Luke Page got RCA off to a great start with an early goal.
For more photos from the match please click here.
Goal scorers - RCW: Ellis. RCA: Page; Elliott; Swansbury.
After the longest away league trip of the season to Penrith on Wednesday, Sunderland RCA made the shortest this afternoon to Ryhope Colliery Welfare for the second Ryhope derby of the season.
RCA named an unchanged side from Wednesday's win at Penrith. The two sides lined up as follows:
RCW: Ball; Woods; Cocks; Bott; Riding; Trewick (c); Nicholson; Winship; Melvin; Home-Jackson; Ellis.
RCA: Finch; Noble; McNab; Preston; Swansbury (c); Hodgson; Charlton; Elliott; Page; O'Neill; Callen.
On an extremely blustery afternoon it was the home side that had the first sight of goal in the sixth minute as a long ball was played up to Nicholson who drove across the RCA penalty area, but, as the angle grew ever narrower, fired his shot into the side netting. One minute later and RCA had the lead - Callen made a good run down the left wing before crossing low into the six-yard area, where Page’s first effort was blocked by Ball, but the RCA midfielder was first to the loose ball and made no mistake at the second attempt. Five minutes later and Home-Jackson made a driving run down the left wing before playing in Ellis in a more advanced position, and Ellis drove his shot straight at Finch. RCA immediately launched a swift counterattack as Charlton made a driving run down the right, forcing a corner which was cleared.
Midway through the first half and RCW had a couple of good openings - first, Ellis crossed from left and Nicholson headed wide, and then Nicholson returned the favour, crossing from the right to Ellis but Finch was quick off his line to smother the ball. Three minutes later and a ball was played up to O'Neill, who chipped the ball over the advancing Ball from the edge of the penalty area but the ball drifted wide. In the 29th minute, good play down the RCW left before the ball was played into Nicholson, who fired a shot over the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area. Three minutes later and RCA produced a good move with Page and Callen linking up well in midfield before the ball was played out to Charlton on the right, whose cross was headed behind by Bott for a corner. From Elliott's corner, Callen rose well at the far post but headed wide. In the 37th minute, O'Neill and Page played a good one-two midway inside the RCW half and O'Neill fired a shot straight at Ball from the edge of the penalty area. Four minutes later and Callen made a driving run through central midfield before playing in O'Neill, who beat the offside trap and crossed, but Ball was able to take a comfortable catch at his front post. As the first half went into stoppage time RCA doubled their lead - O'Neill charged down a loose ball on the edge of the RCW penalty area with a full-blooded challenge, and, still sitting on the turf, played the ball forward to Page who was tripped by Ball and the referee pointed to the spot. Elliott stepped up to coolly slot the ball into the net to give RCA a vital cushion going into the interval.
Half-time: Ryhope Colliery Welfare 0 Sunderland RCA 2
RCW began the second half by putting RCA under increased pressure, but in the 55th minute, RCA increased their lead further. A free-kick on the halfway line was played up to Page who headed the ball down into the danger area and Swansbury swept the ball home from around eight yards with a good finish. That looked to be game, set and match, but, within a minute, RCW were back in the match as Home-Jackson played the ball up to Ellis who drove down the inside left channel before firing in a super shot that Finch was able to get a hand to but couldn't prevent the ball going right into the top corner. In the 59th minute, Page was unable to continue and limped off to be replaced by Colin Larkin. Seven minutes later and Callen made a driving run down the left before cutting in a winning a free-kick right on the edge of the RCW penalty area. Callen picked himself up and curled the free-kick narrowly wide of the post. In the 71st minute, Dylan Elliott was replaced by James Armstrong. Three minutes later and Charlton did well down the right and crossed to Armstrong who shot wide. With six minutes remaining, RCA made their final change, with Nathan O'Neill replaced by Kieron Parnaby as RCA saw out the final minutes of the match.
Derby delight for RCA this afternoon and back-to-back wins for the first time since the end of October, which resulted in a nomination for the Northern League Division One team of the week - RCA, though, recorded two wins during the week as opposed to the other two clubs’ single victory.
This afternoon's RCA man of the match was chosen by Mark Cowan. Mark picked Keith Finch for “three important saves in the first half, and his constant talking and marshalling of the back four”. Well played, Keith!
Next up for RCA is a home match on Saturday, 3 February, as Whitley Bay are the visitors to Meadow Park, with a 3pm kick-off.