Ryan Leonard scores RCA's second goal of the match.
More photos from the match are here.
Back to league action today with a short trip up the road to Seaham Red Star for the Ryhope faithful.
The RCA Management team again made changes to the side who comfortably won on Wednesday, It was good to see that Swansbury was ok after being substituted Wednesday at half time.
The teams Lined up as follows:
SRS: Bannon, Hailes, Weldon, Henderson, Myers, Tumilty, Wade, Chilton, Wilson, Robinson ©, Coulson. Subs: Gardiner, Young, McRoberts, Cahill-Taylor, Winthrop.
SRCA: Dean, Allen, McNab, Lilley, Swansbury ©, Croft, K Davis, Elliott, Davison, O’Neill, Leonard. Subs: Moan,Ezard, Preston, Hodgson, Green.
RCA started the game well with Leonard making an immediate impact on the left as he skipped past his marker before crossing into the box and it was only the timely interception of Hailes which prevented Davison from opening the scoring.
Seaham responded with a well worked move, Weldon playing the ball to Henderson who squared it to Robinson but his shot was Turned round the post by Dean.
In the 6th minute Henderson was injured in a tackle and was replaced by Gardiner for “Red Star”
The visitors took the lead in the 8th minute when K Davis played a good crossfield ball to Leonard who cut inside two defenders before curling the ball into the net from 20 yards
A forced substitution on 12 minutes saw Croft limp out of the game to be replaced by Hodgson, and it was he who set up RCA’s second goal, winning the ball on the half way line he played the ball forward to O’Neill who played a sublime ball through the heart of the Seaham’s defence and Leonard raced onto the ball to slip it past Bannon and into the net.
O’Neill was dominating the midfield and in the 20th minute set up Davison but his shot was brilliantly blocked by Myers.
Two minutes later and O’Neill dribbled his way into the box before seeing his shot saved by Bannon, he then had his second shot deflected for a corner.
With a two goal cushion RCA were playing some good football while “Red Star” were reduced to counter attacking.
A flowing RCA move almost gave them a 3 -0 lead when McNab broke forward, played the ball in to Davison who held the ball up before laying it off to Elliott on the edge of the box but the midfielders effort was just wide of the upright.
The host’s first real spell of pressure followed, Weldon played a long ball out to Coulson, who crossed into the box, McNab managed to scoop the ball clear but it was collected by Chilton who slid the ball to Robinson who shot low and produced a good save from Dean.
Coulson set up “Red Star’s” next attack picking the ball up on the right, he played the ball into the penalty area for Wilson who controlled the ball, turned and drove in a shot which Dean did well to save.
“Red Star” started the second half much better than their visitors and in the early stages of the half almost scored when Chilton played in Wilson his first time shot hit the post and rebounded to Gardiner who rifled in a shot which was brilliantly saved by Dean.
In the 55th minute a rash challenge on K Davis saw the RCA player retaliate and shown a straight Red card, in the melee that followed Mr Swales was dismissed from the dug-out.
The dismissal changed the course of the game, RCA from looking reasonably comfortable were suddenly under immense pressure.
A resurgent “Red Star” took the game to RCA and it was only some stirling defensive work that kept them out.
In the 70th minute a good move by “Red Star” was only stopped by a great tackle from Lilley when he stopped the progress of Chilton. The relief was short-lived however, as Weldon picked up a loose ball before sending in a dangerous cross into the RCA penalty area and Dean was forced to punch clear, the ball fell to Gardiner who hit a first time volley wide of the goal.
The pressure continued with “Red Star’s” next move coming down the right, McRoberts, beating McNab to the ball before laying it into the path of Wilson who powered a shot over the bar.
The home team eventually got the break their play deserved in the 82nd minute when they were awarded a corner on the right, the ball was played to the edge of the box where Weldon had time to control the ball before curling his shot into the net.
Three minutes later and it was all square, Preston gave away a freekick on the edge of the area, up stepped McRoberts to strike a low drive into the corner of the net.
The final 5 minutes of the game saw the 10 men of RCA defending valiantly with Dean pulling off a tremendous save to deny Robinson at the death and the game finished all square.
The game changed dramatically in the second half after RCA were reduced to 10 men. Despite the best efforts of the 10 men on the pitch it was always going to be difficult once Seaham got a foothold on the game.
Next up is Billingham Town in the League Cup on Wednesday, 9 October 2019. Kick off 7.30pm.