Goalscorers: SRCA: Cresswell, Lane: Jarrow Roofing: Chow (3), OG.
Sunderland RCA welcomed Jarrow Roofing to Meadow Park for this EBAC Northern League Division 1 clash between two teams who are struggling for form at the moment. A win by either side would ease the relegation worries of the respective managers.
RCA’s management team were once again forced to make wholesale changes to the squad with injuries, work commitments and suspensions causing havoc to their plans. In came Hunter, Byrne and Cresswell while Buchanan returned from his one match suspension, latest signing Tom Callaghan and Tommy Butler were on the bench if required.
The game didn’t go to plan for RCA as they succumbed from the first corner of the game, the cross was headed away as far as Mackay who fired in a shot which was parried by Hunter but the rebound fell to Chow who finished from two yards out.
The home team tried to put this set back behind them but within two minutes it got worse, after Armstrong’s free kick was easily saved by Regan the ball was switched to the opposite end of the pitch where Rundle was fouled.
The resultant free kick was launched to the back post where Chow was left unmarked to volley home from close range.
It could have been even worse five minutes later when Fairley sprinted past his marked before crossing into the box where Rundle was waiting, but he mistimed his shot and scuffed it wide.
RCA’s first effort on target came in the 20th minute when they were awarded a corner after some good work by Callen. Lane took the kick and it was met by Buchanan but his well-directed powerful header was saved by Regan.
The home team were showing signs of life at last and when Hunter sent a long clearance forward Callen was able to get control before laying the ball off to Hatch, his delicate chip back into the box was headed clear by Paxton with Cresswell and Callen ready to pounce on any mistakes.
With half an hour gone Wightman picked up a through ball from Armstrong, dribbled past two defenders before crossing onto the head of Cresswell who flicked it toward the far post where Hatch mistimed his shat and it flew across the face of goal.
RCA were to rue this miss 10 minutes later when a fairly innocuous ball forward looked to be going out of play. Chow had other ideas as he persisted in pressurising Richardson before he dispossessed him on the touchline, cut back inside the area and blasted the ball home to complete a first half hat trick.
With nothing to lose RCA pushed forward in the opening spell of the second half and were rewarded in the 50th minute when Callen picked up the ball 35 yards out; he spotted the run of Cresswell into the box and slotted an inch perfect pass into his path and the RCA midfielder flicked the ball with the outside of his right foot over the advancing Regan and into the net.
Three minutes later and a cross field ball from Lane was collected by Wightman who played the ball first time to Callen; from the corner of the box he curled the ball inches wide of the far post.
As has become the norm with RCA of late, having got back into the game they conceded a soft goal, this time a throw in to Roofing on the right was crossed low into the box where Richardson managed to head the ball past his own keeper and into the net.
In the 65th minute RCA once again pulled a goal back with a slick move which saw Callen and Wightman combine on the left before Callen picked out Lane with a superb 30 yard pass which was controlled by the RCA winger before he calmly slotted into the bottom corner.
Within minutes Hatch had a great chance to pile more pressure on a shaky Jarrow defence when the ball came to him inside the area. His first shot was blocked by Laws and the follow up volley was cleared off the line by Paxton.
RCA were starting to show signs of a recovery. Callen was once again involved in the build up of the next RCA chance as he outpaced his marker before crossing onto the head of Jennings who only had to hit the target to score, but headed well wide of the target.
Jarrow responded to this spell of pressure with a quick break which ended with Chow firing well wide of the goal. He then picked up a loose ball from the goal kick and again shot off target.
As the game entered the final few minutes RCA pushed forward trying to find a way through the Jarrow defence and a long range effort from Hatch flew inches wide of the upright with Regan well beaten.
Both teams tired towards the end of this tense football match and neither keeper was tested as Jarrow wound down the clock.
Another defeat and another poor first half showing, the signs were a little better in the second half as we looked to get the ball forward quicker and with a bit more composure in front of goal we could even have pinched this game.