Club news

The First Team

The team line up on Saturday, 15 December 2012
Back row left to right, Carl Beasley, Assistant Manager, John Parker, Adam McGuinness, Brad Forster, Lee Owens, Neal Atkinson, Aristote Guerin-Lokonga, Nick Kane
Front row, left to right, Paul Buzzeo, Nick Gibson, Brian Close, captain, Jarrett Rivers, Ross Prestson


On Saturday, 6 April 2013 we fielded an ineligible player in the Northern League fixture against Billingham Town. This resulted in the club being deducted three points.

Competition  Date  Home      Away
Friendly 13 July 2012  Esh Winning 0 1  Sunderland RCA
Friendly 21 July 2012  Petershill 4 1  Sunderland RCA
Friendly 24 July 2012  Sunderland RCA 1 3  Blyth Spartans
Friendly 28 July 2012  Sunderland RCA 1 2  Long Eaton United
Friendly 31 July 2012  Sunderland West End 2 3  Sunderland RCA
Allan Thompson Memorial Cup 4 August 2012  Sunderland RCA 4 1  Ryhope CW
FA Cup 11 August 2012  Ashington 1 1  Sunderland RCA
FA Cup 14 August 2012  Sunderland RCA 1 2  Ashington
Northern League 1 18 August 2012  Sunderland RCA 2 2  Consett
Northern League 1 21 August 2012  Durham City 1 2  Sunderland RCA
Northern League 1 4 September 2012  Whitley Bay 1 1  Sunderland RCA
Northern League 1 8 September 2012  Sunderland RCA 3 4  Norton + Stockton Ancients
Northern League 1 11 September 2012  Sunderland RCA 1 2  West Auckland Town
Northern League 1 15 September 2012  Marske United 1 3  Sunderland RCA
League Cup 18 September 2012  Crook Town 1 3  Sunderland RCA
Northern League 1 22 September 2012  Sunderland RCA 2 0  Penrith
Northern League 1 26 September 2012  Shildon 2 3  Sunderland RCA
Northern League 1 29 September 2012  Sunderland RCA 3 2  Marske United
Northern League 1 2 October 2012  Sunderland RCA 2 3  Team Northumbria
Northern League 1 6 October 2012  Hebburn Town 3 3  Sunderland RCA
Northern League 1 10 October 2012  Guisborough Town 2 1  Sunderland RCA
FA Vase 13 October 2012  Sunderland RCA 1 0  Bishop Auckland
Northern League 1 17 October 2012  Bishop Auckland 1 0  Sunderland RCA
Northern League 1 20 October 2012  Dunston UTS 0 1  Sunderland RCA
Northern League 1 23 October 2012  Sunderland RCA 2 2  Newton Aycliffe
Northern League 1 27 October 2012  Sunderland RCA 0 3  Newcastle Benfield
Durham County Challenge Cup 30 October 2012  Billingham Town 4 5  Sunderland RCA
Northern League 1 3 November 2012  Billingham Town 1 1  Sunderland RCA
Northern League 1 6 November 2012  Sunderland RCA 1 1  Spennymoor Town
Northern League 1 10 November 2012  Sunderland RCA 0 6  Ashington
League Cup 13 November 2012  Tow Law Town 2 2  Sunderland RCA
FA Vase 17 November 2012  Ashington 2 1  Sunderland RCA
Northern League 1 11 December 2012  Sunderland RCA 0 1  Bedlington Terriers
Northern League 1 15 December 2012  Sunderland RCA 1 5  Bishop Auckland
Northern League 1 18 December 2012  South Shields 2 4  Sunderland RCA
Northern League 1 26 December 2012  Sunderland RCA 3 2  South Shields
Northern League 1 5 January 2013  Sunderland RCA 3 3  Guisborough Town
Northern League 1 12 January 2013  Newton Aycliffe 2 0  Sunderland RCA
Northern League 1 2 February 2013  Sunderland RCA 1 1  Durham City
Durham County Challenge Cup 5 February 2013  Sunderland RCA 1 3  Bishop Auckland
Northern League 1 9 February 2013  Newcastle Benfield 1 0  Sunderland RCA
Northern League 1 16 February 2013  Norton + Stockton Ancients 1 3  Sunderland RCA
League Cup 19 February 2013  Durham City 2 3  Sunderland RCA
Northern League 1 26 February 2013  Celtic Nation 2 1  Sunderland RCA
Northern League 1 2 March 2013  Bedlington Terriers 2 3  Sunderland RCA
Northern League 1 5 March 2013  West Auckland Town 6 2  Sunderland RCA
Northern League 1 12 March 2013  Penrith 2 1  Sunderland RCA
Northern League 1 16 March 2013  Spennymoor Town 2 1  Sunderland RCA
Northern League 1 20 March 2013  Billingham Synthonia 2 0  Sunderland RCA
Northern League 1 23 March 2013  Sunderland RCA 0 2  Celtic Nation
League Cup 25 March 2013  Sunderland RCA 0 1  Spennymoor Town
Northern League 1 27 March 2013  Sunderland RCA 1 0  Hebburn Town
Northern League 1 30 March 2013  Darlington 1883 7 2  Sunderland RCA
Northern League 1 3 April 2013  Sunderland RCA 0 4  Darlington 1883
Northern League 1 8 April 2013  Team Northumbria 5 1  Sunderland RCA
Northern League 1 13 April 2013  Ashington 3 1  Sunderland RCA
Northern League 1 17 April 2013  Consett 3 0  Sunderland RCA
Northern League 1 20 April 2013  Sunderland RCA 0 1  Dunston UTS
Northern League 1 23 April 2013  Sunderland RCA 0 1  Whitley Bay
Northern League 1 27 April 2013  Sunderland RCA 1 3  Billingham Synthonia
Northern League 1 7 May 2013  Sunderland RCA 2 0  Billingham Town
Northern League 1 15 May 2013  Sunderland RCA 0 3  Shildon


Northern League Division 1 Table

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Darlington 1883 (C) 46 40 2 4 145 35 110 122
2 Spennymoor Town 46 33 10 3 108 34 74 109
3 Whitley Bay 46 27 7 12 110 62 48 88
4 West Auckland Town 46 25 9 12 112 75 37 84
5 Dunston UTS 46 23 10 13 74 50 24 79
6 Bishop Auckland 46 25 7 15 95 77 18 79
7 Ashington 46 23 13 12 106 68 38 76
6 Shildon 46 19 12 15 83 69 14 69
9 Consett 46 19 11 16 68 63 5 68
10 Celtic Nation 46 19 10 17 80 79 1 67
11 Guisborough Town 46 20 6 20 78 87 -9 66
12 Billingham Synthonia 46 17 10 19 79 83 -4 61
13 Penrith 46 17 9 20 92 96 -4 60
14 Durham City 46 17 8 21 90 90 0 59
15 Bedlington Terriers* 46 18 7 21 90 83 7 58
16 Team Northumbria 46 14 14 18 63 80 -17 56
17 Newton Aycliffe 46 16 5 25 71 89 -18 53
18 Hebburn Town 46 15 8 23 81 109 -28 53
19 Marske United 46 15 4 27 66 91 -25 49
20 Billingham Town 46 13 8 25 84 125 -41 47
21 Newcastle Benfield 46 14 4 28 51 88 -37 46
22 Sunderland RCA 46 12 8 26 62 103 -41 41
23 South Shields (R) 46 11 5 30 54 117 -63 38
24 Norton + Stockton Ancients (R) 46 6 7 33 39 128 -89 25

* Three points deducted



Ashington FC 1 Sunderland RCA FC 1

David Gordon launches a trademark attack down the wing for RCA. With David and Adam McGuinness, RCA are a formidable left wing force.

FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Please click here for photos from the match.

Please click here for video highlights from the match.

The 10 men of SRCA left it until the last 30 seconds of this FA Cup match to force a draw and the unlikely scorer of the equaliser was goalkeeper Neal Atkinson.

During the close season the management team have been very busy trying to build virtually a new team as players have been lured away by the promises of better recompense. The new players will need time to adjust to each other, but on today's display they have nothing to fear and proved that team spirit counts for a great deal in this league.

The following report is taken from the Sunday Sun:

GOALKEEPER Neal Atkinson scored a dramatic equaliser with virtually the last kick of the game to keep Sunderland RCA’S FA Cup dream alive.

Moments after pulling off a magnificent injury-time save, Atkinson worked more heroics at the other end of the field to earn the Wearsiders a replay at Meadow Park on Tuesday night.

RCA, who played for 56 minutes with 10 men, looked to be on their way out of the competition when they trailed going into added time.

For a split second, it appeared their hopes had ended when Ashington’s Phil Bell looked certain to score.

But somehow Atkinson kept the ball out.

And with the clock ticking down, deep into injury time, Neil Hixon’s side won a corner.

Keeper Atkinson went up with the rest of his team-mates.

Gary Shields’ kick was spot on and when Colliers’ goalkeeper Karl Dryden could only parry the ball, Atkinson was there to drive the ball into the net.

Immediately the game was restarted, the referee blew the final whistle, much to the relief of the visitors.

Hixon said: “I thought the players were magnificent bearing in mind that we had Brian Close sent off after just 34 minutes.

“The lads gave it their all and were rewarded with a last-ditch equaliser.

“Now we’ve got it all to do at our place on Tuesday.”

It was Close who opened up the first scoring opportunity for Andrew Appleby, but his effort was cleared.

A minute later, Ashington’s James Taylor became the first player to go into the referee’s notebook.

Tommy English almost opened up the RCA defence. At the other end Mark Hudson fired wide after good work by John Butler, before Close was shown a yellow card on 31 minutes.

Three minutes later he was given a second and immediately shown red.

The Colliers were now in the driving seat. A corner by English was headed just wide by Andy Dugdale and on the stroke of half time Marc Walton chipped Atkinson, only to see his clever effort clear the crossbar.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, RCA were limiting the hosts and it was not until the 70th minute that Ashington broke the deadlock. Gareth Williams and Walton combined to set up Gareth Bainbridge and he fired under Atkinson. His strike looked likely to win the game but there was still time for Atkinson to have the last word with his double heroics.

