Ross McNab in action during the match against North Shields on Saturday.
More photographs from the match are here.
Goal scorers: North Shields: Carr (2), Hughes. SRCA: Hassan.
RCA’s management team were forced to make changes with Bussey out with a fractured ankle and Noble suspended, late fitness tests on Charlton, Cassidy and Gordon proved unsuccessful and none were able to take part. Into the team came Hodgson, and McBryde. New signing Flavio Pereira Da Veiga was on the bench.
After the goalless draw at Meadow Park last week there was an expectation that there would be goals in this game.
The visitors had the advantage of the wind in the first half and it was they who looked the more dangerous in the opening minutes. With just five minutes on the clock a cross into the box by McBryde was headed away, but only as far as J Butler who headed the ball back into the penalty area where again there was an attempted clearance which struck J Davis in the face and rebounded to Armstrong whose low crass into the box was met by Hassan who slotted home.
Stung into action the home team started to get a hold of the ball and from a quickly taken throw in Holmes picked up the ball on the left and skipped past his marker before crossing into the box but no one was able to get the touch on the ball which would surely have resulted in the equaliser.
RCA were next to create a chance when Hassan was fouled on the edge of the box. Armstrong slid the ball past the wall to Davis who cut the ball back to Swansbury who fired over the bar.
The game was opening up as The Robins looked to get back into the game but they were finding it difficult against the strong wind. A lovely pass with the outside of his foot by Holmes sent the ball forward to McCorrigan who hit the ball first time past Harkess but the ball flew wide of the target.
A minute later RCA were forced to make their first substitution when Armstrong was replaced by Pereira Da Veiga, his first contribution to the game was a minute later when he ran past two defenders before crossing into the box but the ball was just too far in front of J Butler.
North Shields equalised in the 32nd minute when a corner was headed back across goal by Ormston to the far post where Hughes was on hand to side foot a volley into the net despite the attempts of Harkess to keep it out.
The tempo of the game changed as both teams opened up and looked to attack. Pereira Da Veiga looked to get past Ormston but was fouled and J Davis took the kick firing it round the wall but straight into the arms of Hayes.
Two minutes later RCA were awarded a free kick on the left when Pereira Da Veiga was again fouled this time it was taken by McNab who curled it into the box where J Butler rose to power in a header which was headed onto the post by Donnison and behind, the referee inexplicably giving a goalkick.
In the final minute of the half with RCA looking to get a late goal they were awarded a corner which was driven in by J Davis, Ormston headed clear but the ball fell to McNab who swung in a cross cum shot which Jennison saw late but managed to claw away and the danger was cleared.
The second half started dramatically as North Shields swept forward from the kick off Ormston started the move with a slick ball to Taylor who played it out to McCorrigan on the right, his cut back was swept towards goal by Taylor and Carr was on hand to apply the finishing touches to put the home side 2 – 1 up.
As the game progressed the Robins took command of the game and RCA were reduced to defending in number with the occasional breakaway. In the 50th minute another quickly taken throw in caught RCA napping and Carr nipped in to take a pot shot at goal which went wide of the near post.
With an hour on the clock the game went through a physical phase with a number of unsavoury challenges which earned North Shields players cautions.
Once again the game settled down and the home team started to get the ball down again and in the 65 minute a good move resulted in Holmes breaking free but firing well over the bar.
The Robins should have extended their lead in the 70th minute when they were awarded a penalty when Holmes was brought down in the penalty area. Holmes got up to take the kick but fired wide of the post.
Within five minutes Holmes was at it again this time he rounded the Harkess before firing in a shot which McNab did brilliantly to slide back and hook off the line and Pereira Da Veiga cleared the ball up field.
The onslaught eventual got its reward in the 82nd minute when a number of defensive slips allowed North Shields to gain possession deep inside the visitors half and the ball was picked up by Carr who hammered it into the net.
Both teams started to tire inside the last five minutes but it took a good stop with his legs by Harkess to deny Carr his hat trick in the 3rd minute of injury time.
Not a classic by any means and the wind was a major factor in the game.
RCA could have been 3 – 1 up at half time, a lapse of concentration at the start of the second half gave North Shields the impetus to push on and in the end it could have been a lot worse.
We need to get our players back to fitness quickly so that the strength in depth that we had in the early part of the season returns and hopefully the results will start to flow again.