Hat trick hit man Colin Larkin in early action.
Goalscorers: SRCA: Larkin (3), Charlton. Tadcaster: none.
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Please click here for Tadcaster Albon's match report.
After the disappointment of having the match postponed on Saturday due to the freak weather conditions which saw the pitch flooded inside 90 minutes and then a heavy snowfall compound the problems for the rest of the day it was left to the ground staff to try and get the pitch into a playable condition for tonight’s match.
They were rewarded when the match referee Mrs Lucy Oliver declared the game on.
The management team had a number of problems the main ones being the injury to Drysdale which will keep him out of the team for the rest of the season, the suspension of McNab and also the fact that both Pounder and Lane are cup-tied. The good news was the return of Club Captain Clayton Davis who passed a late fitness test and took his place at right back. Harkess replaced Talbot in goal, Hatch returned to take the place of Drysdale and Charlton also returning from injury to replaced Melvin.
Before the game the questions being asked were “How will the team respond to the defeat at West Auckland?”, “How would they play against a team in Tadcaster Albion who are riding on the crest of a wave at the moment table topping their league and beating their nearest rivals 4 – 1 in the last round of the Vase?” and “Will the rain hold off until full time?”
The game kicked off with RCA kicking down the slope and they almost opened the scoring with their first attack, the ball was played out by Noble to Davis who slipped the ball forward to Gordon who sent in a cross cum shot which Armstrong did really well to head over the bar for a corner.
The visitors first attack looked to have broken down when Buchanan stepped in to make a clearance, the ball struck a Taddy player and looked to be going for a goal kick, Greening who had broken away recovered the ball before crossing to Beadle who fired over the bar.
With the conditions underfoot not ideal the play was a bit scrappy and a mis-timed challenge by Davis resulted in a freekick in a dangerous position, Clayton took the freekick which was met by Anderson but he could only direct his header over the bar.
RCA looked to get a grip of the midfields and at the half progressed you sensed that it was just a matter of time before they took control, however there was a hint of good fortune about the opening goal, Ormsby was moving through midfield when he was stopped by the tackle of Hatch, the loose ball struck referee Lucy Oliver and fell kindly for Noble who drove forward immediately before delivering a through ball to Larkin, tha RCA striker picked up the ball before cutting inside and firing in a magnificent dipping shot which gave Stevens no chance as it flew just inside the far post.
The visitors only response to going behind was a half chance which fell to Greening but he never looked to have control of the ball from a Beadle chest down and fired well wide of the target.
The home should have extended their lead on the half hour mark when Richardson combined with Charlton on the left before crossing into the far post where Larkin controlled the ball before firing in a shot which Stevens blocked, the rebound fell via Gordon’s hand to Larkin who tried to place the ball into the bottom corner but Stevens made another incredible save before a freekick was awarded for hand ball.
RCA were rampant at this point and looked in charge as the visitors found it difficult to string two passes together.
In the 40 minute a surging run by Charlton ended with his cross to the far post being met by Gordon who volleyed in a first time effort which Stevens did well to parry away, the ball fell to Callen who looked to have a simple tap in but Stevens once again produced a brilliant save to deny the RCA leading goal-scorer.
Tadcaster had the benefit of the slope in the second half but it was RCA who looked the more eager to get on with the game, returning to the pitch a good 5 minutes before their counter-parts.
The benefits of doing so were immediately felt when Larkin extended the home teams lead within the opening minute of the second half, a long ball forward from Noble found Gorden on the right wing, he sent the ball inside for Callen who unselfishly passed the ball square to Larkin who rifled his shot into the bottom corner of the net.
The “Brewers” responded with an effort of their own when a ball from Stevens was headed straight into the path of Greening who slipped the ball inside to Heath but his mishit his shot when in a good position and the ball went tamely through to Harkess.
In the 55 minute RCA effectively killed off the tie when they were awarded a penalty, the referee adjudging that Charlton had been pulled back as he burst into the penalty area. Soft, yes but Charlton was clearly held. Larkin stepped up to convert with a well-directed shot low to Stevens right and claimed his second Hat-trick in the Vase this season.
The confidence in the RCA team was evident for all to see now as they went in search of another goal, a good move saw Proctor feed the ball through to Callen who almost made it 4 – 0 but blazed the ball over the bar.
The visitors were left to try long distance shots which were easily dealt with by Harkess, who after a torrid start to the season, has improved immensely.
The chances were flowing for RCA now as the poured forward at every opportunity, in the 70 minute, Callen became provider as he burst past his marker before crossing into the box where Richardson somehow managed to hook the ball over the bar from close range, exactly what the RCA defender was doing in the box is beyond me.
Stevens, Tadcaster’s man of the match, was forced to make two fantastic saves as he blocked a shot from Proctor before reacting quickly to the danger of the onrushing Charlton to dive at the wingers feet and smother the ball.
The final nail in Tadcaster’s coffin was applied in the last minute of normal time when substitute Carr produced a terrific turn of speed to get past a defender and then crossed low inside the six yard area where Charlton was on hand to apply the finishing touches to a great all round RCA performance.
There was little to criticise and much to applaud about this RCA performance every player played their part in making this a memorable occasion for each and every RCA fan.
Next up in the Vase, another home tie against Sleaford Town on the 9th January 2016.
However before that is the little matter of a League match on Saturday against West Allotment Celtic.