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Match reports

Sunderland RCA 2 Clitheroe 3

Submitted by Simon Mears on Wednesday, 5 September 2018
Tuesday, 4 September 2018 - 7:45pm
The Emirates FA Cup

Craig Hodgson shields the ball late in the match.

For more photos from the match please click here.

For Connor Lamb's match report please click here.

Goal scorers - RCA: O'Neill; Page. Clitheroe: Racizac; Matthews; Jacob Gregory.

After back-to-back league wins over Seaham Red Star and Ashington, Sunderland RCA welcomed Clitheroe to Meadow Park for tonight's Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round replay.

The two sides lined up as follows:

Sunderland RCA: Pocklington; Jury; Lilley; Hodgson; Swansbury (c); Davis; Charlton; Page; O'Neill; Davison; Moan. Subs: Larkin; McNab; Preston; Ramshaw; Elliott; Kokoska.

Clitheroe: Wilczynski; Harwood; Matthews; Bianca; Jeffries; Thompson (c); Jacob Gregory; Joshua Gregory; Wood; Hazeldine; Gosling.

Sunderland RCA 3 Ashington 1

Submitted by Colin Wilson on Monday, 3 September 2018
Saturday, 1 September 2018 - 3:00pm
Northern League 1


Sunderland RCA
Kokoska, Jury, Swansbury, Lilley, Watson; J. Davis, Hodgon, Armstrong, Charlton; Moan Davison.


Grant; King, Armstrong, Vipond, Caygill; Bell, Morris, Downey, Frances; Stephenson, Humphries.

A bit of a strange one this, a largely anonymous game with one big and surprising incident, but overall a comfortable win for RCA, with one major downside.

In light of the Clitheroe replay on Tuesday, Swaz left out anybody who wasn’t absolutely 100% so the team had a bit of an unusual look to it, but RCA fans will have been delighted to see captain Greg Swansbury back in the line up after missing a few games. A calculated risk to play Swanna, but clearly he needs game time to get back to his best. In the event he was excellent throughout and must have been very close to being Man of the Match for RCA. Welcome back.

Seaham Red Star 0 Sunderland RCA 5

Submitted by Simon Mears on Wednesday, 29 August 2018
Tuesday, 28 August 2018 - 7:45pm
Northern League 1

Nathan O'Neill gets RCA off to a great start with the opening goal.

For more photos from the match please click here.

For Connor Lamb's match report please click here.

Goal scorers - RCA: O'Neill (2); Moan; Armstrong; Jonathan Davis.

Following Saturday's epic 12-goal Emirates FA Cup thriller at Clitheroe, Sunderland RCA made the very much shorter trip to Seaham Red Star for tonight’s Northern League match.

With both sides having only one win in their opening four league matches prior to kick-off, a win tonight was important to kickstart the league season. Early days, though.

RCA made a late change to the starting XI after Stephen Callen withdrew due to injury and was replaced by John Jury, who was making his first start since returning to the club.

The two sides lined up as follows:

Seaham Red Star: Harkess; Toward; Weirs; Hutchinson; Myers; Howe; Palmer; Gardiner; Gash; Steele; Jewitt.

Sunderland RCA: Pocklington; Armstrong; Watson; Lilley; Hodgson (c); Jonathan Davis; Charlton; Page; Moan; O'Neill; Jury. Subs: Davison; Callen; Richardson; Kokoska; Limbo.

Clitheroe 6 (six) Sunderland RCA 6 (six)

Submitted by Colin Wilson on Monday, 27 August 2018
Saturday, 25 August 2018 - 3:00pm
The Emirates FA Cup


Clitheroe Town
Wilczynski, Ja Gregory, Thompson, Jefferies, Snowden; Jo Gregory, Hazeldine, Bianga, Wood; Anoruo, Recizac. Subs Daniels, Cannon-Noren, Sloane, not used, Ashforth.

Sunderland RCA
Pocklington, C. Davis, Lilley, Hodgson, McNab, Charlton, Page, Armstrong, Moan, Davison, Larkin. Subs O’Neill, McGuinness, J. Davis.

Attendance: 230

Apologies if this report reads as a little bit unlikely; I was there and I can’t believe it.

Sunderland RCA 0 Stockton Town 3

Submitted by Simon Mears on Wednesday, 22 August 2018
Tuesday, 21 August 2018 - 7:30pm
Northern League 1

Adam McGuinness tracks Stockton Town goal scorer Mikey Roberts.

For more photos from the match please click here.

For Stockton Town's match report please click here.

For Connor Lamb's match report please click here.

