RCA starting line up: Dean; C. Davis, Hodgson, Lilley, McNab; Charlton, Elliott, Moan, McAloon, Davison, K. Davis
RCA made the trip out to Durham to face Brandon in our latest pre-season friendly. Many thanks to Brandon for their hospitality, and good luck for the coming season.
Brandon looked to have a young and lively team who should have a successful season in the Northern League Second Division, we wish them well.
RCA were short of a few regulars for today’s game, which meant a starting opportunity for others and a chance to stake their claim.
RCA started very brightly and might well have been a couple ahead in the first ten minutes, with McAloon and Davison having decent chances. The game was being played at a lively pace with Brandon looking good on the break, a theme which was to become more evident as the game wore on. RCA were trying to control the ball, and Dylan Elliott and Dom Moan showed up with some good control in the centre of the park, with Dylan also successfully spraying longer passes cross field on a number of occasions. At the back Rob Dean looked a very safe pair of hands when called into action, was quick off his line, and also used the ball well from hand and foot. The unfamiliar back four unit gelled well, although Sam Lilley unfortunately had to go off after only fifteen minutes to be replaced by youngster Green, and we looked comfortable in defence with the full backs, particularly Clayton Davis, also getting forward at pace whenever the chance presented. It was a good competitive first half with both sides having their chances, but at the break it was goalless.
After half time the pace dropped and the play was less fluid, although Brandon will feel aggrieved they did not take their chances from a few good breaks, which unfortunately usually ended in wild strikes well away from goal. The rising breeze didn’t help, but even so they might want to work on their finishing. They could have made it an unpleasant afternoon for RCA with cooler heads.
For RCA, Keiron Ezard in goal got some time in the second half. The game looked as if it was meandering to a goalless draw when the young Brandon keeper had a couple of moments he will want to forget very late on. RCA had lifted their game for the last fifteen minutes and got the rewards. First, a solid but not very menacing Dylan Elliott shot on 88 minutes went over his leg and a minute or two later a similar effort from closer range from Michael Charlton went through his legs. A shame as he had had a decent game until then.
It meant that RCA ran out 2-0 winners and move on next to Heaton Stannington on Wednesday night. See you there.