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Match reports

Penrith 0 Sunderland RCA 2

Submitted by Rob Jones on Sunday, 8 May 2016
Saturday, 7 May 2016 - 3:00pm
Northern League 1

Reece Noble makes a clearance. Photograph: Simon Mears.

Goalscorers: Penrith: None SRCA: Hughes, Gordon.

Please click here for Simon Mears' photos.

Photos from John France - @john28france - and Ben France - @BenFrance.

RCA travelled over the Pennines to play Penrith for their final game of the 2015-16 season. The news that Cameron McCulloch would not be able to play due to leg injury was a severe blow to the squad not least because the other on loan keeper Michael Woud had been called up by New Zealand to play in a tournament in Brisbane and was flying to Australia on Saturday morning.

This on top of a mini injury crisis which saw Noble, Armstrong, Proctor and Butler carrying knocks from the Guisborough Town match on Thursday. It is a testament to their character that they made the trip and declared themselves willing to start unlike some others who just didn't make the effort.

Colin Larkin took over management duties in the absence of the manager and assistant manager who had prior commitments.

With no recognised keeper it was refreshing to hear that five players volunteered to put on the keeper's jersey. In the end Larkin went in goal, took the unusual step of putting centre forward Stephen Callen into the centre of defence to partner Ross McNab and Joe Hughes went up front with Luke Proctor.

The Team: Larkin, Noble, Armstrong, Callen, McNab, Butler, Gordon, Charlton, Hughes,Proctor and Graham: with the only fit substitute Callum Charlton although Luke Richardson travelled and made himself available to play if required even though only 70% fit.

Sunderland RCA 0 Guisborough Town 4

Submitted by Rob Jones on Friday, 6 May 2016
Thursday, 5 May 2016 - 7:45pm
Northern League 1

Kevin Gordon clears the ball late in the match. Photograph: Simon Mears.

Goalscorers: SRCA: None Guisboroug: Earl (3), Roddam

Please click here for Simon Mears' photos from the match.

The last home game of the season against Guisborough Town saw RCA make the almost obligatory changes to the team due to injuries and work commitments. In came McCulloch, Hope, Buchanan and Charlton, replacing Woud (heading home to New Zealand for a well-earned rest), Lane, McNab and Larkin (work commitments). A number of these players were carrying knocks and showed great character in pulling on a shirt for the club.

After their shock 1 - 0 defeat against Durham earlier in the week, Guisborough fielded what looked, on paper, like a strong side. The inclusion of two ex RCA players Wood and Carling injected a bit more competitiveness to the match.

Morpeth Town 0 Sunderland RCA 0

Submitted by Rob Jones on Wednesday, 4 May 2016
Monday, 2 May 2016 - 1:00pm
Northern League 1

Michael Charlton comes in for the usual attention. Photograph: Simon Mears.

Goal scorers: None.

Please click here for Simon Mears’ photos from the match.

Sunderland RCA travelled up to Morpeth for their second encounter with Morpeth Town in five days. Although it was overcast and there had been some heavy showers in the morning the pitch looked in remarkably good condition.

Both teams made five changes to their respective teams with RCA bringing in Woud, Armstrong, McNab, Proctor and Butler.

Sunderland RCA 2 Morpeth Town 0

Submitted by Rob Jones on Saturday, 30 April 2016
Thursday, 28 April 2016 - 7:30pm
Northern League 1

Kieran Graham in second half action. Photograph: Simon Mears.

Goalscorers: SRCA: Wightman, Hughes. Morpeth: None

Please click here for photos from the match by Simon Mears.

Sunderland RCA were at home to FA Vase finalists Morpeth Town. This was Morpeth’s third match this week having already played on Monday (won against Washington) and Wednesday (lost against West Auckland) while we had already played against Marske on Tuesday, so both teams fielded changed teams for tonight’s match.

At 5:30pm this match was in doubt as torrential rain and sleet poured down on Meadow Park. The match referee, Mr Barry Gordon arrived to inspect the pitch at 5:45pm and declared it playable. The ground staff are to be applauded for the efforts they made in getting this game on.

The RCA management team had a dilemma defensively with the suspension of Buchanan and the injuries to Richardson and Armstrong and so Byrne was drafted in with Larkin moving from striker to central defence and two wingers, Lane and Gordon taking up defensive full back positions. Hughes and Wightman and McCulloch returned to the team which was as follows: McCulloch, Gordon, Lane, Byrne, Larkin, Noble, Graham, Charlton, Wightman, Hughes and Callen, subs: Butler, Woud and Proctor.

Marske United 3 Sunderland RCA 0

Submitted by Rob Jones on Thursday, 28 April 2016
Tuesday, 26 April 2016 - 7:30pm
Northern League 1

Goal scorers: Marske: Kelly, Butterworth, Mulligan: SRCA: None.

RCA travelled to current League champions Marske and with only twelve fit/semi-fit players, two of whom were goalkeepers, it made team selection pretty straightforward. The team that lined up was as follows, Would, Noble, Hope, Buchanan, Richardson, Butler, Graham, Charlton, Larkin, Callen, Lane, with McCulloch the only sub available at kick off although Hughes and Armstrong were delayed on-route from Leeds.