Goal scorers - Stockton: Coleman; Roberts; Bulmer.

Sunderland RCA went into tonight’s Northern League match with Stockton Town looking to record their first home points of the season.

In the corresponding fixture last season, it may be recalled, RCA made wholesale changes to the starting line-up, with one eye on the big Emirates FA Cup tie at Scarborough Athletic. RCA were well beaten, 4-1, by Stockton on the night, as they recorded their first points of the season after being defeated in their opening eight league games. Stockton then went on to have a great season, culminating in a narrow defeat in the FA Vase final at Wembley.

The two sides lined up as follows:

Sunderland RCA: Pocklington; Lilley; Watson; McGuinness; Preston (c); Elliott; Clayton Davis; Hodgson; Davison; O'Neill; Moan. Subs: Larkin; Armstrong; Limbo; McNab; Kokoska.

Stockton Town: Arthur; Bulmer; Risbrough; Petitjean; Nicholson (c); Cossavela; Woodhouse; Craggs; Roberts; Coleman; Stockton.

Sunderland RCA 2 Dunston UTS 3

Submitted by Colin Wilson on Sunday, 19 August 2018
Saturday, 18 August 2018 - 3:00pm
Northern League 1


Sunderland RCA
Pocklington, Lilley, McNab, Hodgson, Preston (C), Clayton Davis, Dylan Elliott, Page, Moan, Larkin, Davison. Bench O'Neill, Kokoska, Limbo, Jonathan Davis, McGuinness.

Goals: Davison, Moan

Dunston UTS
Dryden, Marrs, Halliday, Stafford, Grant-Soulsby, Capewell, Thear, Pearson, Fitzpatrick, Heslop, Jack Elliott. Bench: Callum Elliott, Brookes, Hall, Nellis, Haley.

Goals: Heslop, Nellis, Stafford (pen)


Referee: Mr James Bancroft. Assistant referees: Mr Leonard Thurlow and Mr David Watson.

This was a cracking game between two good sides, clever inventive football, good strikes on goal, powerful challenges and top quality defending; and then a weird ending.

The game kicked off in a blustery wind and was immediately being played at a breathtaking pace. Dunston had the better of the early exchanges playing up the slope and into the breeze, which maybe allowed for more controlled football. The game was played mostly in midfield for the first quarter of an hour, and neither goalkeeper was seriously troubled. In the 16th minute a good move from RCA, as they finally got their passing together, ended with a super Colin Larkin strike which rattled the crossbar. Dunston responded with sustained pressure for a long period, and a number of corners and free kicks enabled them to get dangerous balls into the box, which were mostly dealt with confidently by RCA central defenders Craig Hodgson and Ross Preston and goalkeeper Scott Pocklington. As the half hour was reached RCA began to get more of a grip on the game with Clayton Davis looking dangerous running hard down the right and Dylan Elliott and Luke Page getting their foot on the ball and able to get better passes out wide and into their front men. In the 34th minute, though, Dunston might well have scored as a clever free kick from the corner of the box skimmed the cross bar.

Sunderland RCA 5 Ryhope CW 2

Submitted by Simon Mears on Sunday, 12 August 2018
Saturday, 11 August 2018 - 3:00pm
The Emirates FA Cup

Double scorer Colin Larkin shields the ball from former RCA defender Danni Lay.

For more photos from the match please click here.

For Ryhope Colliery Welfare's match report please click here.

Goal scorers - RCA: Davison (2); Charlton; Larkin (2). RCW: Own goals (2).

There’s nothing quite like The Emirates FA Cup for stirring up memories of past matches - three spring to mind for me: the first FA Cup match l attended was at my beloved Roker Park, standing in the Roker End on 14 November 1987 to see Sunderland's 2-0 First Round victory over Darlington, with Paul Atkinson grabbing both goals. The second was the FA Cup Semi-Final at Hillsborough on 5 April 1992 when Sunderland beat Norwich City, 1-0, with a goal from John Byrne after a lovely move. And last, but definitely not least, was the match played a few weeks before the Norwich City game, when Sunderland beat Chelsea at Roker Park in a Sixth Round replay on 18 March 1992 thanks to goals from Peter Davenport and a magnificent late header from Gordon Armstrong. I stood in the Fulwell End that night and the atmosphere was absolutely electric, as 26,000 fans sounded more like 86,000! Floodlit matches at Roker were special.

Today's match will create its own memories as it is the first time that Sunderland RCA and Ryhope Colliery Welfare have met in The Emirates FA Cup.

Both sides went into the match with a good away win and a disappointing home defeat in their two Northern League matches so far this season.

