Goal scorer Stephen Callen takes on Bishop Auckland's Liam Potter.
For more photos from the match please click here.
We travelled to Heritage Park today for this EBAC Northern League fixture. In our previous encounter this season Bishops came out on top in a 5 goal thriller.
With Robbie Dean suspended RCA brought in young keeper Kieron Ezard, other changes from the FA Vase team were as follows, Preston, O’Neill and Croft replaced by Allen, Elliott and making his debut in he centre of midfield was Craig Hennis.
The teams lines up as follows:
Bishop Auckland: Liversedge, Robinson, Hoganson, Potter, Bott, Fairley, Morris, Fryatt, Richardson, Parnaby, Waller. Subs: Johnson, Winn, Prudhoe, Tumilty, Hart.
SRCA: Ezard, C Davis, McNab, Allen, Swansbury ©, Lilley, Hennis, Hodgson, Davison, Callen, Elliott. Subs: Gray, Leonard, Moan, O’Neill.
Prior to the game there was an impeccable minutes silence held and an excellent rendition of the last post by young Harry Rose.
Disaster struck from the off when RCA gifted Bishops the lead in the 2nd minute, a back pass to the keeper went horribly wrong when Ezard tried to dribble past Fairley and was dispossessed giving the Bishop player a simple shot into an empty net.
The response by RCA almost got them a quick equaliser when McNab took the ball off Fryatt before crossing into the box but Davison’s header went wide.
The home team forced a corner a minute later and when Hoganson sent the kick to the far post it looked certain to be 2-0 but Waller’s header hit the side netting.
Bishops were applying a lot of pressure on the visitors and it was only some good defensive work by Swansbury and Co. that kept the score down.
The visitors started to get more into the game and when Swansbury sent Callen on a run down the right he got in a cross which was partially blocked by Hoganson before Liversedge grabbed the ball with O’Neill ready to pounce.
In the 17th minute RCA produced a great passing move when Hodgson played the ball to McNab, he played it forward to Callen who slipped it inside to Hennis who played it back to Callen, he cut the ball back into the path of Elliott who fired inches wide of the upright.
The tempo of the game slowed a little as both teams got to grips with each other. Hennis sent in a threatening cross which was headed over the bar by Davison and Elliott tried a speculative shot from 35 yards out which sailed well wide of the target.
On the half hour mark RCA were awarded a freekick 25 yards out Davison elected to take it but curled his shot wide of the near post.
A promising attack down the left by Hoganson saw him play the ball in to Waller and he sent in a wicked low cross which Swansbury sliced inches over his own bar. The resulting corner was smashed into the side netting by Parnaby.
C Davis produced RCA's next chance when he skipped past a tackle on the right before crossing into the box where Callen met the cross but could only steer his header wide of the target.
RCA were putting the pressure on the home team now and when Callen crossed into the box Davison’s deft header was pushed round the post by Liversedge. C Davis took the corner and the ball was played into the box by Lilley, the ball eventually reached Callen who hit a terrific shot which, although Liversedge got a hand to, ended up in the net.
Bishops had the last attempt of the half when Parnaby hit a terrific shot from distance and Ezard managed to get a hand on to tip it onto the bar and over for a corner.
Bishops took the game to RCA at the start of the second half as they continued to close down the visitors giving them little time to settle on the ball.
An early chance fell to Waller but was blocked by McNab, the ball rebounded to Hoganson who whipped in a cross which Swansbury did well to head clear and Hennis sent the ball forward.
Bishops retook the lead in the 53rd minute when a quickly taken freekick was played to Waller, he dribbled his way into the box before smashing the ball beyond Ezard and into the far corner of the net.
It could have gotten a lot worse for RCA three minutes later when a poor ball by Hennis to Elliott was intercepted by Robinson and he sent Waller on his way again but this time he fired into the side netting.
This was the “wake up” call that RCA needed on came Leonard to replace Elliott and almost immediately he caused problems for Bishops, picking up a through ball from Davis he fired in a low cross which was deflected wide by Bott. The resulting corner was played out wide to Callen who shot inches wide.
The game was flowing from end to end and when Swansbury made a great tackle to stop Parnaby, the ball fell to Callen who played it out wide to Allen who set off down the right, his cross into the box was met by Callen but his header lacked the necessary power to trouble Liversedge.
As the game entered the final 10 minutes it was RCA who were piling on the pressure for an equaliser. A good run on the right by Leonard was spotted by O’Neill who played the ball to him, his cross was met by Davison who powered in a header which Liversedge palmed onto the bar and away for a corner.
Minutes later and Allen played a long ball forward into space and Leonard beat Hoganson to the ball, cut inside and unleashed a terrific shot which flew past Liversedge and smashed off the far post before rebounding to safety.
RCA were still not finished with Swansbury joining the attack in the final minutes and causing problems, a cross in by McNab was headed down by Swansbury to Callen who drilled his shot just wide.
Another bad result for RCA but over the ninety minutes we maybe deserved something out of the game. However schoolboy errors cost us today a mistake by the keeper and not reacting to a quickly taken freekick was our downfall today.
“When the ball goes dead we come alive” a great piece of advice from a well respected Ex-RCA coach, this should be instinctive for players at this level but time and time again I see us switch off for freekicks and get punished because we are immediately on the back foot and trying to retrieve a dangerous situation instead of being alert to the danger all the time.
We are a relatively young side and will learn from these games you need to concentrate for 95 minutes of every game.
Next up Ashington at Home on Saturday, 16 November 2019. 3.00pm kick off.