Colin Larkin scores his second goal in the first half of the match.
Goal Scorers: Hemsworth: Jones. SRCA: Larkin (3), Callen, Gordon.
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RCA travelled to West Yorkshire for this FA Vase 2nd round match against Hemsworth Miners Welfare who are currently top of the Toolstation NCEL Division One with only one defeat all season.
After an early morning pitch inspection the game was declared on. There was little for the management team to think about in terms of team selection with only Davis and Hughes on the injury list and Pounder, Lane and Talbot cup tied, the squad was enhanced when Armstrong passed a late fitness test.
The talk in the clubhouse before the game revolved around Colin Larkin and the Wolverhampton pennant with his name on, there were also two Wolves supporters who had travelled up to see him play (He didn't disappoint).
The match started dramatically when RCA struck straight from the kick off, the ball was played back to Richardson who sent a long searching ball forward to Larkin, the RCA frontman chested the ball down to Gordon before outpacing the Hemsworth defence to pick up the return ball before blasting into the net past the bemused Snaith.
Hemsworth were stunned by this early setback, but they responded well with some slick passing moves which forced RCA back on the defensive.
In the 8 minute Hemsworth were awarded a freekick when Law was fouled, Kelsey took the kick and produced a clever curling shot which brought a terrific save from Harkess palming the ball away and then saving the follow up shot from Law.
A minute later and Harkess was again called into action this time to make a save at full stretch from Ex Seaham Red Star player, Dan Critchlow.
With quarter of an hour gone RCA almost doubled their lead when Noble won the ball on the edge of his own box before sending the ball forward to Gordon, he burst past his marker before crossing the ball to Proctor who curled a wonderful shot onto the bar and the rebound was cleared up field.
As the pace of the game increased Hemsworth pushed forward looking for the equaliser and RCA were a constant threat with their counter attacking play and the speed of the attacks was causing Hemsworth problems.
Hemsworth were the next to produce a clear chance when Steers picked up a great ball forward by Jones, the winger cut inside before sending in a cross cum shot which drifted inches wide of the far post.
A let off for RCA who responded in the only way they know by setting up another attack, Charlton and Proctor combined on the left to set up Larkin but his shot went wide of the target.
However the RCA striker didn’t have long to wait to double RCA’s advantage and what a goal it was, Proctor intercepted a rare Hemsworth bad pass and sent the ball forward to Callen who clipped the ball through the heart of the Hemsworth defence for Gordon who controlled the ball before crossing towards the near post where Larkin flicked a back heel shot into the net past Snaith.
Hemsworth continued to look for a way back into the game but when they got past the RCA defence they found Harkess in inspired form.
In the 40th minute Harkess produced a great save after Hemsworth had put together a great passage of play, Viggars played the ball to Connolly on the edge of the box, he squared the ball to the right where Yates controlled the ball past two defenders before unleashing a terrific strike which the RCA keeper, at full stretch, managed tipped onto the post and McNab cleared the ball away.
Back came RCA and another flowing move saw the ball land just in front of Callen but he could only steer his shot wide of the upright.
However, with the game in the final minute of a pulsating half, Proctor played a wonderful through ball into the path of Callen who outstripped the home defence before rounding Snaith and firing home from an acute angle.
Hemsworth must have wondered what they had to do to get back in a game in which they had enjoyed the majority of the possession but were 3 – 0 down.
The second half started at a 100 miles an hour with both teams looking to get on the front foot, RCA trying to finish the game off and Hemsworth looking to get a foothold into the game.
On the hour mark the home team were awarded a corner after a shot from Kelsey was adjudged to have deflected off an RCA player, the kick was headed away by Buchanan and fell to Callen, he sent a terrific ball past the Hemsworth defence and Gordon picked it up before beating the last defender and shoot past the advancing Snaith into the bottom corner of the net.
The stuffing was well and truly knocked out of the home team and they took a bit of time to get back any sort of composure.
When they did it was there left winger Kelsey who started to cause a few problems, firstly skipping past two tackles before firing in a shot which Harkess blocked and then had to dive at the feet of Law as he looked ready to pounce.
Two minutes later and Hemsworth scored when Kelsey sent in a wicked cross which was headed away by Buchanan, the ball fell to Law who fired in a low shot which was blocked by Buchanan but this time the rebound fell to Jones on the edge of the box and he smashed home to make it 4 – 1.
Another good build up by Hemsworth saw a cross into the box from Kelsay headed just wide of the post by Jones.
Although both teams created half chances in the final few minutes neither side troubled the keeper.
What happened in the final minute ot the match was worth the entry fee on its own, McNab picked up the ball from a throw in wide on the left and sent in a cross which looked to be drifting out of play for a goal kick, Larkin had other ideas he somehow managed to control the ball which his toe end and in the same movement lashed the ball home from the acutest of angles, he couldn’t have been two feet from the bye-line a truly magnificent way to end this entertaining contest.
RCA were probably flattered by this scoreline but take nothing away from them the work-rate was top class and the clinical finishing was the difference between the teams.
Larkin at times was unplayable but as will be noted elsewhere he has 15 team mates and they all contribute to this tightly knit squad.
Next up in the league is West Auckland away on Saturday.
The FA Vase draw has drawn us against the winners of the Tadcaster v Worksop tie which is played on Tuesday, weather permitting. The next round to be played on Saturday, 12th December 2015.