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Sunderland RCA 2 Clitheroe 3

Submitted by Simon Mears on Wednesday, 5 September 2018
Tuesday, 4 September 2018
The Emirates FA Cup

Craig Hodgson shields the ball late in the match.

For more photos from the match please click here.

For Connor Lamb's match report please click here.

Goal scorers - RCA: O'Neill; Page. Clitheroe: Racizac; Matthews; Jacob Gregory.

After back-to-back league wins over Seaham Red Star and Ashington, Sunderland RCA welcomed Clitheroe to Meadow Park for tonight's Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round replay.

The two sides lined up as follows:

Sunderland RCA: Pocklington; Jury; Lilley; Hodgson; Swansbury (c); Davis; Charlton; Page; O'Neill; Davison; Moan. Subs: Larkin; McNab; Preston; Ramshaw; Elliott; Kokoska.

Clitheroe: Wilczynski; Harwood; Matthews; Bianca; Jeffries; Thompson (c); Jacob Gregory; Joshua Gregory; Wood; Hazeldine; Gosling.

The match began at a frantic pace, with little in the way of goalmouth action. In the seventh minute, Jacob Gregory made a driving run up the inside left channel towards the edge of the RCA penalty area but was tripped by Lilley, who was cautioned. The free-kick was headed away powerfully by O'Neill. Three minutes later and RCA had their first real chance of the match after winning a corner. Moan's corner kick was headed wide by O'Neill. And five minutes later another corner was headed over the crossbar by O'Neill from close range. In the 20th minute, Wilczynski sliced a clearance to Charlton, who drove towards the Clitheroe goal but his shot was blocked for a corner which was cleared. Five minutes later and RCA were awarded a free-kick 25 yards from the Clitheroe goal after a foul on O'Neill. Davison took the free-kick, curling the ball beautifully over the wall, but the effort crashed off the post and was cleared.

On the half-hour mark, some good build-up play by Gosling resulted in a shot from Jacob Gregory from the edge of the RCA penalty area which was blocked and cleared. One minute later and Clitheroe were awarded a free-kick midway inside the RCA half which was headed clear by Davison. In the 35th minute, RCA were awarded a free-kick for a foul on Page - the ball was delivered into the Clitheroe penalty area, where Page's shot was comfortably held by Wilczynski.

Two minutes later and RCA took the lead - a ball down the left was flicked on by Page and O'Neill guided the ball over Wilczynski superbly with a flying right-foot volley. In the 39th minute, a ball was played in from the right and half cleared to Matthews, who dragged his shot wide from the edge of the RCA penalty area. In first half stoppage time, Charlton made a super run down the right, before being fouled. Davis delivered the free-kick into the Clitheroe penalty area but the ball was headed clear.

Half-time: Sunderland RCA 1 Clitheroe 0

The visitors - now kicking down the slope - emerged for the second half and immediately put RCA under increased pressure as Matthews fired in a shot from the edge of the penalty area which was blocked. In the 51st minute, Jacob Gregory cut in from the right and fired in a shot which was comfortably held by Pocklington. Four minutes later and Clitheroe’s early second half pressure told as substitute Recizac - who was to have a decisive impact on the match - cut in from the left and unleashed a brilliant effort which flew into the top corner. One minute later and RCA broke upfield and O'Neill fired in a shot which was straight at Wilczynski.

Clitheroe looked to have taken the lead a couple of minutes later, but the goal was ruled out for a foul on Pocklington. In the 63rd minute, Charlton made a good run down the right, forcing a corner. From Moan's corner kick, Davison headed over the crossbar from six yards. Five minutes later, though, and RCA regained the lead - O'Neill flicked a ball forward into the path of Page, who still had plenty to do, but, at full pelt, held off two Clitheroe defenders and superbly slotted the ball past Wilczynski. Two minutes later and Harwood fired in a long range shot which was comfortable for Pocklington. Seconds later, and a cross from the right was half cleared and Matthews fired in a shot from the left apex of the RCA penalty area which was well wide.

But in the 74th minute, Matthews made no mistake, as again a ball came in from the right, but this time Matthews smashed in an unstoppable shot from the edge of the penalty area to level up the match once more. Four minutes later and Davison headed a free-kick wide as both sides pushed for what would surely be a winner. In the 83rd minute, Michael Charlton was replaced by Colin Larkin. One minute later and a good run down the left by Moan forced a corner after Wilczynski put the ball behind. Davis’ corner went to the far post and was cleared. With extra-time looming, Clitheroe grabbed a dramatic late goal to win the match - the dangerous Recizac made a driving run down the left, before cutting into the RCA penalty area and playing the ball back to Jacob Gregory, who finished well with a first-time sweeping left foot shot - five terrific pieces of finishing for tonight's goals. One minute later and Jonathan Davis was replaced by Dylan Elliott. RCA pressed for an equaliser deep into stoppage time and Larkin volleyed wide of the post.

A hugely disappointing end to the match - just like last season's Vase tie against Runcorn Linnets, RCA were only minutes away from extra-time, only to lose to a late goal. But there is absolutely no shame in losing by the odd goal in 17 against a team from a higher division. The lads gave everything tonight against a very good Clitheroe side, but it just wasn't to be.

Next up for RCA is a visit to West Auckland Town on Tuesday, 11 September. Kick-off is at 7:30pm.