RCA captain Reece Noble is tracked by West's ex-RCA man Mark Hudson.
Goalscoreres: West: Oldfield, OG: SRCA: Proctor.
Please click here for more photos from the match.
RCA travelled to West Auckland Town for their EBAC Northern League match and looking to extend their unbeaten league run to 12.
After a torrential downpour the referee declared the pitch fit to play.
The management team made only one change to the starting eleven with James Talbot, back from International duty in Irelend, preferred in goal to James Harkess.
The game kicked off with the rain still coming down and the condition looked to be getting worse by the minute. It took both sides some time to get used to the pace and uneven bounce of the ball.
It was RCA who created the first chance of the match when Callen evaded the lunging challenge of Bell before cutting the ball back to Larkin who curled in a shot which beat Knight but rebounded off the inside of the post and flew across the goal line to safety.
The visitors were starting to get on top and a long ball from Buchanan was picked up by Callen who again slipped his marker before firing straight at Knight.
West’s first chance came when a poor clearance was picked up by Emms who sent in a wicked cross into the box where it was met by Hudson who powered in a header which was brilliantly save by Talbot.
The RCA keeper had to have his wits about him in the next attack as Oldfield picked up the ball on the right, cut inside before sending a reverse pass to Edwards but Talbot was quick off his line to smother the ball.
In the 35 minute RCA got back on the attacking foot, Noble playing the ball forward to Gordon who then played the ball in to Larkin who, with his back to goal, controlled the ball then spun and fired at goal but Knight was well positioned to make a comfortable save.
The remaining 10 minutes saw little by way of goalmouth action but there were a few tasty challenges in the wet conditions and these kept the spectators entertained up to half time.
On the plus side the rain was easing.
The second half saw “West” start the better and they took the lead in the 47 minute when a clearance from Knight was picked up by Seaton on the right wing, he skipped past his marker before crossing into the box where Oldfield was on hand to fire home.
Two minutes later and “West” were back on the attack this time Hudson found Jameson in space and he fired in shot which Talbot saved.
RCA’s relief was short lived as the home team increased their lead in the 53 minute when Seaton again beat his marker on the right wing before crossing into the box where Buchanan, slipped as he went to head the ball away and could only look on in horror as the ball flew into the top corner of his own net.
The visitors went on the offensive and almost reduced the arrear within a minute when Callen broke into the box but his final shot was always rising over the bar.
In the 58 minute RCA got back into the game when Noble played the ball forward to Gorden, he outpaced the “West” defence before squaring the ball to Callen, his thunderous shot was well saved by Knight but Proctor following up fired low towards goal and although two defenders managed to scramble the ball out it had crossed the line and the Assistant Referee awarded the goal.
Proctor almost added to his tally three minutes later as a good move between Larkin and Hope released the midfielder but his final stabbed shot was easily picked up by Knight.
A terrific RCA move in the 64 minute saw Callen shrug off three challenges before playing the ball into the path of Melvin who fired toward goal but Marron was just able to get a foot to the ball to prevent it going into the net.
As the pitch started to cut up and the players tired the game became a long ball game with both defences doing well to stop the attacking flair of both sets of forwards.
In the 80 minute a long ball forward from Maddison fell to Emms who clipped the ball into the box toward Oldfield whose header was blocked by Talbot, Seaton following up fired in a shot which Talbot managed to get a hand to and turn round the post for a corner.
With the game drifting towards its inevitable conclusion a terribly rash challenge in the 88 minute from substitute Brown earned him a straight red card, the first picked up this season by RCA.
The final whistle blew and the massive cheer from the Home supporters showed what it meant to them to get the win and move them from the foot of the table.
For RCA the long run is ended.
We had chances in the first half to take the lead but the luck was against us today, if Lark’s shot had gone in instead of hitting the post who knows what might have happened.
After the game a philosophical Martin Swales said “In the end it came down to desire, they wanted it more than we did”.