Colliers manager Gary Middleton said: “I thought we were comfortable all through the game but RCA just kept coming back. They played for almost an hour with 10 men so it’s not going to be easy in the replay but I’m certainly looking forward to it.”

MOM Neal Atkinson.


Sunderland RCA FC 1 Ashington FC 2

FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round replay

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The hoodoo of the FA Cup continues at RCA with this defeat against Ashington. The euphoria of Saturday's last gasp equaliser completed eradicated with a woeful second half performance that saw Ashington take complete control and run out worthy winners.

Ashington progress to the next round of the FA Cup and will face an away match against Marske United FC. 

The first 10 minutes saw a similar pattern to Saturday's match with both teams looking nervous and edgy, the first shot of the game came on 5minutes when a laong crossfield ball by Cave found the unmarked Taylor but he snatched at his first time effort and it went well wide of the target.

RCA's first chance of the half came on 10 minutes when Youldon and Close combined to set up the overlapping Jones, in space inside the goal area he opted to shot but his curling shot went narrpwly wide with Dryden beaten.

The game was coming to life now and Taylor for Ashington was causing problems with his surging runs, in the 12 minute, he received a lovely pass from Dugdale but was unable to find the target hooking his shot wide.

Back came RCA, a through ball by Hudson found Guerin-Lokonga, the RCA forward laid the ball off to Youldon but his shot was well saved by Dryden. 

Cave carved open the RCA defence with a great run and cross to the edge of the area where Johnson hit the ball first time and Atkinson was forced to save.

In the 20 minute Ashington must have thought they had taken the lead when Taylor latched onto a pass from Bell and thundered a shot against the foot of the post and the ball was scambled away for a corner. From the resulting kick Taylor was once again left unmarked but, with a free header his effort went over the bar.

RCA responded to this pressure with some of their own, Youldon received the ball out wide, played the ball to Jones who's cross eluded Dryden and fell to Guerin-Lokonga who brought the ball down before volleying over the bar.

Within two minutes RCA were in front as they produced a great passing move, starting with Hudson and close winning the ball in the centre of the park the ball was swithed to the right to shields who crossed to the far post where Guerin-Lokonga once again brought the ball down, this time he laid the ball off for Gordon who volleyed a low rasping shot into the bottom corner of the net.

RCA continued to press and a Gordon Cross was met at the back post by Shields but he was unable to take advantage and shot into the side netting.

A poor back pass by Paxton put RCA under pressure as Bell collected the ball in front of Atkinson before squaring the ball to  Walton but his shot was blocked by Preston.

As the  half came to a conclusion both teams had half chances probably the best falling to the head of Bell but he headed over. He could be excused this miss as he had his head heavily bandaged after a collision a few minutes earlier with one of his own players.

The second half got off to an explosive start, RCA should have gone 2-0 up when Youldon found himself free inside the 6 yard box but somehow managed to completely miss the ball with the goal at his mercy.

A minute later and a cross from Gordon found Guerin-Lokonga but he could only direct his header wide of the post.

In the 49 minute Ashington were awarded a contravertial penalty for what looked like holding. Unfortunately Walton didn't seem to have his shooting boots on tonight and fired well over the bar.

The game started to get bogged down a little with RCA inexplicably reverting to a long ball game against two of the tallest Central defenders in the league. Ashington to their credit were trying to play through midfield and had in fact succeeded in taking control of that area of the pitch.

The pressure was mounting on the RCA defence but they looked like they were cabable of repelling the Ashington Forwards.

However in the 70 minute with the Ashington team appealing for a freekick for a late challenge on Dugdale, the referee played advantage and the ball was quickly passed to Taylor who made no mistake from 20 yards out.

Within a minute a Trough ball from Antony found bell inside the box but the tall striker mishit his shot straight at Atkinson.

In the 73 minute in a carbon copy of the previous move Bell this time made no mistake, curling the ball round the keeper and into the net.

The only response from RCA was a cross from McGuinness which was headed wide by Guerin-Lokonga and a half chance to substitute  Jardine.

Ashington were in controla of the match now and RCA looked tired. Antony should have made it 3 -1 but mishit his shot when one on one with the keeper and Bell had a shot late in the game that his the top of the crossbar.

Ashington on tonight's performance were well worth their win.

MOM David Gordon

Sunderland RCA FC 2 Consett 2

Jamie Davis attacks down the right wing in the second half against Consett on Saturday, 18 August.

Northern League Division 1

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Please click here for photos from the match.

RCA started their EBAC Northern League campaign in the same vein as last season with a 2-2 draw against a well drilled and organised Consett outfit.

The manager brought in new signing Abubaker Salim on the right wing and started Dale Jardine up front as support to Aristote Guerin-Lokonga.

The match will be remembered most for the amount of missed chances by both teams. It would not have been a suprise if the game had ended 6-6.

Consett took advantage of the slope in the first half and pushed RCA back from the off and it was no surprise when they took the lead in the 6 minute when Davidson found Bell with a 50 yard pass which split the RCA defence in two. The Consett defender crossed into the path of Mackay who’s shot was blocked by Preston but the ball rebounded to Smith who made no mistake from 10 yards out.

RCA started to get into the game and were unlucky not to equalise when McGuinness sent a lovely pass into the path of Gordon, he slipped the ball to Jardine who dribbled into the box before passing the ball to Guerin-Lokonga but he fired over the bar.

The threatened equaliser arrived courtesy of a penalty, Close receiving the ball from Jones turned in the area and was tripped by Scorer. Hudson made no mistake from the spot to make it 1-1.

A minute later and Guerin-Lokonga latched onto a long clearance and looked odds on to score but Martindale had other ideas with a well timed tackle which cleared the danger.

Martindale was soon in the action at the other end as RCA’s defence back off and allowed him a clear run at goal, fortunately for RCA his shot was deflected wide for a corner. The corner kick was met in the box by Scorer and his well struck shot was brilliantly saved by Atkinson.

Consett looked to be getting a hold of the game when a curling shot from Davidson was saved by Atkinson and a minute later Mackay in a good position shot over the bar.

RCA were finding it difficult to get hold of the ball and when they did Consett were quickly closing them down and not letting them settle on the ball.

A long throw from Atkinson found Salim and the RCA winger slipped past the first defender before being brought down 25 yards from goal. Close took the freekick quickly and although he found Hudson who volleyed the ball over the bar he was adjudged to be offside.

RCA seemed to have weathered the storm and were coming back into the match, a Jones freekick to the far post was cleared by Martindale but only as far as Close who laid the ball in to Jardine who blasted his shot over the bar.

The game was shifting from end to end and chances were being created and wasted at both ends, a shot from Robson deflected into the arms of Atkinson, the a shot from Teasdale being saved by the keeper. At the other end Salim found Guerin-Lokonga in the box and the strikers shot was blocked by Martindale and Jardine bustling his way into the box saw his effort saved by Jameson.

The breakthrough came in the 41 minute when a Jones throw in was picked up by Salim, he crossed to Guerin-Lokonga and his rasping volley was well saved by Jameson, the ball looped up into the air and Jardine was on hand to acrobatically fire the ball into the roof of the net.

The second half opened with a great save from Jameson from a close range header by Jardine.

From the corner Salim was dispossessed on the edge of the box and the ball was cleared up field to Teasdale, he played a quick 1-2 with Mackay before shooting, his effort took a deflection off close and then another off the head of McGuinness before settling in the top corner of the net.

McGuinness was in the thick of the action a minute later when he missed the ball completely when making a clearance and the ball fell to Teasdale who set off for goal however McGuinness redeemed himself in recovering to make a wonderful tackle to clear the danger.

A move between Jardine and Guerin-Lokonga  ended with the ball falling to close but he fired over.

Teasdale was causing all sorts of problem for the RCA defence and in the space of 5 minutes had chances saved by Atkinson.

As the half wore on RCA started to make inroads into a shaky Consett defence, Guerin-Lokonga combines with Youldon on the left to set up a great opportunity for Close but the RCA captain could only steer his shot wide under pressure from Jameson.

A minute later and RCA produced a great move as Hudson passed to Gordon who slipped the ball inside to Guerin-Lokonga then back to Hudson who split the Consett defence with an inch perfect pass but close sent his shot narrowly over the bar.

As the pressure continued to mount Youlden had a shot blocked by Scorer and the rebound fell to Davis who fired in a tremendous shot which was also blocked by Scorer.

RCA looked the more likely to break the deadlock at this point and were unlucky when a corner from Hudson was met by Jordon but he could only steer his header over the bar.

Guerin-Lokonga was unplayable in the last 10 minutes of the game as time and again he took the ball to the Consett defence, dribbling past players and on two occasions setting up great opportunities for RCA to find the winner.

The first was a great cross into the path of Hudson who met the ball well to drill in a powerful shot but Jameson somehow managed to get a hand to it and the ball went over the bar.    

The second saw him dribble round 3 defenders before pulling the ball back into the path of Jones but the RCA defender could only steer the ball over the bar.

Late in the game Mackay proved that Consett were still a threat when he burst past two defenders but put his shot well wide of the upright.

This was a really entertaining game with thrills and spills aplenty. If this is anything to go on the rest of the season promises to be one to look forward to. RCA supporters don’t forget the Heartache tablets it looks like it might be a bit of a rollercoaster season.

MOM Aristote Guerin-Lokonga.


Durham City FC 1 Sunderland RCA FC 2

Northern League Division 1

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Another hard fought game between two well matched sides. Is this the format for the rest of the season? Because if it is then we are in for a brilliant time. Win lose or draw it is going to be exciting.

Durham City's return to the EBAC Northern League after their escapades at the higher levels of the FA pyramid, although welcoming in respect of the league, has been much less welcoming on the field of play with two defeats in two games.

SRCA kept faith with the same starting eleven as Saturday, with the only change to the squad being the inclusion of Adam Ward for the injured Jamie Davis.

The game was only four minutes old when McGuinness provided Gordon with the first opportunity to test Lewis in the Durham goal; the teasing cross into the box was well intercepted by the keeper and his throw out led to a counter attack down the left that resulted in Cutts being fouled.

Home-Jackson took the freekick, swerving the ball toward the bottom corner, but Atkinson managed to get a hand to the ball and turn it away for a corner.

