RCA’s first away trip of the season took them to Guisborough Town and for once the traffic was light and everyone arrived pretty much on time.
The management team made two changes to the side that won on Saturday with Dylan Elliott and Mark Davison starting in place of Thomas McAloon and Stephen Callen.
Teams: Guisborough Town: Catterick, Marron, McAvoy, Hawkins, Marshall, Rowbotham (C), Howard, Snaith, Earl, Coleman, Ferguson. Subs: Graham, Holdsworth, McNeill, Taylor, Robinson.
SRCA: Dean, Allen, McNab, Preston, Swansbury (C), Hodgson, Davis, Moan, Davison, Elliott, Charlton. Subs: McAloon, O’Neill, Dorward, Green, Whitehead.
Guisborough started brightly sending searching balls down both flanks, but the final balls into the box were easily dealt with by Dean in the RCA goal. A left wing cross in the fourth minute almost broke the deadlock when Ferguson's cross cum shot had Dean back peddling but it sailed narrowly over the bar.
However, it didn’t take long for the hosts to break the deadlock. In the eighth minute, after a slick piece of interplay the ball was played into space behind the RCA defence to Earl who dispatched his low shot into the bottom, giving Dean no chance.
Three minutes later it could have gotten a whole lot worse for the visitors when a corner on the left was swung to the far post where Marron was in acres of space, but his effort was well blocked by Moan.
This, for some reason seemed to be the wakeup call that RCA needed and they started to put some passes together. A quick one two between Charlton and McNab saw the latter able to send in a wicked cross which was half cleared by Marshall, but fell to Moan who struck his shot narrowly wide of the upright.
Within a minute RCA levelled the match, when Davis closed down McAvoy quickly, the defender mishit his back pass and Davis beat Catterick to the ball to stab home the equaliser.
RCA were starting to dominate in midfield and the Guisborough players were guilty of a number of fouls.
From a foul on Elliott in the 23rd minute RCA took the lead, McNab took the kick sending in a perfectly weighted cross which Swansbury met at full pace to smash his header home past the helpless Catterick.
The game seemed to lose a bit of momentum after RCA’s second goal as the game got bogged down in a midfield battle with a lot of niggly fouls interrupting the flow of the game.
In the 33rd minute Guisborough mounted a sustained attack on the RCA goal which was finally rewarded with a corner, the ball was swung into the box were Earl headed straight at Dean. The RCA keeper fed the ball out straight to Davison who spotting the run of Elliott and laid it into his path, clean through on goal his shot was brilliantly saved by Catterick.
As the game drifted to half time RCA had two further half chances. A Kyle free kick ws headed over the bar by Preston and a Kyle direct freekick sailed over the bar.
At the back end of last season Guisborough beat RCA 2 - 1 despite the constant onslaught of the visitors. This time it was the hosts that mounted a second half onslaught.
However the first 15 minutes of the half saw RCA with clear chances to increase their lead. In the 47th minute a through ball from Moan played Davison in and the RCA forward looked certain to score only for his effort to fly inches wide of the upright.
Three minutes later and Allen played s good ball down the line to Elliott who crossed to the far post where an unmarked Davison was inches away from connecting for a certain goal.
For a long period of time that was as good as it got for the visitors as Guisborough took charge of the game. Howard and Snaith were instrumental in most of the home side attacking moves.
In the 60th minute Snaith found Howard on the right, he evaded a number of challenges before crossing into the box were Earl controlled the ball before shooting but Preston was able to get his body in the way and block the shot.
Three minutes later and Marron played the ball forward for Howard who turned and fired in a shot which flew over the bar.
RCA found some relief from the pressure when Allen and O’Neill forced a corner, Elliott sent in the cross which was headed over by Preston.
Within minutes Preston was back doing his defensive duties in heading away a dangerous cross from Marron. From the clearance Snaith picked up the loose ball and sent in another cross which was defended by Swansbury with Allen clearing the ball up field.
The visitors responded with a ball from McNab to Davis who went on a mazy run which saw him beat four players before firing in a shot which struck Davison and was cleared by Marshall.
As in the first half the game became scrappy with both teams guilty of niggly little fouls.
In the 82nd minute a free kick by the impressive Allen was met by the head of Davison, but the ball drifted wide of the target.
Guisborough seemed to run out of ideas as the RCA back four continued to thwart all attempts at attacking play and it was the visitors who came closest in the closing minutes to scoring when a long ball forward from Dean was headed on by Davison and picked up by O’Neill but his shot was well saved by Catterick.
The game ended in victory for RCA after another hard fought encounter. The defence was superb while the midfield did their best to stifle the threat posed by the opposition and up front Davo worked his socks off.
Next up is the little matter of the FA Cup tie against local rivals RCW. Get along to Sunderland LGV Park for what is sure to be and entertaining match. Kick off 3.00pm.