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Sunderland RCA 4 Guisborough Town 4

Submitted by Rob Jones on Sunday, 16 August 2015
Saturday, 15 August 2015
The Emirates FA Cup

Goalscorers: SRCA: Proctor, Charlton, Hope, Callen.   Guisborough: Earl (2), Steel, Helm.

The injury crisis at RCA was somewhat removed with the return of Harkess, Drysdale and Coe.  Armstrong and Hughes had also shrugged off niggling little injuries, leaving only Larkin and Hatch on the injury list.

The game started in beautiful sunshine and although RCA started brightly they found it difficult to break down Guisborough's well organised defence and it was the visitors who almost opened the scoring in the fifth minute when a freekick from Bettson was not caught cleanly by Harkess and fell to Earl; fortunately for RCA the offside flag had been raised.

As the game settled down it was RCA who created the better chances. A through ball from Proctor opened up the Town's defence and Hughes fired over with only the keeper to beat.

Two minutes later and Callen played in Hughes whose low shot was blocked by Carling, and his follow up shot went wide of the post.

Slightly against the run of play the visitors took the lead. An RCA freekick was inadvertently headed by Callen into the path of Snaith who sent a perfect ball out to the left wing where Bulmer picked it up and ran at the defence before crossing into the box where Earl was on hand to deftly steer the ball into the net.

RCA responded well to going behind and were level in 24th minute when they were awarded a freekick on the edge of the box. Proctor stepped up and curled an exquisite shot into the top corner of the net.

The home team tried to take the game by the scruff of the neck and created a number of chances through Charlton and Hughes before Guisborough got back into the game.

They took the lead again in the 38th minute after Liversedge had pulled off a fantastic save from another Proctor freekick tipping the deflected shot over the bar, the resulting corner was headed away and cleared downfield where Sweet outwitted the RCA defence before calmly slotting past Harkess.

As the game approached half time it was the visitors who were on top and only some poor finishing and some good defending kept the half time score at 1 - 2.

Guisborough started the second half as they finished the first. A freekick from Snaith produced a good save from Harkess, reacting to a volley from Earl.

RCA, with the advantage of the slope, were still finding it difficult to get any real shots on target and it was the visitors who extended their lead in the 53rd minute. Snaith produced another good pass to Steel and he sent the ball through to Earl who made no mistake, firing low into the bottom corner of the net.

RCA's response was to bring on Hope to replace Coe and the effect was almost instantaneous. As RCA started to push forward, Callen taking up a more central role, was causing the visitors' defence problems for the first time in the second period.

In the 62nd minute RCA were given a lifeline when a through ball from Noble was picked up by Charlton and although his first shot was blocked by a combination of May and Liversedge the ball rebounded to him and he headed home.

Guisborough's substitute Helm's first contribution to the game was to turn and shoot from the edge of the area forcing a save from Harkess.

Once again the game was moving from end to end and it looked like every time either team attacked it produced a shot on goal.

However it wasn't until the 73rd minute when Guisborough restored their two goal cushion. Snaith was once again the instigator, sending a ball forward to Helm whose shot took a wicked deflection before looping over the helpless Harkess.

Lifeline number two was thrown to RCA two minutes later when Noble slipped the ball out wide to Callen who looked up and sent a perfect cross to Hope who produced a truly spectacular volley which rocketed into the top corner of the net past the despairing dive of Liversedge.

Guisborough almost restored their two goal advantage three minutes later when Earl stabbed the ball wide of the post after a goalmouth scramble.

The pace of the game seemed to increase and when Proctor's cross was met by Callen he headed the ball back across goal, but Charlton could only head wide.

As the game entered the final five minutes it became very frantic. A Proctor freekick caused panic stations in the Town's defence, but he fired it over the bar. A minute later and another freekick again taken by Proctor cleverly played the ball short but Liversedge was alert to the danger.

In the third minute of injury time Hope produced a great save from Liversedge at the expense of a corner. Hope took the corner which he hooked into the box and Callen managed to get his chest on the ball and diverted it into the net.

Within seconds the referee Ms Byrne signalled the end of the match.

Well this one was a great advert for attacking football and while it would be easy to criticise defenders in this game it has to be said that both teams played some very good classy attacking football.

The two MoM from today's gameillustrate  how you can be effective while having a reasonably quiet game. Snaith for Guisborough never put a foot wrong all game and was at the forefront of most of their attacking play while for RCA Noble proved that keeping your head and playing simple passes to your forwards helps the team as a whole. Also a mention on Callen who does listen to what people are telling him. (He knows what I mean).

We can all look forward to the replay at Guisborough on Wednesday, kick off 7.45pm. I cannot gaurantee a match as exciting as this one but you never know.

It has to be better value for money than that which is being dished out at the Stadium of Light these days.