After this scare SRCA took hold of the game pushing Durham back into their own half. A shot from Guerin-Lokonga was deflected for a corner which was taken by Hudson, his deep cross was punched towards his own goal by Lewis but Stoker was on hand to clear.

SRCA took the lead in the 17th minute when a long ball out of defence by Hudson split the Durham defence and fell to the feet of Jardine who shrugged of the challenge of two defenders before blasting the ball past Lewis.

With SRCA in the ascendancy it looked like Hudson had made it 2-0 when he curled a sweet freekick inches wide of the upright with the keeper beaten.

Durham’s Home-Jackson and Thompson worked an opening, but Home-Jackson could only fire a weak effort which was easily saved by Atkinson.

Harboard was replaced by Ellison in the 23rd minute and the effect was immediate. His first pass found Thompson who cut inside, continued his run unchallenged before unleashing a terrific shot into the bottom corner of the net.

The game livened up now with the ball being switched from end to end. Guerin-Lokonga and Jardine did well to set up Hudson despite strong pressure from the Durham defence but the midfielder volleyed his shot over the bar.

As the first half came to a close, it was Durham who were on top with Thompson causing all sorts of problems. He had a long range shot saved by Atkinson before laying the ball into the path of Hindmarch, but the Durham forward’s shot was blocked by Close and fell tamely to Atkinson.    

The second half was almost a reverse of the first half with Durham in command for the first 15 minutes of the half.

However, it was SRCA who had the first real chance of the half when a freekick to the back post was headed back across goal by Jardine. The ball fell to Hudson, but he was unable to keep his shot down sufficiently and the ball sailed inches over the bar.

This was the start of the Durham onslaught, and only some heroic defending by Preston, Close and co kept them at bay.

A corner to the back post saw Irving in space power in a free header which McGuinness did well to clear off the line.

A minute later and Home-Jackson picked up the ball mid way in the SRCA half and dribbled past four defenders, bursting into the box before unleashing a shot which Atkinson was pleased to see go wide of the target.

Thompson and Cutts both squandered great chances to give Durham the lead before, against the run of play RCA took the lead in the 68th minute. Gordon swung over a corner which was easily dealt with by Madden, the ball fell to Jones wide on the right, the full back swung in a beautifully weighted cross which was met by Preston with a flying header which gave Lewis no chance as it rocketed into the net.

Durham were not finished and five minutes after the goal, Thompson turned the SRCA defence inside out before firing just wide of the target.

The whole ground erupted a minute later when the same player in a carbon copy move went even closer hitting the side netting with his shot and the ball looked to go into the net. Unfortunately it was not to be.

Durham started to tire and as they did SRCA went on the counter attack and really should have sealed the game up when Close had a chance but fired wide, then Youldon laid the ball into the path of Shields and, with only the keeper to beat, the SRCA substitute directed his shot wide.

A minute later and Youldon again got beyond the last defender to provide a great cross which Gordon completely mis hit and the ball drifted well wide.

“Three points are in the bag” was the philosophical quote of the SRCA manager. “Four points out of two hard games is good going, seems very similar to last season, deja-vu, spooky isn’t it.”


Whitley Bay FC 1 Sunderland RCA FC 1

Northern League Division 1

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

After a wait of two weeks without a fixture SCRA travelled to Hillheads to play a rejuvenated Whitley Bay team.

With Atkinson and Close unavailable, holiday and suspension respectively the management team brought in the experienced Shields and gave a starting debut to youngster Jamie Davis. James Oates returned from holiday and took the place of Salim.

SRCA started with an unfamiliar 5-3-2 formation in the expectation of unsettling a very familiar Whitley Bay team.

The old adage of a game of two halves was represented here tonight SRCA far superior in the first half were totally outclassed in the second.

SRCA were first into their stride as they took the game to Whitley Bay, as early as the 3rd minute Hudson floated in a freekick which was met by Jardine who sent the ball across the six yard box to Guerin-Lokonga but Fawcett managed to get afoot on the ball and force it for a corner.

After this opening flurry both sides settled down with both sets of defenders looking quite comfortable.

It was not until the 14 minute that SRCA threatened again this time Jones sent in a ball to Jardine, the striker expertly controlled the ball before slipping it through to Guerin-Lokonga but Kyle was alert to the danger and saved at the feet of the RCA Forward.

Kyle kick out found Robinson on the right to set up Whitley Bay’s first attack of the game, swinging in a cross behind the RCA defence which flew across the face of goal with Fawcett unable to get a touch on the ball.

SRCA were looking the better side and deservedly took the lead after a spell of pressure which saw Jardine and Davis going close. A cross from Jones was tipped away by Hayes but fell to Hudson who quickly played in Gordon who sent in a curling shot which McFarlane scooped into his own net whilst trying to clear.

Whitley were finding it difficult to penetrate a well organised RCA defence with Preston and McGuinness marshalling Chow and Kerr to great effect.

The only half chance of note for Whitley Bay was when Fawcett and Robinson combined and Preston was forced to head over for a corner.

 The corner was cleared towards the half way line and Jones and McFarlane collided in a 50-50 tackle with Jones left prone on the ground.

A lengthy delay followed as the physio treated Jones who had suffered a nasty gash to the knee and was unable to continue.

With RCA forced to reshape Whitley Bay took full advantage and deep into added time they drew level when Lee Kerr, unchallenged on the left played a long ball into the box, the RCA defence did not deal with it and it fell to Fawcett who fired in a tremendous shot into the far corner.

SRCA, not for the first time against the Bay, had dominated without really posing a threat to the opposition keeper.

What Chandler said to the players at half time certainly worked as they upped the work-rate and looked an entirely different team.

Kerr seemed to move to a more defensive role and from there was dominating, spreading the ball all over the park.

A shot from Paul Chow was blocked by Shields and the ball sprang back towards Chow, who flicked the ball to Robinson but his effort was cleared off the lone by McGuinness.

Kerr and Chow combined twice more in as many minutes but the RCA defence was standing firm against the onslaught.

A Freekick from Reid was flicked over the bar by Shields before a loud appeal for a penalty was turned down when Fawcett looked to be blocked as he went for a ball inside the box.

For all their second half dominance it was RCA who nearly snatched a late winner when a long ball from McGuinness found Davis who flicked the ball forward for Jardine who fired well over the bar. RCA probably deserved a point for their first half display and some resilient defending in the second half. Having not played for two weeks didn’t help. Whitley Bay showed that they are still a threat on the break and will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.

Sunderland RCA 3 Norton+Stockton Ancients 4

David Gordon attacks down the left in the first half of the match.

Northern League Division 1

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Click here for photos from the match.

Despite scoring three times at home Sunderland RCA suffered their first league defeat of the season when defensive mistakes were punished by the clinical finishing of Norton & Stockton Ancients strikers.

The management team were forced into a number of changes with Jones and Preston both injured and Jardine unavailable due to work commitments. Butler was called up to play in place of Jones, Oates reverted to centre back to replace Preston, Close came into midfield and new signing Gavin Barton took over up front to replace Jardine.

The match started in beautiful sunshine and RCA were soon on the attack, with Appleby causing the Norton defence into a hurried clearance which was picked up on the half way line by Close, he played a forward pass to Hudson who clipped an exquisite pass to Davis on the right edge of the box, he cut inside before crossing the ball beyond Howarth and into the path of Appleby who slotted home from close range.

Norton struck back with a well worked move that saw Brown win the ball on the left before crossing for Hume but the Striker could only head straight at Atkinson.

However, in the 11 minute a defensive mix up between Close and McGuinness saw Martin take full advantage, sliding between the two players before sending in an inch perfect cross and this time Hume headed powerfully past Atkinson to equalise.

RCA stormed back on the offensive but were thwarted by some good work by Harbron and Crossman.

The lead was restored in the 20 minute when a cross from Butler was palmed clear by Howarth but it fell to Davis who evaded two tackles before passing to Gordon who crossed to Barton at the far post, hid first effort was saved by Howarth, his second struck Harbron but fell kindly back to him and he made no mistake volleying into the roof of the net from close range.

RCA looked on top at this point and both Appleby and Barton had great chances to increase the lead when clean through but on both occasions the shots were hurried and went over the bar.

Norton for their part were hanging on with a determination reminiscent of our defence last week at Whitley Bay.

In the 36 minute, a long clearance from Lilley should have been dealt with by Butler but he headed the ball straight to Brown, who skipped past the tackle before sending in a cross to the far post where the ball wasn’t cleared and Woodhouse was on hand to stab the ball home.

Two minutes later and RCA’s defence was shambolic as Norton tore through the middle, and Woodhouse was once again left unmarked to strike home.

It could have been worse in the 40 minute when Dalton picked up a ball in midfield and thundered in a shot which went narrowly wide.

RCA equalised in the last minute of the half when both Appleby and Barton burst past Norton’s defence, Appleby pick up the loose ball and tried to curl it past the keeper but Howarth was able to get a hand onto the ball but could only steer the ball onto the head of Barton who made no mistake from 6 yards out.

Half time 3-3 and all the goals were scored through poor defending.

It took 15 minutes for the second half to liven up as both teams came out to determined not to concede.

RCA kicking down the slope and with a slight wind could not make their superiority tell and although Barton had a great chance his header went tamely wide.

At the other end Crossman played in a lovely ball to Woodhouse, but he mistimed his header.

In the 74 minute as Cross from Butler was headed onto the bar by Barton and Wells headed the ball over the bar for a corner with Guerin -Lokonga, bearing down on goal.

The Killer goal was a brilliantly executed strike by full back Lilley, He started the move with a pass to Hume who flicked it into his path and he unleashed a terrific volley which gave Atkinson no chance at all.

RCA hit back with  Guerin-Lokonga going close then Hutchinson had a half chance which was smothered by Howarth but really it was all too little too late.       

Sunderland RCA FC 1 West Auckland Town FC 2

Northern League Division 1

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Goal scorers: Sunderland RCA FC - Guerin-Lokonga        West Auckland Town FC :  Campbell, Banks.

SRCA are still without a home win after yet another defeat to a well organised West Auckland Town team. It could have been so different if the lads had taken their chances in front of goal.

