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Chester-le-Street Town 0 Sunderland RCA 1

Submitted by Simon Mears on Wednesday, 19 July 2017
Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Jonathan Davis scored the only goal of the match from the penalty spot. Photograph: Simon Mears.

For more photos from the match please click here.

Goal scorer - RCA: Davis.

Sunderland RCA’s fourth pre-season friendly in eight days was a short trip to Chester-le-Street Town.

After the disappointment of being relegated last season, Chester-le-Street would no doubt be looking for a quick return to Division One by having a successful season. So a good test to play a Division One side at home, even in a pre-season friendly match.

The two sides lined up as follows:

Chester-le-Street: Cresswell; Stephenson (c); Reynolds; M. Hepplewhite; Walker; D. Hepplewhite; Surrey; McGuire; Clarkson; Wood; White.

RCA: Bussey; Richardson; Armstrong; McGuinness; Swansbury (c); Noble; Cassidy; Elliott; O’Neill; Davis; Callen.

Chester-le-Street had the first attack of the match after just a couple of minutes when a free-kick was awarded 25 yards from goal but the ball was cleared. RCA had their first attack three minutes later when a corner was won by Cassidy but the corner was cleared. In the 10th minute RCA produced some neat play between Davis and Cassidy down the right, Cassidy won a corner that was fired over the crossbar by Swansbury on the edge of the penalty area.

Midway through the first half and Armstrong down the left played the ball inside to Davis who took a couple of strides before firing in a shot from 25 yards which was wide. On the half hour mark a dangerous cross from the right by Stephenson was headed behind by Cassidy for a corner which was cleared. And two minutes later, another cross was cleared for a further corner which, again, was cleared.

In the 36th minute Noble made a cross field pass to Callen down the left who cut in but shot wide. Three minutes before half-time, RCA had the best chance of the half when Cassidy played Davis in on goal but Cresswell advanced quickly from his goal and was able narrow the angle for Davis whose effort went wide.

Half-time: Chester-le-Street 0 Sunderland RCA 0

RCA took the lead within three minutes of the restart - Swansbury was tripped inside the Chester-le-Street penalty area and Davis stepped up to place the ball into the corner of the net. Four minutes later and Davis made a good run down the right and crossed towards Callen in the penalty area but the ball was headed behind for a corner which was cleared.

On the hour mark, Cassidy made a good run down the left and delivered a dangerous cross that was cleared away for a corner which, in turn, was cleared. Two minutes later and Chester-le-Street forced a corner which was headed away from danger by McGuinness. And from a further corner, Clarkson was penalised for a challenge on substitute goalkeeper Peccolo.

With fifteen minutes remaining, Davis made another good run down the right before playing in substitute Stewart, who squared the ball to Elliott who drove in a terrific shot from 30 yards that was turned over the crossbar by Cresswell for a harmless corner. With Chester-le-Street stepping up the pressure in search of an equaliser, a great chance to level the match came in the 84th minute - a ball was put through to a Chester-le-Street substitute, who went around the advancing Peccolo, only to see his goalbound effort blocked by McGuinness. Chester-le-Street then forced a series of corners which were all cleared, one with a flying punch by Peccolo, as the home side finished the match strongly.

A hard-fought victory as the scoreline suggests. Chester-le-Street competed extremely well and pushed hard for an equaliser right up to the final whistle.

For RCA, this was a fourth pre-season win in eight days and another clean sheet.

Next up for RCA is a trip to Esh Winning on Wednesday, 26 July, kick-off 7:30pm.