Finally we can say that the season is over and unfortunately history has repeated itself as relegation has followed three seasons of Northern League Division 1 football. Of course the season isn't quite over yet and there could be a sting in the tail. All should be revealed on the 17 May 2013 when the FA committee will make its final decisions on promotion and relegation issues.
The final game of the season brought a weary looking Shildon team to Meadow Park, with nothing left to play for both teams looked below their best as they played in front of both Sky TV and BBC televison cameras.
The main pre match action took place in the bar where Shildon's secretary John Atkinson managed to secure the release of a bottle of white wine from "Defty's Diner" for the princely sum of £3.00. Bargaining Defty down from the dizzy heights of £5.00. Who says that there is no generosity in the Northern League.
The off field problems continued at RCA with the theft last Friday/Saturday of scaffolding poles used on the walkway to seperate the players from the spectators.
RCA Grangetown Florists failed to get the point required to clinch Runners Up in the Premier, when with very much the same side that defeated Farringdon in midweek, they capitulated meekly against a committed Redhouse.
Not being at the game I can only report what I have been told, and it was not good. RCA Florists just did not come to the table and were poor all over the park and despite an equaliser from Richie Jordan went down to strikes from Phil Makel and Dale Huggins.
However due to Farringdon's 1-0 reverse against Champions Plains Farm, RCA Florists have now secured Runners Up in the Premier.
RCA Florists only had 11 players available (+ Kevin Burns at 37 and Keith Churchill at 40 as the only subs) and Farringdon had one or two also missing. However RCA Florists started kicking against a strong wind but got to grips with the conditions much quicker than Farringdon causing problems down the flanks.
After 15 minutes a McCain through ball was collected by Jason Gargett and when he side stepped keeper Donaldson the keeper tripped him resulting in a penalty and a very lucky Donaldson who was expecting the inevitable red card, but the referee decided to not even caution him. Dean Arkley duly dispatched the penalty into the bottom left hand corner and RCA Florists went 1-0 up.
RCA Grangetown Florists bounced back to winning ways after their midweek 1-0 reverse against Silksworth Paragon (not at game, so hence no report, sorry!) with an, in the end, comfortable win over a very good Saltgrass side in the semi-final of the Total Sport Challenge Trophy.
Out of adversity comes strength and purpose and in this penultimate game of the season RCA somehow managed to summon these qualities to produce a performance and a result which can only inspire them to go forward with confidence.
Sunderland RCA Grangetown Florists recorded a 6-0 victory over Redhouse WMC on a hard and bumpy surface, in very windy conditions.
Kicking down the slope and with the wind behind RCA Florists scored at regular intervals against the overworked Redhouse defence and scored six unanswered first half goals through Gary Hill two, Micky Wharton two and one each for George McCain and Richie Jordan.
The second half can best be described as 'turgid and 'dull as dishwater', with both sides struggling to come to terms with the conditions, and produced nothing of any note to report. So that left RCA Florists 6-0 winners at the final whistle.
The woes of RCA continued. When you are near the bottom of the league things always seem to conspire against you: today, an own goal and three penalties (one missed) all to Billingham Synthonia. When your luck is out it is well and truely out.
RCA kept the same team that played so well against Whitley Bay in midweek although the shape of the team looked a little unfamiliar at kick off as they looked to play with three at the back.