With key players, Jones, Preston and Gordon sidelined with major injuries the management team were once again forced to reshuffle the squad. In came Hall at centre back and Oates moved to right back, Shields started on the right and Davis on the Left in a more familiar 4-4-2 formation.

Goals from John Campbell and Stuart Banks gave West Auckland a 2-0 lead before RCA struck back through Aristote Guerin-Lokonga. RCA then had the better of play but couldn't make it pay in the final third.

A keenly fought encounter was expected and the crown of 142 were not disappointed.

West took the early initiative and Gardner was unlucky when he shot wide after some good work by Banks on the right.

In the 4 minute came the first strong challenge of the game as Shields and Green clashed as they went for a 50-50 ball with the RCA man shown a yellow card.

The game came to life in the 11 minute when a hopefull ball into the box by Pattison was misjudged by Former West player Hall and bounced through to Campbell who made no mistake blasting the ball past Atkinson.

RCA replied with a great move between Davis and Close with the ball being squared to Appleby but his shot was blocked by Stephenson. The resulting corner was punched clear by Bell.

West were using both wings to great effect with Banks and Rundle looking good in possession and it was Banks who carved open the next real opportunity as he found Moffatt with a pass and the west forwards shot was saved by Atkinson.

RCA forced another corner when Shields cross from the right was headed goalwards by Barton but the ball was scrambled away.

Hudson's kick to the far post was met by Appleby but his header went well wide of the upright. Within a minute RCA had another corner and Bell did well to punch clear when under pressure, sustaining an injury in doing so.

There was another outstanding save from Atkinson in the final minutes of the half when Moffatt latched onto a cross from Banks and struck the ball goalwards with some venom, however the RCA Keeper pulled off a terrific one handed save down to his left.

 The half ended with another attack from West which produced another shot, this time from Campbell and Atkinson scrambled the ball clear.

At half time Guerin-Lokonga replaced Appleby and his presence had an immediate effect, beating the offside trap he  ran into space before finding Shields on the right, his cross was met by Barton but he couldn't steer the ball home.

In the 54 minute McGuinness found Davis ith a deft past and the youngster attacked the West defence beating three players before slipping the ball to Barton who curled the ball into the net only to be adjudged  offside.

The response from West was immediate and emphatic, from the free kick Bell found Campbell who slipped the ball to Moffatt, he in turn flicked the ball into the path of Banks who slid the ball into the net past Atkinson, 55 minutes and 2-0 to West.

RCA came back and 3 minutes reduced the arrears with a wonderful solo effort by Guerin-Lokonga. A long ball from McGuinness looked to be going out for throw but Guerin-Lokonga had other ideas, heading the ball back in past Pattison, he then continue his run to outpace Stephenson along the goal line before skipping past Bell to tap the ball into an empty net.

This goal gave RCA a massive lift and they responded with some good football, however once again the finishing was off key as tme and again good position were squaundered.

A cross into the box by Davis was headed goalwards by Barton and bell was able to push the ball away, straight to Paxton who volleyed the ball off the post and the ball struck Hudson on the thigh before being collected by the thankful Bell.

Minutes later and another great run by Shields saw the ball played to Guerin-Lokonga who played a neat one - two with Barton but fired wide.

West were defending well at this point and the only outlet was Moffatt up front and he did have a chance to seal it but fired well over the bar.

Barton was unlucky with a snap shop after some good work by Shields.

The finall throw af the dice was to put Hall up front and the gamble nearly paid off when a long ball from Atkinson was headed into the path of Hudson but the Ex west midfileder could only chip the ball into the arms of Bell.

All in all a thoroughly entertaining match which maybe should have produced a draw.

Next up is Marske United on Saturday.


Marske United 1 Sunderland RCA 3

Scorer and provider: RCA forward Aristote Guerin-Lokonga resists the Marske defence to lay the ball off for RCA's second goal scored by Jamie Davis in the first minute of the second half of the 3 - 1 away win for RCA on Saturday, 15 September.

Northern League Division 1

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Please click here for photos from the match.

Goalscorers: RCA: Guerin-Lokonga, Davis, Jardine. Marske: Onions.

RCA got back to winning ways with a comprehensive victory over Marske United. This performance showed that we can dominate a game and get a good victory. The second half was very reminiscent of last season's displays. 

The only change to the team from the mid week defeat at the hands of West Auckland was to bring in Guerin-Lokonga for the injured Appleby.

The match started at quite a high tempo with both teams looking to attack but both defences looking solid. The opening 10 minutes saw the game evenly balanced with little to show in the way of chances.

A quick interchange of play between Oates and Shields saw the first real attack of any significance develop as Oates raced into space before trying to cut the ball back to Guerin-Lokonga or Barton, both of whom had taken up great positions, Oates cross lacked power and Allison saved at the feet of Guerin-Lokonga.

Marske hit back  and 3 minutes later a long ball from Carling found Lambert who found space on the wing before squaring the ball to Edwards but his shot was blocked Paxton.

In the 18 minute a well taken freekick from Hudson caused panic in the Marske defence and Allison let the ball slip through his hands and run for a corner. The corner was taken by Hudson and Hunter headed towards his own goal but the ball cannoned off McGuinness and was cleared by Carling.

The pressure was being applied by RCA and Marske were being forced back deep into their own half.

It was no real surprise When RCA took the lead, Davis picked up a loose clearance on the edge of the 18 yard box and clipped in a wonderfully weighted cross onto the head Guerin-Lokonga the ball struck the post and luckily rebounded back to the RCA forward who made no mistake from 3 yards out.

A minute later and Guerin-Lokonga skipped past Marron before crossing onto the head of Davis but Grier got in a block to deny RCA a 2-0 lead.

Marske looked to have overcome RCA’s pressure and came back with some good football, keeping possession and in Lambert they had a great outlet when they were in trouble.

On the half hour McGuinness fired over from a free kick.

Marske were now starting to get back into the game an Edwards through ball almost caught the RCA defence napping but Hall was able to block the shot of Onions.

A minute later and RCA Almost conceded a bizarre goal, the ball was swung over from the right by Lambert and looked to have been dealt with as the Hall headed away towards Oates, his first time attempt to clear the ball was sliced high into the box but McGill fired well over the bar.

RCA tried to pick up the tempo again and a surging run by Davis saw the midfielder fir over from 25 yards.

As the half came to a finish it was Marske who were making the running,  a corner from Charlton was fired over the bar by Lambert and Edwards shot straight at Atkinson.

In the final minute of the half Hall made a rash challenge on Callantine, from the resulting free kick the ball was cleared only as far as Onions who made no mistake from 12 yards out.

The start of the second half saw RCA taking the initiative and within 2 minutes of the restart they had regained the lead. A brilliantly constructed move which saw, Close move the ball to Barton who held it up before playing in Guerin-Lokonga  he quickly slid the ball to the advancing Davis who curled the ball past Allison and into the net.

RCA were well on top at this point and could have scored on a number of occasions, Barton had a shot saved then Guerin-Lokonga fired straight at Allinson when in a good position.

Marske’s only response was a shot from Lambert which went narrowly wide.

RCA took almost complete control, in the 65th minute a cross from Shields was headed into the arms of Allison then a cross into the box found Hudson but his shot was blocked by Carling.

Within a minute RCA were 3 -1 up when Shields sent in a wicked cross which evaded everyone, Barton picked up the loose ball and sent in a lovely cross which Allison dropped under pressure from Davis and substitute Jardine was on hand to blast home.

Both teams had chances to score as the game wore on, probably the best fell to Jardine one on one with Allison and the Marske keeper won the battle.

All in all a very good game if you were an RCA supporter. The control and energy shown in this game especially the second half were the best seen this season.

Crook Town FC 1 Sunderland RCA FC 3

League Cup

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Goalscorers: RCA Jardine (2) Barton   Crook Town: Hodgson (pen)

RCA progressed to the next round of the Brooks Mileson League Cup with this 3 - 1 victory but the hosts can count themselves very unfortunate after giving a very good account of themselves, especially in the first half.

Changes were again made with the injury crisis worsening by the day, Beasley came in for Oates, Jardine for Guerin-Lokonga and Gary Shields started at right back.

Good news was that Appleby returns after a groin strain and Southern was available after suspension.

A good start was made by RCA as they pushed Crook back into their own half, however it was short lived as the home team upped their game.

In the 2minute a free kick taken by Hudson was headed down by Hall and cleared by Maddison, bird picked up the ball on the half way line and sped past a static RCA defence before shooting into the side netting.

Crook started to take the game to the visitors and in the 10 minute a good run by Bird saw him cut inside and lay the ball to Wallace who thundered in a shot which Atkinson saved at the second attempt.

The game was beginning to look like Bird againsty RCA as the Crook forward looked dangerous everytime he touched the ball, in the 18 minute, he raced past the RCA defence and into the box before shooting across the face of goal with Davis not far from connecting.

Two minutes later and Bird was away again this time he was tackled by McGuinness but the referee deemed that he had beenn fouled. the freekick was plucked out of the air by Atkinson.

RCA took the lead against the run of play when a long ball out of defence was supurbly controlled by Barton, he then squared the ball to Davis inside the 18 yard area, the youngsters shot struck Barnes and rebounded to Barton who made no mistake from 5 yards out blasting  the ball into the roof of the net.

Back came Bird, picking up a ball from Pearson he played a quick one -two with Hodgson before firing in a low shot whichh forced a good save from Atkinson.

RCA knocked the stuffing out of Crook inn the 44 minute with a great individual goal from Jardine, a crossfield ball from Close found Jardine on the left, he headed the ball over the defender before outpacing him to the ball he then took the ball on 5 yards before slotting the ball past the advancing Poskett.

The second half started with the evergreen Marc Riches replacing Poskett in the Crook goal and he was quickly tested as Jardine fired in a shot which he had to save low to his right.

Five minutes into the half RCA though that they had increased their lead when a through ball from Close was picked up by Barton who flicked it over the keepers head and into the net, it was rulled offside.

Crook stemmed the tide a little and Hodgson carved out an opening for Davis but the striker fired over.

Hodgson then set up Bird but his shot was blocked by Beasley before falling to Wallace who sliced his shot wide.

