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Whickham 2 Sunderland RCA 0

Submitted by Rob Jones on Thursday, 4 February 2016
Wednesday, 3 February 2016
Durham County FA "Frank Pattison" Challenge Cup

New RCA signing Nathan Cummings who came on in the second half of the match.

Please click here for more photos from the match.

Goalscoreres: Whickham: Aiston, M Fitzpatrick:

After the FA Vase exit at the weekend the management team switched their attention to the Durham Challenge Cup and were no doubt be looking for a positive reaction to that defeat.

Due to work commitments and injuries there were a number of changes implemented. Cook, Brown, Cresswell and Hughes replaced McNab, Byrne, Proctor and Charlton in a reshuffled team.

On a freezing cold night RCA did little to warm their supporters hearts with a well below par performance. Whickham started well and had the first chance in the third minute when Broadhead skipped past Cook before shooting low towards goal, but Hunter was able to save low down to his right.

More pressure from Whickham in the opening minutes saw Aiston and Wilson both go close before Larkin produced a glimpse of brilliance, pulling the ball down from a pass by Noble before firing in a low drive which Curran could only parry away. Fraser reacted just in front of Callen to concede the corner.

From then on it was nearly all Whicham in the first half as they pressed forward. A facial injury to Cook forced the first substitution on 16 minutes with Richardson replacing him.

In the 20th minute, Broadhead once again produced a great burst of speed before firing in a shot and again Hunter was forced to make the save.

As the pressure mounted on the RCA defence they became a bit panicky, clearing long balls forward which just kept coming back. Whickham had two tall central defenders and we were playing high ball forward toward Hughes who isn't the tallest attacker in the world.

Aiston, should have opened the scoring in the 25th minute when he was sent clear of the RCA defence by Peareth, but the Whickham striker was unable to hit the target with only the keeper to beat.

RCA were finding it difficult to string two passes together and persisted in firing long balls forward. Callen was unlucky in the 30th minute when he received a ball from Richardson before cutting inside and unloading a powerful low drive which went narrowly wide of the post.

Back came the home team and this time when Broadhead tried to get past Richardson the RCA defender held him up but was forced to concede a corner. The cross came in from the right and after a bout of head tennis in the box Aiston rose and headed over the outstretched hand of Hunter and into the net.

It should have been 2 - 0 two minutes later when Broadhead picked up a long ball out of defence before hitting a great shot which flew past Hunter, hit the inside of the post and to the relief of the RCA keeper landed back in his arms.

RCA started the second half a little better trying to push further up the pitch than in the first half. A cross into the box by Davis was headed down by Larkin to Cresswell, but he snapped at the shot sending it well wide of the target.

There followed a spell of RCA pressure, but the final ball was lacking any pentration and the Whickham defence, time after time, were able to clear and in Aiston, Broadhead and Hill they had players who could pick the ball up and run with it.

In the 70th minute, after an RCA attack broke down the ball was cleared forward toward Aiston, he broke into the box, but was stopped by a combination of Buchanan and Richardson. As the ball was cleared the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty. Broadhead took responsibility, but scuffed his shot and Hunter was able to save.

RCA were almost level a minute later when Gordon forced a rare defensive error from Whickham and they conceded a corner. Larkin took the kick and Callen ghosting in at the front post glanced a header inches over the bar with the goal keeper stranded.

In a frantic final 20 minutes RCA pushed men forward in an attempt to get something from the game, but the Whickham defence were in no mood to concede easily and so it was the we entered seven minutes of injury time.   

With RCA committed to all out attack they were open to any sort of counter attack by Whickham and in the 94th minute a long clearance fell to substitute Mark Fitzpatrick, who looked a yard offside. He carried the ball forward before firing in a shot which Hunter half saved, but the ball just managed to find its way into the net.

All in all not a good night for the Wearsiders. A defeat which makes it two in a row for the first time since the opening two game of the season and now out of two cup competitions. Only one shot on target all night tells its own story.

We now have 22 league games to fit in before the end of the season and we have to look to secure first division survival as a first priority, which will probably mean getting at least 44 points. (Five wins should be acheivable).