Supermac: Ross McNab clears the ball under pressure from former RCA player Stuart Thompson.
For more photos from the match please click here.
For Peter Jackson's photos from the match please click here.
Goal scorers - RCA: Page (2); Callen (2); O'Neill; Preston.
After three consecutive postponements last week, Sunderland RCA were back in action tonight, making the trip to Bishop Auckland, looking for a fifth win a row.
RCA made two changes to the side that beat Newcastle Benfield last time out - Scott Pocklington replaced Keith Finch in goal, and Ross Preston returned at centre half replacing Dylan Elliott, with Craig Hodgson moving from centre half to central midfield.
The two sides lined up as follows:
Bishop Auckland: Young; Hart; Hoganson; Galpin; Tobin; Dinsdale; Jury; Ryder; Winn; McAloon; Richardson.
RCA: Pocklington; Noble; McNab; Preston; Swansbury (c); Hodgson; Charlton; Page; O'Neill; Larkin; Callen. Subs: Armstrong; Finch; McGuinness; Jonathan Davis; McEwan.
It took RCA just six minutes to take the lead - RCA were awarded a free-kick in the centre circle, which was delivered straight up to the edge of the Bishop penalty area, where Page rose well to head the ball over a crowd of players and into the net. Two minutes later and the lead was doubled as Callen made a driving run down the RCA left, before cutting in along the byline and playing a low cross to the front post, where Page finished well, sweeping the ball past Young’s despairing dive. In the 15th minute, a ball was played up to O'Neill inside the Bishop penalty area, and RCA's top scorer turned well before firing in a shot from an angle that was beaten away well by Young for a corner which was cleared. Four minutes later and Callen received the ball out on the RCA left before cutting in along the edge of the Bishop penalty area and firing in a shot that hit the side netting. One minute later and Bishops were awarded a free-kick on the right which was driven in by Hoganson and beaten away by Pocklington for a corner which was cleared.
Midway through the first half and Callen made another good run down the left, again cutting in along the byline before crossing low to the front post, where O'Neill’s effort was blocked for a corner. From the corner the ball was half cleared to Swansbury at the edge of the penalty area, who fired in a shot that was palmed down by Young and Callen reacted quickly to slide the ball home from just inside the six-yard area. RCA were rampant at this stage and three minutes later it was four - Callen, on the left, released the overlapping McNab, who drove to the byline and delivered a low cross into the Bishop six-yard area and O'Neill had the simple task of knocking the ball into the empty net. Straight from the restart, Winn fired a shot from the halfway line that had Pocklington backpedaling frantically, but the ball hit the top of the crossbar and bounced behind for a goal-kick - a brilliant effort, though! In the 36th minute, Noble and Preston combined well down the RCA right, before Noble crossed and Preston fired a fierce shot over the crossbar from 10 yards. In stoppage time, RCA made it five - RCA were awarded a free-kick on the right after a foul on Page. Noble whipped in a terrific cross to the far post and Preston powered home a superb diving header.
Half-time: Bishop Auckland 0 Sunderland RCA 5
After what can only be described as a first half hammering, Bishops started the second half in a much more positive fashion with Winn firing in an early shot that flashed just over the crossbar. And a couple of minutes later, the home side were awarded a free-kick after a foul by Swansbury and substitute Lovegreen glanced a header just wide of the post. In the 53rd minute, Larkin and Callen combined well down the RCA left, before Callen drove into the Bishop penalty area and fired in a shot that was deflected behind for a corner which was cleared. Five minutes later and the home side were awarded a free-kick midway inside the RCA half for an obstruction by Page. Hoganson drove in the free-kick which was tipped over the crossbar by Pocklington for a corner which was cleared by Swansbury.
In the 63rd minute, substitute Thompson made a good run down the inside right channel to the edge of the RCA penalty area, before firing in an initial shot that was charged down well by McNab. From the loose ball, Thompson fired in a follow-up shot that was straight at Pocklington. In the 70th minute, Reece Noble was replaced by Jonathan Davis. One minute later and RCA had a sixth goal - super play by O'Neill, first to keep the ball in play on the left touchline, before advancing to the edge of the Bishops' penalty area and squaring the ball to Callen, who struck an unstoppable shot with his right foot that flew into the top corner. Brilliant stuff! Three minutes later and Colin Larkin was replaced by James Armstrong. And six minutes later RCA made their final substitution, with Craig Hodgson being replaced by Adam McGuinness. In the 82nd minute, Ryder fired a shot wide from 25 yards, but RCA kept a clean sheet in another impressive victory.
A superb fifth win in a row for RCA tonight - Bishops gave a much-improved showing in the second half, but, by then, the damage was done by a rampant RCA, who created chance after chance in the opening 45 minutes, inflicting Bishops’ heaviest defeat of the season so far (in terms of the winning margin) and, in turn, giving RCA their biggest win of the season.
Tonight's away win was RCA's 11th of the season - only Morpeth Town and Marske United have earned more points on the road so far this season.
RCA move up to fifth in the table, level on points with Shildon in fourth, same games played, and separated only by a couple of goals.
Tonight's RCA man of the match was chosen by Mark Cowan. Mark picked Stephen Callen for “an outstanding first half and a great second half goal." Well played, Stephen!
Next up for RCA is the visit of Durham County Challenge Cup finalists, Consett, to Meadow Park on Monday, 23 April. Kick-off off is at 7:30pm.