Substitutions were made with Appleby replacing Barton and the effect was almost immediate as Appleby and Southern combined to create a chance for Jardine but the effort went straight to Riches.

A minute later and Southern was unlucky not to score as he jinxed past the crook defence and sent in a thunderous drive which looked destined for the net until it was deflected onto a post.

Crook would not lie down and it was bird whop once again set up on opportunity for Davis who saw his effort well saved by Atkinson, from the resulting corner RCA struggled to clear the ball and it fell to Hodgson who tried to curl it into the net but the bakll went the wrong side of the post.

The home team were once again shocked inn the 75 minute when Jardine slipped between two defenders to receive a poass fron Hudson and the in form striker made no mistake calmly sliding the ball past Riches.

Within two minutes another chance fell to RCA when they were awarded a freekick on the edge of the box, Southern took the kick and powered ashot which rattled the crossbar.

Crook picked up the momentum as the game came to its conclusion and a shot fromm Marshall went narrowly wide before Bird had a shot which struck the post and rebounded to safety.

In the final minute a long ball into the box found Davis and McGuinness was adjudged to have fouled the Crook player in clearing the ball. McGuinness sent off and a Penalty awarded. Hodgson sent Atkinson the wrong way in converting the kick.

Crook had the better of the open play and much more possession but the clinical finishing of the RCA strikers was phenominal.

Had Crook been clinical in front of goal then this could have been a very different scoreline.


Sunderland RCA FC 2 Penrith FC 0

RCA keeper Neal Atkinson gathers the ball in the second half of the match.

Northern League Division 1

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Goalscorers: RCA Barton, Appleby.

Please click here for photos from the match.

The injury crisis looks a little better with the return of Andrew Appleby, but progress is slow on the long term injuries to Jones, Gordon and Preston, with Jardine joining this list with a pulled hamstring, Preston did do a light training session today. We have also lost the services of Daryll Hall who has returned, prematurely, to Shildon after a short loan spell.

Back into the fold is the evergreen Wayne Henderson who slots straight into the right back spot and Guerinn-Lokonga takes over from Jardine.

Penrith fresh from their midweek 15-0 victory over Wigton FC were expected to give our defence a stern test today. However RCA scored two quick goals during a purple patch at the start of the second half which killed off a spirited but goal shy Penrith team.

Firstly I must apologise to the readers of these match reports for the lateness of this report. Unfortunately, I have moved house and although Virgin Media claim to be able to connect you to the internet in days, what they don’t tell you is that it is 28 days. Normal service will be resumed after the 20 October 2012 or 2013 not really sure.

Anyway here is the belated match report.

RCA started well and in the 2 minute Henderson sent a through ball to Guerin-Lokonga who in turn pulled the ball back into the path of Hudson but he blazed his shot well over the bar.

Penrith looked to push forward down the right and almost got an opening goal when a long throw into the box was headed away by Paxton and Nugent, picking up the loose ball fired wide.

Almost all of the first half was played at a fairly pedestrian pace with the only real chances of the half falling to Coleman of Penrith, again from a long throw but this time the Striker shot wide with the goal seemingly at his mercy and in the last five minutes of the half Barton was sent clean through by Close but fired into the side netting.

What a contrast in the opening minute of the second half as RCA took the game by the scruff of the neck, pressurising Penrith into mistakes.

In the 48 minute they took the lead when a Hudson Corner was flicked into the net, at the near post, by the head of Barton.

Within a minute Close was the instigator of another RCA attack as he powered  forward before slipping the ball to Davis who shot wide.

RCA went 2-0 up when a clipped ball by Close was controlled superbly by Guerin-Lokonga before laying the ball into the path of Appleby who rounded Jameson before tapping into an empty net.

Guerin-Lokonga was causing major problems to the Penrith defence and a great dribble and cross into the box was met by Shields who headed the ball against the bar and away to safety.

In the 78 minute a well worked move between Allison and ainsworth saw the Penrith captain force a magnificent save from Atkinson.

The game then degenerated into a long ball game in which neither team seemed capable of providing the finishing touch in the final third.

As the game petered away Guerin-Lokonga had the only real attempt at goal forcing a good onr handed save from Jameson.

Although Penrith put up a good fight they never looked likely to score and RCA were well worthy of the 3 points.

Shildon AFC 2 Sunderland RCA FC 3

Northern League Division 1

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Goal scorers: SRCA: Guerin-Lokonga, Beasley, Paxton  Shildon: Flynn, Briggs.

The injury list just seems to be growing at the moment and so it was that Nikolas Gibson was given a debut in the number 11 shirt; there was also a recall for the Assistant Manager Carl Beasley.

After the quiet game on Saturday against Penrith came the cauldron of Dean Street, and how RCA responded was truely magnificent as they repelled the attacks of Shildon and gave back twice as much. They looked like a team who were brimming with confidence and why not as they continue to be undefeated away from home.

Shildon played well and looked in control in patches but it was RCA who dominated and controlled the ball and the tempo of the game.

To go to Dean Street and beat a good Shildon team is testament to the strength in depth and the team spirit that is in abundance at RCA.

Both teams looked to attack from the start and the initial reaction from both defences was that they were up for the challenge.

RCA looked to give the ball to debutant Gibson at every opportunity and he showed a willingness to get forward and deliver crosses into the box but both Flynn and Hall were in no mood to let the RCA strikers get the ball and cleared up effectively.

The first real threat on goal came when Garvie picked up a long ball from Flynn and cut inside Henderson at pace before unleashing a low shot which brought a terrific save from Atkinson.

RCA's response was immediate, Davis won the ball in midfield before slipping it through to Hudson. The midfielder then played a quick one-two with Guerin-Lokonga before powering a shot just wide with Finch scrambling across his goal.

In the 26th minute RCA took the lead when Gibson chipped in a cross which caused problems for the home defence and Barton was able to get a shot at goal which Finch parried into the path of Guerin-Lokonga and he headed home from eight yards out.

As the game progressed there was a lot of good football being played but there was no final penetration into the dangerous area and both defences looked reasonably comfortable.

Within two minutes of the restart Shildon had leveled when a left wing corner was headed in by ex-RCA man Flynn giving Atkinson no chance.  

Back came RCA and they should have taken the lead again when Finch dropped a freekick from Hudson and Paxton, following up shot wide.

RCA did regain the lead when Close found McGuinness free on the left and he crossed to the far post where Beasley was on hand to head home past Finch.

As the game ebbed and flowed there were chances at both ends, Garvie had a shot which went over the bar and Barton had a shot well saved by Finch.

Shildon equalised once again in the 70th minute when a Clarkson freekick was passed square to Briggs who thundered in a terrific low shot from 30 yards out which flashed past a crowd of players and settled in the bottom corner of the net.

Shildon almost went a head but a weak effort by McCabe failed to test Atkinson and when a long free kick into the box evaded the RCA defence McCabe could only shoot into the side netting.

It was to be RCA's night as they restored their lead once more, this time Hudson drove in a corner which Paxton was able to steer into the net.

RCA should have extended their lead in the 88th minute when Guerin-Lokonga was tripped in the box for a penalty, Mark Hudson stepped up but Finch made a brilliiant save diving to his left.

A truely entertaining game which on balance ended with the right result. In the end it was the defenders who won the day, 3 of the 5 goals scored by defenders and only one goal scored by a forward.

Sunderland RCA 3 Marske United 2

Good ground work from Andy Appleby sees the ball beak for new signing Nikolas Gibson in the second half of the match.

Northern League Division 1

29 September 2012

Scorers: RCA Aristote Guerin-Lokonga, Gavin Barton 2; Markse David Onions, Leon Carling

Click here for photos from the match.

Another big step forward today as we entertained Marske United for the speedy return from our successful visit to Marske a few weeks ago. Our difficulties in fielding a side continued, with Assistant Manager Carl Beasley having to continue at centre back, while he was joined for this game by James Oates, moving over in the absence of Richard Paxton, with Steven Jones returning after his absence through injury to replace the unavailable Wayne Henderson. Veteran Buddy Halliday stepped into the breach in centre midfield in the enforced absence of skipper Brian Close who was working, with his first start for some considerable time.

The game started in a bright and competitive fashion, with Marske more than playing their part, with right back Collantine looking very dangerous going forward, and the evergreen David Onions leading the line as well as ever, and causing us some real problems. But Buddy was soon back in the groove and with Mark Hudson was working a few openings for youngsters Gibson and Davis out wide to feed off. Aris Guerin Lokonga and Gavin Barton looked sharp when the ball reached them, and it was Aris who gave us the lead with a beautiful flighted header from a corner half way through the half.

The game continued to swing from end to end, and Marske must have been disappointed when they went two down late in the half. But what a goal! A through ball bounced once in front of Gav Barton and he smashed it on the half volley from 25 yards out. The Marske keeper got his hand to it, but could not stop or deflect the ball enough against the power of the drive, a super finish. Marske may have felt hard done by to be behind at the break, but it got worse early in the second half when Gav Barton got his second and RCA's third with a solid strike from inside the box. It all looked good now, and for a while it seemed that way as we poduced some tidy football in midfield, with good running from the wide men and Aris looking dangerous. But Marske had other ideas and began to test the RCA back line with good long balls and set pieces.
Two good headers, from Onions and Carling, although Onions was trying to claim that one as well as he followed it in, saw them right back in the game with plenty of time to draw level. The game became frantic, with Marske pressing hard and RCA looking dangerous on the break. Some hairy defending just about kept the RCA goal intact, while at the other end Aris hit the post and Jamie Davis put a free header wide. There was no doubt which side was happy to hear the final whistle, but tough as it turned out to be it is another three points in the bag, five wins on the belt, and amazingly, up to third in the league. Lets keep it going...


Hebburn Town 3 Sunderland RCA 3

Northern League Division 1

Saturday, 6 October 2012
Scorers: Hebburn - Rasmussen, McBryde, Robson RCA - McGuinness, Barton, Gordon
Well a game of changing fortunes and no mistake! RCA looked much the better footballing side for the vast majority of this contest, cruised without too many alarms into a three goal lead with 20 minutes to go, and then, whether as result of complacency, lack of fitness, bad luck or a combination of all three managed to end up hanging on to a point at the end. There was no doubting manager Neil Hixon's fury at the end of this contest, and players can have expected to be asked some harsh questions at training this week as to their attitude and commitment to the cause. The Hebburn fans were jubilant at the end, and rightly so, as their lads battled hard against the odds to take something from the match. But it looked very different for the first hour. 