The two sides lined up as follows:

RCA: Pocklington; Lilley; McNab; Preston; Swansbury (c); Elliott; Charlton; Page; Davison; Larkin; Callen. Subs: Hodgson; Finch; McGuiness; Moan; Limbo; Kokoska; Ramshaw.

RCW: Ball; Nicholson; Gordon; Bott; Riding (c); Lay; Bird; Skidmore; Rae; Home-Jackson; Ellis.

Whickham 0 Sunderland RCA 3

Submitted by Tim Robinson on Thursday, 9 August 2018
Wednesday, 8 August 2018 - 7:30pm
Northern League 1
Luke Page in first half action against Whickham

Luke Page rises high in typically dynamic fashion. (More photos from the match here, where the photographer has been distracted by the Whickham sunset.)


Morden, Lancaster, Hedley, Martin, Clasper, Peareth (C) (74), Wharton, Burrell (70), Teasdale, Collins (74), Mole. Bench: Brown, Jelley (74), Belford, Norton (74), Fisher (70).

Sunderland RCA
Pocklington, Clayton Davis, McNab, Lilley, Swansbury (C), Armstrong (65), Charlton, Elliott (75), Davison (78), Page, Callen. Bench: Larkin, Finch, McGuinness (78), Preston (65), Jonathan Davis (75).


Referee: Mr Craig Dean. Assistant referees: Mr David Fittes and Mr Karl Barron.


Sunderland RCA: Stephen Callen (2), Luke Page.

This was a match - far from a classic, to put it politely - where RCA deservedly came out on top, but were challenged by a determined and physical Whickham side. The home team had good openings to both halves of the match. RCA captain Greg Swansbury and his central defensive partner (later right back), Sam Lilley were both singled out for praise by manager Martin Swales, along with Stephen Callen, who after scoring a goal in each half, frustratingly missed out on a hat trick in added time. I would also mention Luke Page, who played number 10 before dropping back to a more familiar midfield position after RCA's second goal, for a typically dynamic performance. There was some discussion of whether it was Luke or Adam McGuinness who scored RCA's third, but RCA secretary Chris Lowther was on hand to say it was Page's goal.

Sunderland RCA 0 Newcastle Benfield 1

Submitted by Tim Robinson on Sunday, 5 August 2018
Saturday, 4 August 2018 - 3:00pm
Northern League 1
My ball! Frustration is probably the best word for RCA's experience today.

My ball! Frustration is probably the best word for RCA's experience today. More photos here.

The start of today’s match was overshadowed when RCA’s new goalkeeping coach Lenny French was taken ill with a suspected heart attack. An ambulance attended and Lenny was taken to hospital where successful surgery was performed. We understand that Lenny is now recovering and he sends his thanks to all who supported him at the ground. We all wish him the very best.


Sunderland RCA
Finch, Clayton Davis, McNab (60), Lilley, Swansbury, Hodgson (84), Charlton, Page, Davison, Larkin, Callen (75). Bench: Elliott (60), Kokoska, McGuinness (84), Moan (75), Robinson.

Newcastle Benfield
Grainger, Evans, Martin, Slaughter, Robson, Scott, Orrell, Laidler, Brayson, Hales, Holmes. Bench: Devlin, Pearson, McCarthy, McEvoy, Scott.


Referee: Mr Matthew East Assistant referees: Mr Christopher Armstrong and Mr  Mark Bell.


Newcastle Benfield: Paul Brayson.

Sunderland RCA 4 Jarrow Roofing BCA 1

Submitted by Simon Mears on Friday, 4 May 2018
Thursday, 3 May 2018 - 7:30pm
Northern League 1

Nathan O'Neill bursts through the Jarrow Roofing defence.

For more photos from the match please click here.

For Connor Lamb's match report please click here.

Goal scorers - RCA: Callen (2); Elliott; Charlton. Jarrow Roofing: Anderson.

Sunderland RCA went into tonight's match with Jarrow Roofing knowing that a win would guarantee fourth-place and would equal RCA’s best ever Northern League finish.

RCA again made one change to the side that won at Newton Aycliffe last night, with Stephen Callen returning in place of Colin Larkin.

The two sides lined up as follows:

RCA: Pocklington; Armstrong; McNab; Preston; Swansbury (c); Elliott; Charlton; Hodgson; O'Neill; Page; Callen. Subs: Larkin; Limbo; McGuinness; Noble; Ashton.

Jarrow Roofing; Regan; Varga; Walton; Vipond; Myers; Marshall (c); Gardiner; Petrache; Campbell; Anderson; Palmer.