Dylan Elliott sets RCA up for a first half attack.
For more photos from the match please click here.
Goal scorers - Marske: O.G.
Sunderland RCA hosted Marske United in tonight's Northern League match.
RCA made two changes to the side that drew at Washington on Saturday, with Michael Charlton and Adam McGuinness returning in place of Jack Vaulks and Clayton Davis.
The two sides lined up as follows:
RCA: Finch; Noble; Hodgson; McGuinness; Swansbury (c); Elliott; Charlton; Preston; Callen; Larkin; Cassidy.
Marske: Dean; Rowbotham; O'Sullivan; Butterworth; Carling; Wheatley (c); Wood; Gott; Roberts; Earl; Round.
RCA could have opened the scoring as early as the third minute, as the ball was played up to Callen, who drove forward and fired in a shot from just inside the penalty area that was beaten away by Dean. From the loose ball, Marske launched a swift counterattack as Round surged down the inside left channel before cutting in a driving a shot at Finch which was also saved. Six minutes later and O'Sullivan delivered a good cross into the RCA penalty area that was headed clear by Swansbury. In the 12th minute, Butterworth received the ball in central midfield and fired in a fierce shot from all of 30 yards that was straight at, and held by, Finch. One minute later and Marske had the lead as a throw-in on the right from O'Sullivan was headed inadvertently over Finch and into the far corner by McGuinness. Three minutes later and the visitors won a free-kick 25 yards from goal that was driven straight at Finch by Round.
Midway through the first half and RCA won a free-kick 25 yards from goal after a foul on Larkin - Elliott clipped in the free-kick and Callen, at the far post, headed the ball back into the danger area but the ball was hacked clear by Wheatley. In the 31st minute, Marske attacked down the left through Rowbotham, who crossed low and it took a last-ditch, sliding challenge from Swansbury to clear the ball behind for a corner, which, in turn, was cleared by Noble. Nine minutes later and RCA were unlucky not to equalise - Cassidy made a good run down the left before playing in Callen, who advanced into the penalty area and, from almost the byline, slipped the ball under Dean but Wheatley was on hand to superbly clear the ball off the line for a corner. From the corner, Elliott drove a shot to the near post that was held by Dean. In first half stoppage time, Larkin made a driving run before being tripped 25 yards from the Marske goal. From the subsequent free-kick, Elliott curled the ball behind for a goal-kick.
Half-time: Sunderland RCA 0 Marske United 1
In the 53rd minute, the visitors won a free-kick which resulted in a shot into the side netting. One minute later and Larkin made a good run through central midfield before playing a ball forward which Dean did well to intercept with Charlton closing in. In the 61st minute, RCA won a free-kick for a foul on Cassidy from which the ball was half cleared and Callen fired a shot over the crossbar from a tight angle. Eight minutes later and Nathan O'Neill and Luke Richardson replaced Adam McGuinness and James Cassidy. Two minutes later and O'Neill was straight into the action, playing a neat one-two with Larkin who raced into the penalty area but Dean bravely gathered the ball at the striker's feet. One minute later and Swansbury made a terrific 50 yard run from his own half before firing in a shot that was deflected behind for a corner which was cleared and set Marske away on a counterattack, as Round surged up the right wing and was fouled near the edge of the RCA penalty area. Substitute Fairley's free-kick was cleared. In the 77th minute, Noble played a good ball up to Larkin on the edge of the Marske penalty area, who - in one movement - controlled the ball, turned and fired a shot wide of the post. As RCA pressed hard for an equaliser, Marske were able to break up the slope, and in the 79th minute, Roberts made a good run up the right wing and his cross was headed behind by Preston for a corner which was cleared.
One minute later and the visitors broke again through Roberts, again winning a corner which was cleared. In the 81st minute, Jonathan Davis replaced Craig Hodgson. Seconds later and RCA had their best chance of the second half as Callen was in on goal and decided to go around Dean, who narrowed the angle. Callen then squared the ball towards Larkin in the six-yard area but the ball was hacked clear. Two minutes later and Marske again broke with Roberts shooting straight at Finch. With two minutes remaining RCA won a free-kick midway inside the Marske half on the left after a foul on Richardson - Elliott's free-kick was headed behind for a corner. From Elliott's corner the ball dropped inside the six-yard area and O'Neill and Larkin both had a swing but Dean was able to drop and smother the ball. In the dying minutes, Marske held the ball up in the top corner of the pitch to run the clock down, which spoke volumes about how hard RCA had pushed the visitors as they were happy to hang onto their narrow lead.
A spirited second half performance from RCA tonight against one of the league's top teams, with only an extremely unlucky first half own goal separating the sides.
And a highly respectable crowd of 106 through the gate - thank you to everyone who made the effort on a bitterly cold night.
Tonight's RCA man of the match was chosen by RCA goalkeeping coach Carl Morris. Carl picked Greg Swansbury for “a proper captain's performance and leadership - faultless “. Well played, Greg!
Next up for RCA is a trip to Morpeth Town this Saturday, 20 January. Kick-off is at 3pm.