RCA knocked the ball about well, and had  already had a couple of half decent chances in the first ten minutes before a corner fell to Adam McGuinness in the 12th minute who hit the post with his first effort then lashed home the rebound. Hebburn by contrast were reliant on long balls knocked up to stand in centre forward Dan Kirkup, which by and large RCA dealt with comfortably enough. Gav Barton made it two in the 32nd minute when he beat the off side trap to slide under the advancing keeper, and although Hebburn had one or two efforts, RCA looked more likely to make it three before the break.
The second half started scrappily with little sign of a change in things until in the 60th minute a good passing move between the forwards saw Aris in on goal and the keeper making a good save, but Dave Gordon was on hand to easily notch with the second opportunity. That really did look like that, although Hebburn started to rouse themselves, went to a more attacking formation and made a couple of changes, including bringing on ex RCA goal poacher Liam McBryde. In 71st minute Rasmussen scored with a good drive into the bottom corner and Hebburn started to sense a chance.
Gav Barton was denied by a marginal offside decision as he lobbed the keeper, and now Hebburn's tails were up, and RCA were visibly hoping for the final whistle. A good save by Neal Atkinson saw Robson net the rebound in the 82nd minute and then with 89 minutes on the clock, McBryde coolly slotted the leveller. Hebburn immediately went back to four at the back and settled for the point, and RCA saw out time, wondering where it went wrong. Despite two wins and a draw from our last four games, a total 10 goals conceded in those four games tells its own story; we can't just rely on out scoring the opposition every week.

Sunderland RCA 1 Bishop Auckland 0

Photo © Geoff Watson.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

FA Vase
Normal match reporting will be with us again shortly. In the meantime, please click here for the Sportsbyte report from the University of Sunderland.
Guest photographer Geoff Watson was at Saturday's match and has kindly sent us some match photos. (If you are reading this on the home page, please click on this item's title or on 'Read more'.)


Photo © Geoff Watson.

Photo © Geoff Watson.

Photo © Geoff Watson.

Photo © Geoff Watson.

Photo © Geoff Watson.

Photo © Geoff Watson.

Bishop Auckland FC 1 Sunderland RCA FC 0

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Northern League Division 1

After the Lord Mayor’s show seems to be a phrase that is constantly occurring with the performances of RCA and so it was for the first 45 minutes of this Northern League match. It seems that RCA and the Two Blues are destined to meet each other at least 5 times a season and the games are always tense affairs. Tonight’s match was no different.

Having progressed to the second round of the FA Vase at the expense of Bishops on Saturday RCA should have been favorites to win.

Both teams fielded changed teams from the ones that started on Saturday.

The initial period of play was very evenly contested with neither side seeming to get on top and both defences well on top.

 Bishops took the lead in the 18th minute in controversial circumstances, Johnson looked to be fouled on the right touch line, the assistant waving his flag indicating the foul, the referee clearly blew his whistle only to then signal play on, the ball fell to Harwood, who fired the ball into the net with the RCA players offering no resistance..

The match officials conferred and to the surprise of most of the crowd,  the referee awarded the goal.

The game dejenerated into a midfield battle as neither team seemed able to settle after this appalling refereeing decision.

RCA nearly snatched and equaliser when a long range effort from Halliday had Johnson scrambling after he dropped the ball and Southern nipped in, the keeper bravely dived at the RCA players feet and in so doing received a blow to the head.

Five minutes after the break and Bishops lost their second keeper to injury in eight days after Johnson and Barton collided and Johnson was unable to carry on.

Gareth Ayers came off the bench to take over between the sticks and was soon in action as he palmed Richards’ long range shot over the bar.

RCA should have at least come away with a draw as they bombarded the Bishops goal in the last 15 minutes but shots from Southern  Barton and Guering-Lokonga were all well saved by the substitute goalkeeper who had an inspirational game.

Barton did get the ball in the net but this time the referee did call back play and award a free kick to RCA even though Southern seemed to ride the challenge to send the ball into the path of Barton.

Not a good night for the officials

After the match the referee apologised to the RCA management and players after the game, admitting his error in awarding the goal. Unfortunately he can not reverse the decisions he made tonight and it will be a long hard season for him.


Dunston UTS 0 Sunderland RCA 1

Jamie Fryatt, who has signed from Sunderland West End, attacks during the first half of the match.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Northern League Division 1

Goal Scorer: Sunderland RCA FC  Southern (pen).

Please click here for photos from the match.

RCA's starting line up was once again shuffled to bring in new signing John Parker to partner Ross Preston in the heart of the defence.

It took a late penalty converted by substitute David Southern to decide this competitive Ebac Northern League match.

RCA’s management team have been hard at work over the last week securing the services of players after transfer listing six players.

The new look team for today’s match at Dunston included centre back John Parker, who renews his partnership with Ross Preston at the heart of the RCA defence.

Dunston, who started the season shakily have steadied the ship recently and were unbeaten in their last six matches.

Both defences were on top from the off with Preston and Parker holding Bulford and Teasdale while Guerin-Lokonga and Barton were equally well marshalled by Swailes and Cattanach.

Dunston started well with McAndrew and Craggs causing a few scares early on.

In the 15th minute RCA were awarded a corner after some good work by Guerin-Lokonga; the corner was partially cleared, but fell to Richards who shot wide.

Dunston came back at RCA and in the 25th minute Parker was called upon to block a shot from Bulford with Preston tidying up to clear up field where Gibson was fouled. The winger got up and took the free kick which Connell fumbled under pressure from Preston and the ball fell to Barton who took the ball on his chest but saw his shot deflected wide by Cattanach.

Five minutes later and the game livened up as a shot from Craggs seemed to hit Forster on the hand, claims for a penalty were turned down and a free kick was awarded on the edge of the box and the shot was blocked by RCA’s defensive wall.

A lovely through ball from Bulford to McAndrew in the 40th minute was equalled by a brilliant recovery challenge by Parker who managed to make up five yards to send the ball for a corner. Dixon met the resulting corner a firm header which went over the bar.

Guerin-Lokonga looked to have slipped his marker for the first time in the 43rd minute and was fouled as he looked to get in a shot. Gibson took the free kick from 20 yards out and his shot went inches over the bar with the keeper stranded.

The second half was much like the first with both defences doing well.

In the 50th minute RCA should have taken the lead when a corner from Fryatt reached Forster at the back post, but the RCA defender missed the target from two yards out.

A long clearance from Preston found Guerin-Lokonga unmarked, but the RCA forward shot wide when a crossfield pass may well have found Southern who was free inside the area.

Dunston having made substitutions nearly made RCA pay when Herron played in a ball which Preen met at the front post but he headed wide of the target.

RCA took the lead in the 80th minute as first Guerin-Lokonga looked to have been fouled, but managed to slide the ball to Gibson who was tackled from behind and  the referee pointed to the spot. Up stepped substitute Southern to blast the ball into the net with Connell diving the wrong way.

Dunston threw everything but the kitchen sink at RCA in the final ten minutes and on 85 minutes McAndrew thundered a shot against the post and Parker was on hand to clear. As the clock ticked down Preen had another effort deflected for a corner by Fryatt and Swailes headed over the resulting corner.

RCA can look back on this week and probably say that refereeing decisions have both gone for and against them.

The big plus to take out of today is that our new look defence did look solid throughout the ninety minutes.

Sunderland RCA FC 2 Newton Aycliffe FC 2

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Northern League Division 1

Goal Scorers: SRCA  Guerin-Lokonga, Barton  Newton Aycliffe :  Hughes, Tarling.

The weather was miserable and so was the performance, bottom club Newton Aycliffe were well on top for the majority of this game and only some heroic goalkeeping by Neal Atkinson kept them at bay.

Their was only one change to the team,who performed so well at Dunston, with the inclusion of Gary Shields for the injured Nickolas Gibson.

Disaster struck as early as the 2nd minute when a woeful back pass by Henderson was intercepted 25 yards out and Hughes was able to carry the ball 10yards before smashing the ball past the helpless Atkinson and into the bottom corner.

RCA were almost allowed straight back into it as a misplaced pass from Young let in Shields, but Butterworth was able to get back and block the shot.

It coud so easily have been 2-0 when Young sent a great ball into the path of Earl who rounded Atkinson but was forced wide, he then squared the ball to the advancing Young who blasted the ball goalward only to see the recovering Atkinson pull off a tremendous save. Injuring himself in the process, there was a lengthy delay while he received treatment.

Hughes was causing all sorts of problems for the RCA defence and the Aycliffe 5 man midfield were well on top for the first 25 minutes.

RCA were resorting to the long ball to try and cut out the Aycliffe midfield but the ball was easily cleared by their defence.

RCA first real effort came when Guerin-Lokonga picked up a loose ball on the left wing, cut inside and then stabbed in a low shot which Pocklington was able to turn round the post for a corner.

This seemed to lift RCA and when Halliday won the ball on the half way line he slipped in a lovely ball to Guerin-Lokonga who dribbled past two defenders before unleashing a terrific shot across Pocklington and into the net.

For the first time in the game Aycliffe looked to be on the back foot and RCA were putting some serious pressure on the Aycliffe defence, Barton had a half chance which he fired wide and Shields also had a shot which was easily saved by Pocklington.

In injury time a cross from Fryatt was turned away for a corner which Halliday took. the ball was swung deep to the far post and was met by the unmarked Barton who headed into the net from 10 yards out.

Unbelievably RCA 2 Aycliffe 1 at half time.

RCA started well in the second half and Guerin-Lokonga was a real threat with his pace causing problems at the back for Aycliffe.

A good move between Guerin-Lokonga and Richards was blocked out by Butterworth at the expense of a corner,  Aycliffe looked like they hadn't learned the lesson from the first half as Barton rose once again unmarked but this time his header flashed over the bar.

Within a minute RCA should have gone 3 -1 up when another corner was sent over to the far post and this time it was defender Forster who ghosted in but from three yards out he also sent his header over the bar.

