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Sunderland RCA 2 Marske United 4

Submitted by Simon Mears on Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Tuesday, 7 February 2017
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.

The match got underway with RCA kicking up the slope, and the first chance fell to the home side after Charlton was fouled on the edge of the penalty area. The free-kick was fired in by McGuinness and spilled by Dean and cleared for a corner which was headed towards goal by Swansbury and caught comfortably by Dean. Three minutes later and Round made a darting run down the left but his cross was collected by Carmichael at the front post.

Marske kept up the early pressure and took a deserved lead in the 17th minute as Coffey made a lovely run down the left before cutting the ball along the ground to the far post where Bulmer was on hand to guide the ball into the bottom corner via the post. Two minutes later and Round again attacked down the left and his dangerous cross was cleared by McGuinness. Midway through the first half and RCA had an excellent chance to equalise as a long kick from Carmichael was flicked on by Callen to Butler but the shot was mishit and saved.

Five minutes later and a neat move by Marske as Earl laid the ball off to Bulmer who played in Coffey for a shot that was cleared by Hodgson. Two minutes later and Round was put clean through but his shot was well blocked by the onrushing Carmichael. In the 32nd minute a Davis free-kick was met by the head of Swansbury but the ball looped over the crossbar. RCA’s best chance of the half came in the 42nd minute when Davis picked up the ball in the centre circle before releasing Butler in the inside left position - Butler then cut inside the penalty area and fired in a powerful shot straight at Dean. In the final minute of the half RCA won a free-kick for a foul on Cassidy. The kick from Davis was met by Swansbury, whose looping header was comfortably held by Dean.

Half-time: Sunderland RCA 0 Marske United 1

A deserved lead for Marske at the interval - RCA yet to fully get going.

It was RCA who got the first chance of the second half after a foul on Charlton - the free-kick from Davis was blocked for a throw-in. From the throw Davis crossed to Swansbury who headed wide. In the 51st minute RCA grabbed an equaliser as a long ball from the back deceived Butterworth and Dean leaving Butler to go around the ‘keeper and side foot into the unguarded goal. Barely a minute later and Marske had regained the lead as a cross from the right is slotted home by Butterworth from 10 yards.

In the 59th minute Marske extended their lead as a cross from Bulmer on the right is powerfully finished by Round. Marske were rampant at this stage and continued to attack in waves. One minute later Earl’s shot from the edge of the penalty area was well blocked by Carmichael for a corner. And again Carmichael was called into action, this time to block a shot from Gott for another corner.

With 20 minutes remaining Charlton made a run down the right but his cross was caught by Dean. Three minutes later and a corner from Gott was cleared by Gordon for a subsequent corner which was half cleared to Ramsbottom who fired over the crossbar from inside the penalty area. Two minutes later and Earl made a run and cross down the right with Coffey’s shot well saved by Carmichael. One minute later and RCA had a lifeline - Callen received the ball on the right before twisting and turning to get a cross in which was finished emphatically by Davis, with Dean stranded. Game on.

The final ten minutes saw RCA pile on the pressure in pursuit of an equaliser and, in the process, have their best spell of play in the match. In the 82nd minute Callen was fouled right on the edge of the apex of the penalty area. The resulting free-kick was fired straight at Dean by Davis. One minute later and a great run and cross from Charlton was headed over the crossbar by substitute Richardson.

RCA continued to press in the final minutes as Davis went on a run down the right and was fouled - the linesman flagged for a free-kick but the referee allowed play to continue and Marske went straight up the pitch with Earl who squared the ball to Coffey to win the match.

Just as winning became a habit for RCA in December, so to, unfortunately, can losing - this time to an excellent Marske United side, whose quick, incisive forward play created chances galore during the match.

After the disappointment of going out of two cup competitions in 10 days, maybe a bit of perspective is needed: for RCA, a club with limited resources and a small, but loyal fanbase, to reach the last 16 of a national cup competition - with a total of 592 entrants this season - for the second successive season and to reach the last eight of our own League Cup is a fantastic achievement. And on another day in Newport Pagnell the chances would have been converted and we would be in the last eight right now.

The remaining challenge for RCA now is to finish the League campaign strongly and better last season’s League position of 13th and points total of 54.

Next up for RCA is a second successive Saturday in Northumberland - this Saturday it’s a trip to current FA Vase holders Morpeth Town.