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Match reports

West Allotment Celtic 0 Sunderland RCA 3

Submitted by Simon Mears on Sunday, 26 February 2017
Saturday, 25 February 2017 - 3:00pm
Northern League 1

Reece Noble goes into another challenge at West Allotment Celtic. Photograph: Simon Mears.

For more photos from the match please click here.

Goal scorers - RCA: Larkin (3).

Following last Saturday’s goalless draw at home to Chester-le-Street, Sunderland RCA travelled to West Allotment Celtic - another side in the Division One relegation zone. West Allotment had lost their previous two matches against Chester-le-Street and Shildon to a single goal - so would be looking to bounce back.

RCA made four changes to the side that drew with Chester-le-Street last Saturday. New father Neal Bussey was in goal, Greg Swansbury returned to captain the side, Stephen Callen was back on the left wing, and Colin Larkin returned up front.

The two sides lined up as follows:

West Allotment: Bannon; Pendlebury; Douglas; Dunn (c); Stoneman; Hall; McGlen; Stephenson; Reay; Henderson; Parkinson.

RCA: Bussey; Noble; McGuinness; Preston; Swansbury (c); Hodgson; Butler; Larkin; Callen; Wilson; Cassidy.

Sunderland RCA 0 Chester-le-Street Town 0

Submitted by Simon Mears on Sunday, 19 February 2017
Saturday, 18 February 2017 - 3:00pm
Northern League 1

Ross Preston clears the ball during the first half of the match. Photograph: Simon Mears.

For more photos from the match please click here.

Two sides in need of a win - Sunderland RCA and Chester-le-Street Town - went into today’s Northern League match at Meadow Park on the back of losing runs - RCA have lost their last four matches, following a seven-match winning streak, while Chester-le-Street have lost their last five games. But despite being at the foot of the table, Chester-le-Street are a side not to be underestimated - It took a penalty shoot-out for North Shields to knock them out of the League Cup, after a creditable 1-1 draw. And in their previous match, they recorded their only home win of the season after beating League champions Shildon 2-1 in arguably the most notable result of the season.

RCA won the reverse fixture 4-2 back in August with a penalty from Jonathan Davis and a Stephen Callen hat-trick.

RCA made three changes to the side that lost to Marske United last time out - Ross Preston returned to captain the side in the absence of the injured Greg Swansbury, and Reece Noble and Brad Wilson returned, replacing Stephen Callen and Nathan Cummings.

The sides lined up as follows:

RCA: Carmichael; Gordon; McGuinness; Preston (c); Hodgson; Noble; Charlton; Wilson; Butler; Davis; Cassidy.

Chester-le-Street: Wilson; Stephenson; Reynolds; Grant; Grant-Soulsby; Hepplewhite; Hailes; Megran; Surrey; Laws; White.

Sunderland RCA 2 Marske United 4

Submitted by Simon Mears on Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Tuesday, 7 February 2017 - 7:30pm
Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup

John Butler scored RCA's first goal in the League Cup Quarter Final. Photograph: Simon Mears.

For more photos from the match please click here.

Connor Lamb's match report is here.

Goal scorers - Marske: Bulmer; Butterworth; Round; Coffey. RCA: Butler; J Davis.

Sunderland RCA welcomed Marske United to Meadow Park for a Quarter Final tie in the Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup - with a place in the Semi Final the reward for the winners.

For RCA this was a first Division One side to be faced in the League Cup this season - having beat Esh Winning, Northallerton Town and, most recently, a five star - and five goal - performance at Whickham.

Marske, meanwhile, have had home victories over fellow Division One sides Guisborough Town and Bishop Auckland in previous rounds.

RCA recalled Kevin Gordon and Nathan Cummings in defence and John Butler started up front.

The sides lined up as follows:

RCA: Carmichael; Gordon; McGuinness; Cummings; Swansbury (c); Hodgson; Charlton; Cassidy; Butler; J Davis; Callen.

Marske: Dean; Dinsdale; Bell; Butterworth; Ramsbottom; Wheatley (c); Bulmer; Gott; Earl; Coffey; Round.

Ashington 3 Sunderland RCA 2

Submitted by Simon Mears on Sunday, 5 February 2017
Saturday, 4 February 2017 - 3:00pm
Northern League 1

Adam McGuinness launches an attack late in the match at Ashington. Photograph: Simon Mears.

For more photos from the match please click here.