Aycliffe looked a little shell shocked, but were not in the mood for lying down.

RCA were defending well and looking threatening on the break with Guerin-Lokonga and Barton trying to get in behind the Aycliffe defence.

It all changed when Aycliffe made a double substitution with Mellanby and Woodhouse coming on in attack and RCA looked happy to defend deep and break quickly.

A long ball out of defence from Atkinson was headed into the path of Fryatt who, from 25 yards out, thundered in a shot which although dipping went over the bar with Pocklington stranded.

As the game entered its final phase Aycliffe started to ramp up the pressure and in the last 10 minutes, they create a number of chances.

Earl crossed in for the unmarked Young inside the area, but his effort was hit straight at Atkinson. A minute later and Tarling cut out a pass and found Young on the right, his cross was volleyed over the bar by Mellanby.

Young who had threatened all night fired in a shot from 25 yards out forcing a save from Atkinson. The RCA goalkeeper then launched a long ball into the heart of Aycliffe's defence and only some good defending and a bad bounce denied Guerin-Lokonga his second goal as the ball veered away from him with only the keeper to beat.

In the 85 Close produced a slide rule pass to Hughes, but the winger was once again denied by the man of the match Atkinson.

In the second minute of stoppage time, a hopefull ball by Mellanby to the back post was met by the outstretched leg of Tarling and the Aycliffe skipper somehow managed to guide it into the net

There was still time for RCA to respond and they almopst made Aycliffe pay when a cross shot from Richards was defelected by Close towards the top corner of his own goal but Pocklington was able to get across and save.

RCA were lucky to get away with the draw tonight but it seems to be the way with the team at the moment. Great against the good teams in the league and medeocre to poor against the lower teams in the league.

Positives from tonight: Atkinson was supurb, solid performances from both Parker and Preston and Guerin-Lokonga will always be a threat up front. but why oh why do we put him on the keeper for set pieces when he has scored three of his six goals coming off the back post from corners.

Sunderland RCA FC 0 Newcastle Benfield 3

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: Newcastle Benfield Ormston (2) Young.

Sunderland RCA's terrible home Hoodoo continues with a defeat to Newcastle Benfield FC at Meadow Park.

In a woefully below par first half RCA fell behind 2-0 after some poor defending gifted Benfield the goals. With this initiative they never looked back and although RCA improved in the second period it was never enough to get back into the game.

Benfield, under new manager Tony Woodhouse, started the game really well keeping posession and making RCA work extremely hard to get the ball.

In the seventh minute their possession football paid off when Pounder received the ball on the left, played a one two with Kane before crossing into the box where Preston, although first to the ball, only directed his header to the feet of Ormston who guided the ball past Atkinson and into the net.

RCA were finding it difficult to get hold of the ball and when they did they couldn't string two passes together. 

Benfield were attacking relentlessly and it was no suprise when, in the 20th minute a good ball into the box from Young found Benjamin, as the Benfield forward tried to turn he was fouled by Parker and the referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty. Ormston strode up and placed the ball to the left of Atkinson who managed to get a hand to it, but could only palm it into the net.  

In the 26th minute RCA created their first attampt on goal when Guerin-Lokonga rounded Leighton before shooting low but Grainger was able to get down and parry round the corner. Benfield sucessfully defended the corner and set up yet another attack.

Although RCA were getting a lot more of the ball they were not having any success in the final third of the pitch with Coulson and Leighton in no mood to concede anything today.

Benfield also looked like they were ready to rest on their laurels until half time as the game drifted into a midfield stalemate. The only chance fell to Preston in the 42nd minute when a corner was headed away by Coulson and Preston's snap shot went narrowly wide.

The second half saw an improvement in the RCA team as they committed more to attack and in the 50th minute Southern played in Gilbert and the RCA full back produced a great shot which brought an even better reaction save from Grainger.

Ex-Sunderland AFC and Durham City player Home-Jackson making his debut replaced the under par Barton and almost scored with his first touch of the ball, a cross from Gilbert was headed down by Guerin-Lokonga into the path of Home-Jackson who chose to head the ball goalwards, Grainger was able to react and was fortunate that the ball came straight at him.

Within a minute Fryatt was unlucky with a dipping shot which went narrowly over the bar.

Benfield weathered this early onslaught by RCA and in the 71st minute extended their lead when a Grainger goalkick was missed by Richards in midfield and the ball ran through to Young who was unmarked 25 yards out and he made no mistake firing the ball past the helpless dive of Atkinson.

The RCA team were physically shaken by this goal and although they rallied and Preston saw one thundering header richocette off Leighton when it was heading for the top corner and Guerin-Lokonga had a shot brilliantly saved by Grainger the effort was a little to late to make a difference and Benfield were the team who ran out worthy winners in the end.

This is the first time this season that the team have been beaten by more than one goal and might be the kick up the behind that they needed before next week's matches at Billingham Town on Tuesday and Saturday.   


Billingham Town FC 4 Sunderland RCA FC 5 (AET)

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Durham County Challenge Cup - First Round

Goalscorers: SRCA:  Home-Jackson, Parker, Guerin-Lokonga, Marshall (2) Billingham Town: Davies (3) Butterworth.

Seldom in my years of watching football can I remember nine absolutely wonderful goals in one game and all added to a great night of drama at Bedford Terrace.   

If the EBAC Northern League game on Saturday is half as entertaining as this Durham Challenge Cup tie then we are in for another cracking match.

RCA welcomed back Jamie Davis after a long absence with a calf injury, they also included new signing Jordan Marshall and recalled Wayne Henderson and Craig Shields.

The manager also reshuffled his formation opting to play 4-3-3.

From the off RCA took the initiative as Fryatt conbined with Southern to set up a chance for Marshall, but the debutant snatched at his shot.

RCA were playing some good football with Davis looking comfortable in a central midfield role dictating the flow of play. Guerin-Lokonga had the best chance as a clever ball from Davis fell at the striker's feet and he took aim but blazed his effort wide.

Billingham were themselves looking dangerous on the counter attack with Davies posing a threat on the left and it was he who opened the scoring against the run of play. A freekick midway between the half way line and the 18 yard area was driven in to Davies who controlled it, backheeled it past the RCA defence before powering home an unstoppable shot past the helpless Shields.

RCA responded and only some desperate defending by Town kept them at bay. 

A surging run by Guerin-Lokonga saw him past the last defender but forced wide, he cut the ball back to Southern who in turn slid the ball to Home-Jackson on the edge of the box and he curled in a superb shot which took a slight deflection on its way into the top corner of the net.

Within five minutes it was 2-1 to RCA a corner on the left was taken by Southern who drilled a perfectly flighted ball into the box and rising head and shoulders above everyone else, Parker was able to power the ball past the despairing dive of Molyneaux.

RCA were in almost total command now with Town's only outlet being Davies. Gibson and Butterworth were working hard with little joy as they were well marshalled by the RCA defence. On the few occassions that they did trouble the defenders the final ball was not quite right.

Town had Molyneaux to thank for the score remaining at 2-1 when he pulled of a great save from Davis and Cossavella tidied up as Guerin-Lokonga looked to pounce.

The second half started as the first half had finished with RCA pushing forward and Town on the back foot.

In the 50th minute a great move saw Southern send Marshall down the right wing. He went past the defender before showing great composure then crossing low into a crowded area where Guerin-Lokonga was first to the ball to shoot low into the bottom corner of the net.

There was more joy for RCA eight minutes later when Davis picked up the ball inside his own half, dribbled past three players before playing a great reverse ball to Marshall who took one touch before hooking the ball towards goal only for Cossavella to get across and block the shot for a corner. Southern took the corner which was headed clear, but only as far as Marshall who faced with a crowded box somehow managed ro drill the ball home with the keeper rooted to the spot.

4-1 up, game over you would have thought. Town hadn't read the script, a clearance from Molyneaux went straight to Davies who was fully 40 yards from goal and as the ball bounced in front of him he hit it and it thundered into the roof of the net past Shields to make it 4-2.

Back came RCA and a great run down the right by substitute Beasley saw his cross charged down by the hand of Perry and the referee pointed to the spot. In the auguments that ensued Perry was shown a second yellow card and  a little unfairly dismissed.

Up stepped substitute Barton to fire in a weak shot which Molyneaux saved comfortably down to his right before sending Davies on his way again, the Town winger passed the ball to Butterworth who was fouled on the edge of the area. Up stepped Davies and completed his hat trick with a low shot past the wall and into the bottom corner of the net.

The game was on fire now as the Town tried desperately to create an equaliser and RCA were clinging on to a slender lead which only 10 minutes ago was looking comfortable.

With time running out another great through ball found Butterworth and the Town Striker volleyed the ball home to make it unbelievably 4-4 and extra time.

Extra time was played at a reasonably high tempo given the pace of the first 90 minutes but neither keeper was really tested and it looked like the 10 men of Billingham were going to take the game to penalties. Then in the 117th minute a corner taken by Southern was met by Preston, defended by O'Brien but the ball fell to Marshall on the penalty spot and he finished with a tremendous shot that gave Molyneux no chance.

An entertaining game if you weren't the RCA management team who must have been tearing their hair out.

Some players were given a chance to prove themselves tonight, some took the opportunity but others didn't when the going got tough the lungs gave in. Extra training apparently not.

Finally, when will we learn that the game isn't over until the final whistle? I have lost count how many times we have capitulated in the final ten minutes of games.

Positives from tonight: Davis looked good and hopefully will be available for Saturday, Marshall did ok and scored two goals.  


Billingham Town FC 1 Sunderland RCA FC 1

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: SRCA: Southern (pen). Billingham Town FC: Dunwell

Well it was back to Billingham Town for the second time this week and as in the first there was plenty of excitement, two penalties, bars hit, great saves and to add to the drama a little bit of controversy (when will the league direct us to install goal line technology).

Both teams made changes for this league encounter. The SRCA changes were Atkinson recalled in goal, Randhawa made the starting line up for the first time at left back and into the midfield came Close who took over the armband.

As on Tuesday the opening minutes were very much a time to get used to the feel of the game.

