Colin Larkin chases a through ball as RCA try to get back into the match.
For more photos from the match please click here.
Goal scorers - Sunderland RCA: O'Neill. Stockton Town: Coleman; Woodhouse; Craggs; Carter.
Sunderland RCA were back in Northern League action at Meadow Park tonight against another newly-promoted side, Stockton Town.
Stockton have had a real baptism of fire since being promoted to Division One and are yet to record a point after all eight matches in the league so far this season ended in defeat. But this is a club that has become accustomed to winning - their last five seasons have seen them crowned as champions: in the Wearside League, Stockton won the league on four consecutive occasions, each season finishing with over one hundred points. They finally took promotion after ground grading issues were resolved and were promoted to the Northern League second division where they were again crowned champions last season at the first attempt.
Stockton did give RCA a very close match last season in the FA Vase, when an extra-time penalty from Colin Larkin was all that separated the sides.
RCA are currently in a rich vein of form - unbeaten in seven matches, winning six of them, and, as a result, making tremendous progress in the FA Cup as well as holding a top eight position in the Division One table.
Presumably with one eye on Saturday’s big FA Cup match at Scarborough, and guarding against further injury, RCA made six changes to the side that beat Billingham Synthonia at the weekend. Out were Neal Bussey, Adam McGuinness, Greg Swansbury, Dylan Elliott, Michael Charlton and Colin Larkin. In came Jack Patton (to make his debut for RCA), Jak Ashton, Luke Richardson, James Cassidy, Jonathan Davis and John Butler.
The two sides lined up as follows:
RCA: Patton; Noble; Ashton; Preston (c); Richardson; Page; Cassidy; J. Davis; Butler; O'Neill; Callen.
Stockton Town: Arthur; Garbutt; Ward; N. Mulligan; Poole; D. Mulligan; Woodhouse; Craggs; Coleman; Carter; Hayes.