichael, Richardson, McGuinness, Preston, Swansbury ©, Hodgson, Cassidy, Larkin, McBryde, Charlton, Callen.

Whitley Bay: Flynn, Munro, McDonald ©, Hall, Anderson, Allen, Potter, Patton, Shanks, Brooks, Kempster.

Penrith 0 Sunderland RCA 2

Submitted by Simon Mears on Sunday, 11 December 2016
Saturday, 10 December 2016 - 3:00pm
Northern League 1

Michael Charlton makes a run down the wing at Penrith. Photograph: Simon Mears.

More photos from the match are here.

Goal scorers: Penrith: None. RCA: O.G., McBryde.

Following last Saturday’s impressive Vase win at Dunston, it was back to league action for Sunderland RCA, and a long - but picturesque - trip to Penrith. Whilst RCA were progressing to the Fourth Round of the Vase last week, at the same time Penrith were going out at the hands of Atherton Collieries. But they did, however, have a good midweek win at Ashington, with striker Martyn Coleman scoring a brace to take the points back to Cumbria. Prior to today’s match Penrith were sitting in 17th place in the league - surely a false position - with numerous games in hand on all other teams, mainly due to playing eleven cup ties already this season!

RCA made wholesale changes to the team that had performed so well at Dunston last Saturday. Into the side came Ross Preston, Adam McGuinness, James Cassidy, Kevin Gordon and Liam McBryde - replacing Craig Hodgson, Clayton Davis, Mark Robinson, Stephen Callen and John Butler.

The teams lined up as follows:

Penrith: Jamieson, Lawson, Paul, Davidson ©, Street, Jackson, Newton, Main, Coleman, Connelly, Hebson.

RCA: Carmichael, Richardson, McGuinness, Preston, Swansbury ©, Larkin, Gordon, Armstrong, McBryde, Charlton, Cassidy.

Dunston UTS 1 Sunderland RCA 3

Submitted by Simon Mears on Sunday, 4 December 2016
Saturday, 3 December 2016 - 3:00pm
FA Vase
RCA's hat-trick hero Colin Larkin in action at a foggy UTS Stadium. Photograph: Simon Mears.

RCA's hat-trick hero Colin Larkin in action at a foggy UTS Stadium. Photograph: Simon Mears.

For more photos from the match please click here.

FA Vase day: a special day. Matchday anticipation - heightened. An extra spring in the step. For clubs at our level, the Vase offers a very real opportunity for Wembley glory. This isn’t fantasy football or Roy of the Rovers stuff; recent history shows that the last eight Vase finals contested have featured at least one Northern League club - with seven of those finals being victorious for our teams. And we need look no further than today’s hosts, Dunston UTS, to realise that dreams can become reality. Dunston lifted the Vase - at Wembley - as recently as May 2012 thanks to a 2-0 win over fellow Northern League side West Auckland Town in the final.

With the two sides reaching the Fifth Round of the Vase last season, both entered this year’s competition at the Second Round stage, which saw Dunston defeat Hemsworth MW 3-1 on Tuesday and RCA narrowly beat Stockton Town - courtesy of an extra-time penalty scored by Colin Larkin - to set up today’s Third Round match.

RCA made one change to the side that lost at West Auckland last Saturday. Clayton Davis returned at right back with Luke Richardson moving to left back, and James Armstrong slotted into central midfield. With RCA unable to call upon the services of Ross Preston and Adam McGuinness, who were both cup-tied after playing for Washington in the First Qualifying Round, Craig Hodgson was moved from central midfield to partner Greg Swansbury in the centre of defence.

The two teams lined up as follows:

Dunston: Holden, Pearson, Halliday, Slaughter, Capewell, Gilhespy, Smith, Burrell ©, Heslop, Luccock, Thear.

RCA: Carmichael, Davis, Richardson, Hodgson, Swansbury ©, Robinson, Charlton, Larkin, Butler, Armstrong, Callen.

West Auckland Town 2 Sunderland RCA 1

Submitted by Simon Mears on Sunday, 27 November 2016
Saturday, 26 November 2016 - 3:00pm
Northern League 1
Craig Hodgson shields the ball from West Auckland captain and former RCA player Thomas Marron. Photograph: Simon Mears.

Craig Hodgson shields the ball from West Auckland captain and former RCA player Thomas Marron. Photograph: Simon Mears.

More photos from the match are here.

RCA were back on their travels following five consecutive home games which had seen progress in the Vase and League Cup, as well as a win, a draw and a defeat in the league. West, meanwhile, had lost five and won one of their last six matches - although I did see them defeat Ryhope Colliery Welfare 5-3 earlier this month. So an intriguing game was in prospect with West looking to continue their climb away from the relegation zone, and RCA consolidating in mid table and looking to push back up the league table.

RCA made one change to the team that started the 3-3 draw with Consett last Saturday with Armstrong in at left back and Richardson moving over to right back in the absence of C Davis. The teams lined up thus.

West: Shaw, Marron (c), Nelson, Hassan, Jones, Elgie, Ruddy, Hudson, Burnicle, Caley, Elliot.

RCA: Carmichael, Richardson, Armstrong, Preston, Swansbury, Hodgson, Charlton, Larkin, Butler, Robinson, Callen.

Sunderland RCA 3 Consett 3

Submitted by Rob Jones on Sunday, 20 November 2016
Saturday, 19 November 2016 - 3:00pm
Northern League 1
Greg Swansbury comes away with the ball during the first half of the epic 3 -3 encounter with Consett. Photograph by Simon Mears.

​Greg Swansbury comes away with the ball during the first half of the epic 3 -3 encounter with Consett. Photograph by Simon Mears.

​More of Simon's photographs here.

Goal scorers: SRCA: Larkin (2), Robinson:  Consett: Nellis, Sullivan, Sweet

The RCA Management team made five changes to the team which played against Northallerton in the Brooks Mileson League Cup in midweek. Returning to the first eleven were C Davis, Hodgson, Butler and Larkin while Mark Robinson was selected in the strating eleven for the first time since he joined the club.

Fifth placed Consett came to Meadow Park on the back of and impressive run of seven unbeaten matches.

Sunderland RCA 2 Northallerton Town 0

Submitted by Rob Jones on Thursday, 17 November 2016
Tuesday, 15 November 2016 - 7:30pm
Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup
Colin Larkin in action during the League Cup match against Northallerton Town. Photograph by Simon Mears.

Colin Larkin in action during the League Cup match against Northallerton Town. Photograph by Simon Mears.

More of Simon's photographs can be seen here.

Goal scorers: Larkin, J Butler

RCA made wholesale changes to the team for this Brooks Mileson League Cup tie against Second Division Northallerton Town. Into the team came Gordon, Preston, Swansbury and Cassidy replacing C Davis, Hodgson, Larkin and Butler.

The game kicked off in almost perfect conditions. Northallerton took advantage of the slope in the first half.

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