Goal scorers - Ashington: Downey (pen); McAndrew; Harmison. RCA: McBryde (2).

Sunderland RCA were back in Northern League action today with a trip to Ashington. RCA had lost their last two matches - conceding nine goals in the process - and were looking to bounce back and rediscover the excellent form shown in December.

Going into the match, Ashington were on their worst run of results this season, having lost their last six Northern League games and a League Cup tie. Back in August, RCA won the reverse fixture with a 2-1 win at Meadow Park.

RCA recalled Adam McGuinness at left back and Liam McBryde up front and Jonathan Davis started after coming off the bench last Saturday.

The two sides lined up as follows:

Ashington: Grant; Henderson; Salmon; Bell; Christensen (c); Buchanan. Richardson; Bell; Downey; Harmison; Pearson.

RCA: Carmichael; Richardson; McGuinness; Hodgson; Swansbury (c); Noble; Charlton; J Davis; McBryde; Callen; Cassidy.

Newport Pagnell Town 3 Sunderland RCA 2 (AET)

Submitted by Simon Mears on Sunday, 29 January 2017
Saturday, 28 January 2017 - 3:00pm
FA Vase

Swanna and The Swans: RCA captain Greg Swansbury attacks a first half corner. Photograph: Simon Mears.

For more photos from the match please click here.

Goal scorers - Newport Pagnell: Smith; Pryke; Lawless. RCA: Larkin; Callen

Sunderland RCA made the long journey to Buckinghamshire and to Newport Pagnell Town for today’s Fifth Round tie in the FA Vase. For Newport Pagnell this was a first ever Fifth Round match, and for RCA, a second after also reaching the Fifth Round last season. For the winners a place in the Quarter Final for the first time and the thrill of knowing that Wembley would be just two rounds, and three matches, away.

Both sides had progressed to this stage of the Vase with some impressive results in previous rounds and - with similar league records this season - it looked like a close game was in prospect.

RCA’s terrific run of seven wins in a row came to an end last Saturday with a home defeat to Shildon, while Newport Pagnell were also losing away to Yaxley in a less than ideal preparation to the big game.

With Ross Preston and Adam McGuinness again cup-tied, Luke Richardson was switched to left back with Clayton Davis returning at right back. Reece Noble started in central midfield for the first time since returning from Washington, with Craig Hodgson moving from midfield to central defence.

The sides lined up as follows:

Newport Pagnell: Osborn; Wilkinson; Williams; Smeathers (c); Pryke; Muya; Smith; Ling; Sandy; Lawless; O'Neill.

RCA: Carmichael; C Davis; Richardson; Hodgson; Swansbury (c); Charlton; Cassidy; Noble; Butler; Larkin; Callen.

Sunderland RCA 3 Shildon 6

Submitted by Simon Mears on Sunday, 22 January 2017
Saturday, 21 January 2017 - 3:00pm
Northern League 1

James Cassidy, scorer of RCA's first goal, during the match against Shildon. Photograph: Simon Mears.

For more photos from the match please click here.

More photos from Martyn Tweddle.

Shildon photographer Tom Clegg's photos are here.

Photos from Dennis Clegg are here.

Goal scorers - RCA: Cassidy; Charlton; J Butler. Shildon: Wing (2); Greulich-Smith; O.G.; Bell (pen); Rae.

Sunderland RCA welcomed Northern League champions Shildon to Meadow Park for what promised to be a highly competitive match. Shildon are currently sitting in third position in the table, hanging onto the coat-tails of North and South Shields as they bid to retain their title - an ambition which was dented by a surprise 2-1 defeat at Chester-le-Street in their most recent Northern League match.

The big talking point among RCA and Shildon fans alike was the news on Friday evening that Shildon’s long-serving management team of Gary Forrest and Stuart Niven had resigned from their positions - with Daniel ‘Bobby’ Moore taking over as manager.

RCA made six changes to the side that won so impressively at Whickham on Tuesday. Jonathan Carmichael returned in goal, Luke Richardson was in at right back, Greg Swansbury captained the side, Craig Hodgson and Mark Robinson returned in midfield, with John Butler up front.

The teams lined up as follows:

RCA: Carmichael; Richardson; McGuinness; Preston; Swansbury (c); Hodgson; Charlton; Robinson; Butler; Larkin; Callen.

Shildon: Jeffries; Harwood (c); Robson; Dodds; Parker; Groves; Bell; Hodgson; Purewal; Wing; Greulich-Smith.

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.