The Marske ground staff had worked hard all afternoon to get the pitch fit and the condition of the playing surface was excellent at kick off.

Whitley Bay 1 Sunderland RCA 2

Submitted by Rob Jones on Sunday, 24 April 2016
Saturday, 23 April 2016 - 3:00pm
Northern League 1

Midfield class from Thomas Butler. Photograph: Simon Mears.

Goal scorers: Bay: Kempster SRCA: Larkin, Hope

Please click here for Simon Mears' photos from the match.

RCA’s injury ravished team travelled through the Tyne Tunnel to play Whitley Bay, and the injury crisis went from bad to worse as first Kevin Gordon declared himself unfit with a neck injury and then James Armstrong was injured in the warm up and replaced by Luke Richardson.

The good news was the return to the starting eleven of Michael Charlton after a lengthy absence with an ankle injury. Thomas Butler and Ross McNab were also recalled by the management team.

Whitley Bay were also suffering with injuries and had a number of players were nursing little knocks. The Bay team also included ex RCA players Callum Patton and Ashley Davis.

Both teams still required points to ensure first division survival for next season and with the fixture backlog it was becoming impossible to forecast what sort of team clubs would be able to field.

Seaham Red Star 6 Sunderland RCA 4

Submitted by Rob Jones on Friday, 22 April 2016
Thursday, 21 April 2016 - 7:30pm
Northern League 1

Kevin Gordon waits for the ball to come down. Photograph: Simon Mears.

Goalscorers: SRS: Bird (2), McBryde (2), Reay, Kerr. SRCA: Noble, Callen, Larkin, Charlton.

Please click here for Simon Mears photos from the match.

RCA, with nine games in 19 days, understandably made changes for tonight’s derby against the highflying Seaham Red Star. Into the starting eleven came Armstrong, Callen and Wightman with the team re-shuffled so that Noble returned to central midfield, Hatch reverted to central defence and Richardson switched to right back.

Consett 5 Sunderland RCA 1

Submitted by Rob Jones on Wednesday, 20 April 2016
Tuesday, 19 April 2016 - 7:30pm
Northern League 1

A well-timed interception stops this Consett attack. Photograph: Simon Mears.

Goal scorers: Consett: Sweet (2), Smith, Craggs and Gray SRCA: Larkin.

Please click here for Simon Mears' photos from the match.

RCA faced another trip to the new Belle View Stadium this time to play Consett who, unlike ourselves, have shown signs of improvement in the last few weeks.

The jubilation and excitement of a few months ago have all but disappeared at RCA as we struggled to muster a team for this match and morale is very low at the moment. We need to get the spring back into our step after another disappointing performance.

The team, as usual, was much changed from the side that lost last Thursday at Ashington: McCulloch, Noble, Richardson, Buchanan, Byrne, Butler, Lane, Hope, Larkin, Hatch, Gordon: Subs: Charlton, Woud, Graham and Wightman.

Ashington 3 Sunderland RCA 1

Submitted by Rob Jones on Friday, 15 April 2016
Thursday, 14 April 2016 - 7:30pm
Northern League 1

The Ashington defender clears the ball ahead of RCA's James Armstrong in the second half of the match..

Goalscorers: Ashington: Stevens (2), Downey: SRCA: Callen.

Please click here for a few photos from the match.

More changes to the RCA starting line-up as once again work commitments and injuries continued to decimate the squad, however the inclusion of Davis, Byrne, Noble and Armstrong should have strengthened the side in the opinion of most RCA supporters.

Shildon 3 Sunderland RCA 0

Submitted by Rob Jones on Monday, 11 April 2016
Saturday, 9 April 2016 - 3:00pm
Northern League 1

RCA’s Kevin Gordon gets in an athletic interception in the second half of the match. Photograph: Simon Mears.

Goalscorers: Shildon: Greulich-Smith, Wood, Connor SRCA: None.

Please click here for Simon Mears' photos from the match.

Please click here for Tom Clegg's photos.

Please click here for Shildon AFC TV's video from the match.

Please click here for post match audio from Shildon manager, Gary Forrest.

We travelled to table topping Shildon, 18 points clear with nine games in hand, for today’s league match.

With 10 games to play in the final month of the season we look to have secured enough points to make us safe although it would be better if we could get another two or three points on the board.

Before the start of the game we were informed that regular first team keeper, Jordan Harkess had been rushed to hospital with a broken jaw and possible fractured skull and we wish him a speedy recovery.

The return of Gordon from injury was the only plus at the management team looked at the selection of the team today; side-lined, are Armstrong (suspension) Charlton, Cummings, Davis and Larkin (injuries) and Hatch and Cresswell (working).

The final selection was Woud, Richardson, McNab, Buchanan, Graham, Butler, Lane, Hope, Callen, Jennings, Gordon: Subs: Proctor, Davis, Hughes, Cummings, Larkin.

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