Saturday, 2 March 2013
EBAC Northern League Division 1
Goal Scorers: Terriers: Doninger, Carr SRCA: Clarke (2), Home-Jackson.
Ross Preston failed a late fitness test and his position in central defence was taken by Paul Wardle. Monson replaced Guerin-Lokonga up front and there was the welcoming sight of Gary Shaw taking his place on the left side of midfield at the expense of Dixon.
Bedlington were forced to make a change just prior to the kick off when their keeper failed to arrive in time for the Kick off due to traffic problems on the A19.
After the snow and rain over the last few weeks the pitch was in remarkably good condition.
There was no clear advantage to either team in the early exchanges with neither keeper tested as the game was played almost entirely in midfield.
The first real chance of the game fell to Bedlington after 15 minutes when a sweet move between Convery and Leeson saw the ball chipped to the far post where Williamson headed past Shields but Close was on hand to clear off the line.
The game was livening up and a cross by Close to the far post was headed goalwards by Shaw but stand in keeper Baxter made an easy save.
both sides seemed committed to attacking football and only the constant intervention of the referee's whistle stopped a free flowing game. In the 20 minute Shields was forced into a save from Brayson and this then resulted in a sucession of corners which were all dealt with by the RCA defence.
The deadlock was broken in the 25 minute when Shaw ran onto a lovely through ball from Kane, carried the ball forward into the six yard area but as he tried to go round Baxter, the keeper unceremoniously fouled him and a penalty was awarded. Clarke strode up and stroked the ball into the net .
A clever move by Bedlington almost got them the equaliser as a long ball by Stewart was chested down by Williamson into the path of Doninger put shields, racing from his line, was able to make a great save.
Shaw was causing problems to the Bedlington defence and on the half hour was unlucky not to put RCA 2-0 up when he wriggled past two defenders but his shot went narrowly wide, the referee inexplicably brought the paly back and awarded RCA a freekick 25 yards out which McGuinness fired over the bar.
Back came Bedlington, Convery fed a great through ball to Williamson who chipped the keeper but Marron was able to get across to chest the ball away from danger.
As the first half closed a long ball by Shields was picked up by Shaw who tried to lob the keeper from 18 yards out but the ball fell tamely into the arms of Baxter.
At the opening of the second half it was RCA who went on the offensive taking the game to Bedlington. Guerin-Lokonga, on for the influential Shaw, combined with Clarke to set up Cutts but the midfielders shot was weak and easily saved by Baxter.
Within a minute, Cutts burst past two players before squaring the ball to Clarke who turned and shot, forcing a great save from Baxter.
Bedlington responded with a cross from Baptist which was headed over the bar by Doninger.
Kane was making some good runs and was unlucky with a shot which went narrowly wide.
Then, slightly against the run of play a long ball by Morton found Doninger on the edge of the box and he struck the ball first time into the bottom of the net.
RCA were in no mood to lie downand a beautiful through ball from Cutts set Kane on a run down the middle, Carr came across and clearly fouled the RCA player who lost control of the ball and the chance of a shot on goal was lost, RCA protests only resulted in a booking for Cutts.
The introduction of Home-Jackson was a master stroke as the RCA forward tore into the heart of the Bedlington defence. within two minutes of coming on he had caused Baxter to mis time a clearance by chasing him down and then got booked as the keeper fell over.
In the 70 minute Home-Jackson picked up the ball on the left side of goal area and cut inside, one tackle and was then brought down. The referee immediately pointed to the spot and Clarke once again converted the spot kick sending Baxter the wrong way.
RCA were well on top at this point and almost made it 3-i when Home-Jackson side footed a cross from McGuinness into the path of Kane but the winger sent the ball sailing over the bar from 10 yards out.
In almost an identical move two minutes later Clarke headed down a McGinness freekick into the path of Kane and once again the winger was guilty of missing the target.
RCA got the reward that their play deserved in the 84 minute when a Home-Jackson picked up a crossfield ball from Guerin-Lokonga, dribbled past two defenders before side footing past Baxter into an empty net.
Bedlington tried in vain to respond and when Shields,RCA's keeper, was injured coming for a cross the referee allowed play to go on while the ball was in and around the penalty area and only some desperate defending by McGuinness, Wardle and Morran kept the ball out of the net.
The referee by this time seemed to have lost control of the game, was well off the pace of the game and making wrong decisions time and aagain.
In the 93 minute, Morran was involved in a clash of heads with Brayson and lay in the box holding his head, the referee ignore the protests of the RCA players and let play continue, he ball was sent back into the box and by Cave and Carr, with his back to goal turned and volleyed the ball into the back off the net. A truely superb goal, but a one that should not have happened should the referee had stopped the game.
A great all round team display by RCA, a poor performance from the man in the middle especially in the second half. RCA players need to produce these sort of performance levels consistently, if they do then you will see us rising up the table.
Note of warning, It is absolutely pointless arguing with the referee when he is in the mood that Mr Woodward was in on Saturday.
Sunderland RCA, Meadow Park
Sunderland SR2 0NZ
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