Reece Noble in action for RCA in the Emirates FA Cup First Qualifying Round match against Liversedge at Meadow Park.
This Saturday, 16 September, Sunderland RCA are back in Emirates FA Cup action with a Second Qualifying Round trip to Scarborough Athletic.
Although Scarborough Athletic have only existed for just over ten years, the club was formed from the dissolved Scarborough FC, which has a long history dating back as far as 1879, and includes being a Football League side in the late 1980s and most of the 1990s.
Since being formed in 2007, Scarborough Athletic had spent ten years ground sharing with Bridlington Town before finally moving back into the town in July 2017 with the opening of a new stadium at the beginning of the current season.
Scarborough Athletic began playing their football in the Northern Counties East League Division One and were promoted to the Northern Counties East League Premier Division after just two seasons. Four seasons in the Premier Division culminated in promotion in the 2012-13 season. Since then, the Seadogs have played in the Northern Premier League Division One North, finishing in an impressive third place last season.
This season in the league, Scarborough have only lost once this season, to last season’s Northern League champions South Shields. They are currently sitting in 5th position in the league table with 13 points from 6 games, including a 5-2 win at Ossett Albion on Tuesday night, with Michael Coulson grabbing a hat-trick.
In the FA Cup, Scarborough were exempt from the Extra Preliminary Round and entered the competition at the Preliminary Round stage with a tie at home to fellow Northern League Division One side Marske United. The match finished in a 1-1 draw, with Michael Coulson getting Scarborough's goal in front of a crowd of 885. In the replay at Marske, Scarborough won 2-1 with a goal in the final minutes of extra-time - Michael Coulson again scoring both goals.
In the First Qualifying Round, Scarborough had an impressive 1-0 victory over Workington, who play their football one division higher than Scarborough in the National Premier League, Premier Division. Nathan Valentine scored the only goal of the match with an attendance of 794.
RCA entered the FA Cup at the first stage, the Extra Preliminary Round, and beat Garforth Town 3-1 at Meadow Park, with goals from Colin Larkin, Nathan O'Neill and Stephen Callen. In the Preliminary Round, again at Meadow Park, RCA played superbly in a 4-0 hammering of fellow Northern League Division One side Ashington, with goals Nathan O'Neill, Dylan Elliott and a couple of cracking strikes from Stephen Callen. Liversedge were the visitors to Meadow Park for the third home tie in a row. The First Qualifying Round match ended goalless, and, although both sides created chances, RCA had goalkeeper Neal Bussey to thank for a string of excellent saves during the match. The replay, however, was a different story, as RCA dominated the match almost from start to finish - two goals from Nathan O'Neill, one from Dylan Elliott and a bizarre own goal saw RCA set up Saturday's Second Qualifying Round tie.
League form has been just as impressive as FA Cup form for RCA so far this season but that came to an abrupt end on Tuesday night when Stockton Town - who were without a point in eight league matches so far this season - won 4-1 to end an unbeaten run of seven matches.
RCA are now one of the lowest-ranked sides still in the competition, although, amazingly, there are still three teams from level ten in the draw, which is the equivalent of the Northern League Division Two. Here is a brief look at how the 160 sides in the Second Qualifying Round are spread between the five levels of football the competition is open to so far - ranked highest to lowest:
Level 6: 44 (new entrants from National League North and South)
Level 7: 46
Level 8: 43 (Scarborough Athletic)
Level 9: 24 (Sunderland RCA)
Level 10: 3
It would great to see as many RCA fans as possible making the trip to cheer the lads on in this big game.
Entrance to the match at Scarborough is £10 for adults, £5 for concessions and £1 for under 11s.
Flamingo Land Stadium
Scarborough Leisure Village
The winners of Saturday's Second Qualifying Round match will receive £4,500 from Emirates FA Cup prize fund and will take their place in the Third Qualifying Round where the matches are scheduled to take place on Saturday, 30 September. There are no new entrants for the Third Qualifying Round - the 80 winners from the 80 Second Qualifying Round ties will battle it out over 40 ties in the Third Qualifying Round.