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Sunderland RCA 3 Guisborough Town 0

Submitted by Simon Mears on Sunday, 29 April 2018
Saturday, 28 April 2018
Northern League 1

Michael Charlton scored RCA's second goal with a close range header.

For more photos from the match please click here.

For Daniel Clark's photos from the match please click here.

Goal scorers - RCA: Elliott; Charlton; Jonathan Davis.

Guisborough Town were the visitors to Meadow Park for this afternoon's Northern League match.

RCA made one change to the side that drew a cracking match at Morpeth on Thursday - Ross Preston returned to the side in place of Colin Larkin, with Craig Hodgson moved back into central midfield and Luke Page switched from midfield to play up front alongside Nathan O'Neill.

The two sides lined up as follows:

RCA: Finch; Armstrong; McNab; Preston; Swansbury (c); Elliott; Charlton; Hodgson; O'Neill; Page; Callen. Subs: Ashton; Pocklington; Limbo; Jonathan Davis; McEwan.

Guisborough: Nixon (c); Mills; Ferguson; Bythway; Lovatt; Close; Roberts; Seaton; McNeill; Robinson; Goldsack.

With a couple of minutes on the clock, Page made a driving run down the left before playing the ball infield to O'Neill, whose shot from all of 30 yards was high and wide. Seconds later, and Callen made a good run into the Guisborough penalty area but his shot was scuffed and was comfortable for Nixon. In the sixth minute RCA took the lead - RCA were awarded a free-kick just outside of the Guisborough penalty area after Page was fouled driving towards goal. Elliott's free-kick was a beauty, which went up and over the wall and into the corner of the net. This was RCA's 100th goal of the season and a terrific one to reach the century! Four minutes later and McNeill made a good run into the RCA penalty area and forced a corner which was held comfortably by Finch.

In the 17th minute, Guisborough were awarded a free-kick on the right, midway inside the RCA half, which was headed towards goal by Lovatt but lacked power and was again comfortably held by Finch. Five minutes later and McNeill fired over the crossbar from the edge of the RCA penalty area, after a corner was half cleared. On the half hour mark, RCA doubled the lead, as Callen made a good run down the RCA left, before delivering a pinpoint cross to the far post, where Charlton scored with a stooping header from very close range. Three minutes before the end of an often scrappy half, RCA won a corner which was whipped in by Elliott and Page headed wide at the front post.

Half-time: Sunderland RCA 2 Guisborough Town 0

In the 49th minute, Nixon cleared a back pass straight to Page, who curled a shot from 25 yards over the crossbar. Three minutes later and RCA were awarded a free-kick for a foul on Charlton on the RCA right. Elliott's free-kick was headed behind for a corner which was cleared. In the 58th minute, Guisborough were reduced to ten men as Close was given a straight red, presumably for something said to the referee - a great shame, as Brian was a terrific player and captain and is much admired at RCA.

Three minutes later and Page won possession back for RCA with a great challenge, before advancing to the edge of the Guisborough penalty area and squaring the ball to Callen, who side-footed the ball past the post. In the 64th minute, substitute Onions made a driving run through central midfield before squaring the ball to McNeill whose shot was well blocked by McNab. One minute later and Nathan O'Neill was replaced by Jonathan Davis - it took just three minutes for Davis to make an impact as Charlton made a driving run down the RCA right and to the byline, before having the vision to pick out Davis just inside the Guisborough penalty area, and Davis finished superbly with a first-time shot across goal and into the far, bottom corner. In the 72nd minute, Stephen Callen was replaced by Dimitri Limbo. Two minutes later and Guisborough were awarded a free-kick for a foul on Onions. Roberts’ free-kick was goal bound and produced a terrific save from Finch, diving at full stretch to his left. In the 83rd minute, RCA made their final substitution, with James Armstrong being replaced by Jak Ashton as RCA saw out the remaining minutes.

Not the prettiest match of the season, but three very good goals, a clean sheet, and the unbeaten run now moves to eight matches.

RCA remain in fifth place but move onto 70 points, and are now just one point behind Shildon in fourth after Shildon’s defeat at Newcastle Benfield. All to play for in these final three matches!

This afternoon's RCA man of the match was chosen by Rachel Hodgson. Rachel picked Ross McNab for “a solid and disciplined performance and always having composure on the ball”. Well played, Ross!

Next up for RCA is the visit of Bishop Auckland to Meadow Park on Monday, 30 April. Kick-off is at 7:30pm.