Stephen Callen on the ball in front of a bumper crowd at Meadow Park. Photograph: Simon Mears.
For more photos from the match please click here.
Video highlights from the game from South Shields.
Interview with Julio Arca.
SportsByte match report.
Goal scorers - RCA: Preston. South Shields: Arca; Cogdon.
Sunderland RCA welcomed FA Vase finalists South Shields to Meadow Park for this rearranged Northern League Division One match.
The rags to riches story of Shields is well-documented: just a couple of years ago they were playing at Peterlee in front of a few dozen fans. And now - rightly back in the town - Shields have been regularly pulling in crowds in excess of one thousand all season, including a magnificent sell-out crowd of 3,161 as they demolished Newport Pagnell Town in the FA Vase Quarter Final - an irony not lost on all at RCA as we were beaten by Newport in the Fifth Round after missing a whole host of chances to finish off the tie, losing in extra-time, and missing out on a bumper pay day and setting up a potentially fascinating all-Northern League Quarter Final. Since then, Shields have, of course, gone on to reach the final at Wembley and are still, incredibly, chasing an unprecedented quadruple - with finals also to come in the Durham County Challenge and League Cups. Furthermore, after Shildon’s victory over North Shields last Saturday, the League title is also now back in South Shields’ hands - North and South Shields meet on April 8th in what may well turn out to be a title-decider.
RCA had a very good win at Seaham Red Star last Saturday and have recovered well since the immense disappointment of going out of the Vase - notwithstanding the odd blip at Newcastle Benfield.
Shields took their incredible winning run to 27 matches on Tuesday evening with a 4-0 victory over Newton Aycliffe.
Back in October, in the reverse fixture, RCA took a deserved 2-0 lead at Mariners Park as Shields were reduced to 10-men after a foul lead to RCA’s second goal - with only 20 minutes of the match remaining. Shields, however, threw everything at RCA in the latter stages and grabbed a late equaliser through a brilliant Julio Arca strike.
RCA had the rare opportunity to name the same XI that started the previous match at Seaham Red Star.
The two sides lined up as follows:
RCA: Carmichael; Richardson; McGuinness; Preston; Swansbury (c); Armstrong; Charlton; Larkin; Butler; Callen; Cassidy.
South Shields: Jameson; Baxter; Lough; Storey; Morse; Shaw (c); Nicholson; Phillips; Cogdon; Stephenson; Finnigan.