In the fifth minute a corner was awarded to RCA and Southern crossed to the near post were Davies flicked the ball over the heads of the Billingham defence to Parker at the far post, but the RCA defender could only poke the ball into the side netting.

Within a minute Home-Jackson picked up the ball inside Billingham's half, rode three challenges before releasing the ball to Southern who in turn curled the ball wide for the overlapping Marshall, his cross was inches too high for Guerin-Lokonga.

Not to be outdone Billingham responded with Davies picking the ball up on the left, checking his run before curling a great cross into the box for Martin who headed straght at Atkinson.

Only into the tenth minute and the fireworks really did start, a freekick on the left for RCA was taken by Southern who fired in a terrific curling shot which, although well saved by Molyneaux was well behind the line when he clawed it out, this was missed entirely by the assistant referee and RCA protests were waved away.

Southern was getting involved in most of RCA's moves and it was his one two with Close which set up Home-Jackson who mesmerised the Billingham defence with a deft chip which Molyneaux somehow managed to fingertip onto the bar and Cossavella cleared.

In the 20th minute a Billingham were awarded a free kick 25 yards out and Butterworth fired in a great dipping and curling shot which Atkinsom did well to tip over the bar. RCA broke quickly from the corner and Randhawa was fouled, Southern took the freekick and it was headed down Marshall into the path of Parker but he shot wide.

The game was swinging from end to end and the earlier superiority of RCA was missing. Dunwell had a good effort easily saved by Atkinson. who quickly threw the ball to Randhawa and the full back, running at speed clipped in a great cross for Home-Jackson but he fired wide.

In the 30th minute Billingham should have opened the scoring when Butterworth slipped the ball inside to Macdonald and he sent in a delightful ball to Dunwell who fired wide. However a minute later he made no mistake. RCA's defence was left standing as MacDonald slipped free to sent in a perfect pass to Dunwell who made no mistake this time

RCA picked themselves up and another cross from Randhawa found Marshall unmarked inside the six yard area, but he headed wide.

The first half slipped away with no further chances being created.

The second half came to life after only two minutes when Davis skipped past two defenders before curling in a shot which went narrowly wide of Molynueax upright.

RCA continued to probe and press the Billingham defence but came across a defiant Billingham defence who made great use of the ball in counter attacks, utilising both wings to great effect.

The RCA captain Close was starting to become more effective in the midfield and he almost created the equaliser with a wonderful throughball to Southern, unfortunately the shot did not measure up to the pass wand went harmlessly wide.

However, 2 minutes later, Close was pushed to the floor inside the penalty area afer a surging run had taken him past the defender and the referee awardeda penalty. Soft or not up stepped Southern to drive the ball home despite Molyneuax getting a hand to it.

In the 60th minute Crossman sent in a cross which found Cossavella and his effort brought a reflex save from Atkinson turning the ball away with his feet.

Billingham were looking the most likely to score at this point and Dunwell had two great chances to kill the game off but sent his efforts wide of the target.

Harrison Davies bursting into the box looked to be held by Parker and the referee awarded a penalty, Butterworth took the kick and blazed it high and wide.

RCA having survived this scare took the game to Billingham again and the exciting Davis curled yet another shot just wide.

Butterworth after his penalty miss, went on a long run which saw him pick up the ball inside his own half and ended with him firing wide. The goal kick found Randhawa who swung in a hopeful cross, Fryatt made ground to meet the ball and his first time volley was deflected inches wide of the upright with the keeper stranded.

At the other end it was that man again Harrison Davies taking a freekick from just outside the, his shot skimmed the crossbar to the relief of the RCA players.

In the final minute of the game RCA had a chance to snatch all 3 points when Randhawa beat two defenders on the by-line before clipping in a cross onto the head of Barton but the RCA striker, usually so clinical  in these situations, managed to steer the ball wide of the upright from 1 yard out.

In the end a draw was probably a fair result although, like Tuesday, it could so easily have been 4-4.

On the plus side Close is back and Davis looks to have recovered from his injury well. Marshall, Home-Jackson, Randhawa and Cutts all need to work on their fitness.

Next up Spennymoor Town FC, out of the frying pan ……………………….


Sunderland RCA FC 1 Spennymoor Town FC 1

6 November 2012

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goal scorers: SRCA : Barton Spennymoor : Walton.

Once again changes needed to be made to the RCA line-up with Gilbert and Forster recalled into the defence, Cutts making his home debut in place of Close and Gibson recalled to play out wide left.

I think the majority of home supporters would have taken a draw at the start of this game as Neil and his backroom staff, continue to redevelope the squad. They would certainly have taken a draw after 50 minutes when 1-0 down and facing a second penalty kick.

Liken this to a Rocky film, on the ropes backs to the wall and then a piece of inspiration comes from nothing, the penalty missed, a hard tackle on the half way line and RCA found the spirit and determination which has been lacking in recent performances. Suddenly they looked like a team with something to prove.

Spennymoor started by far the better and could have been 2 up inside 5 minutes as Ex-RCA winger Walton raced into space to fire in two cracking shots, the first saved by Atkinson and the second hitting the side netting, to be fair Atkinson looked to have it covered.

5 minutes into the game and it was Walton again, collecting a through ball from Dodds he turned and fired in a low shot which again went into the side netting.

In the 15 minute Spennymoor were awarded a corner which was taken by Phillips who swung the ball towards the far post, Atkinson came to collect and in doing so collided with a Spennymoor player and landed awkwardly, after 4 minutes of treatment he got back to his feet and recommenced the game only to go down again within a minute unable to continue and was substituted, Craig Shields taking his place.

 Moors’ were using the pace of Richardson to good effect and when Moore sent a long ball up field the attacker was first to the ball and his square pass was met by Walton who fired straight at Shields.

On the half hour another through ball this time from Graydon looked to be going out for a Goal kick but Richardson chasing after it was fouled by Parker and a penalty was awarded. Walton stepped up and fired in a low shot which Shields managed to save but Walton following up tapped home the rebound to make it 1-0 to the Moors’.

Spennymoor were dominating possession at this point and it was only a combination of determined tackling in midfield and good defending that kept the score at 1-0.

Phillips was starting to get some joy on the right and it was from one of his crosses that the next chance fell to Richardson but he fired well over the bar.

It wasn’t until the 39 minute that RCA had any sort of a chance when Richards won the ball and played in Cutts who then carried the ball forward before shooting over the bar from 20 yards out.

In the final minute of injury time Cutts again got into a good position and for the first time in the half Knight had to make a save as the shot from Cutts took a deflection, but the keeper made the save look easy.  

The second half started in the same fashion as the first with Walton stealing in from the right wing and unleashing a wick shot which flew narrowly over the bar.

In the 50 minute another surging run from Richardson saw him get to the goal line and cross in, the ball struck the hand of an RCA defender and penalty number two was awarded. Inexplicably the penalty was taken by Phillips who thumped the ball against the post and Preston made a desperate clearance from the rebound.

RCA brought on Guerin-Lokonga for the ineffective Home-Jackson and straight away the forward caused problems when closing down Laws.

A long ball out of defence by Mason was chested down by Davison into the path of Richardson who’s first time shot went wide of the mark.

Within a minute Graydon picked up a loose ball in the centre of midfield and thundered in a shot which was well saved by Shields.

Graydon and Richards were involved in a very competitive battle in the centre of the park and it was no surprise when Richards was booked for a reckless challenge on the half way line followed by a booking for Graydon two minutes later for a similar tackle.

RCA seemed to take inspiration from the penalty miss and the competitiveness shown in mid field to at last start creating chances of their own, Guerin-Lokonga outpaced Dodds before sending the ball into the box for Barton but his shot was deflected over by Laws.

Fryatt picked the ball up on the half way line played a one two with Gilbert before sending a great cross field ball to Barton who just didn’t have the pace of Dodds and Moors were able to clear their lines.

This was easily RCA’s best spell of the game and in the 76 minute they equalised when Richards dispossessed Graydon and played the ball to Cutts who in turn found Fryatt on the right wing, he cut inside before sending in a beautiful cross which Barton managed to head home under enormous pressure from Laws.

Moors’ came back at RCA but never really troubled Shields and it was RCA who had the next chance as Guerin-Lokonga once again beat Groves before crossing to Barton at the far post, unfortunately he mis-hit his shot into the ground and it went wide.

Moors brought on Cogdon and he had an immediate effect with his direct running and pace, a half hearted appeal for yet another penalty was turned down by the referee when Richardson seemed to go down very easily.

In the final minute of the game another piece of magic by Cogdon saw him take on a number of defenders before sending in a cross shot which skimmed the bar and deep into injury time that same player fired in a shot which hit the post and rebounded to safety.

RCA did well to come away with a point and on the second half display few could argue that they didn’t deserved it. Moors’ should have been out of sight in the first half but a gritty determination saw RCA through to half time.


Sunderland RCA 0 Ashington 6

New signing Jordan Marshall tries to find a way past the Ashington skipper in the first half of the match.

10 November 2012

Ebac Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: SRCA : None.        Ashington FC: Walton, Taylor (2), O'Dea, Antony, Johnson.

Please cick here for photos from the match.

In this prelude to the FA Vase match next week RCA were forced into making five changes to the team that played so well against Spennymoor on Tuesday.

Jamie Fryatt was getting married and in attendance was Forster, Gilbert was missing, also attending a wedding, Richards suspended and Gibson injured were also unavailable , so in came Henderson, Beasley, Davis, Marshall and Southern.

RCA suffered their worst defeat under manager Neil Hixon at Meadow Park this afternoon, it was also in Neil's opinion the worst performance from an RCA team in five years. If it hadn't been for Atkinson then it could so easily have been double figures.

Ashington dominated from start to finish and RCA could not match their passing and movement.

Ashington started the game in emphatic style, passing the ball and causing RCA all sorts of problems in the opening five minutes, their passing and movement was frightening and RCA were left chasing shadows.

The opening goal after seven minutes was typical of the lack of concentration that was to dog RCA for the rest of the afternoon. A quick throw in was picked up by Walton, unmarked  on the edge of the box and he was allowed space to place the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

Two minutes later it got even worse for RCA when a cross into the box was dropped by Atkinson, who looked to have been fouled, he was still protesting to the referee when Taylor picked up the loose ball and fired home.

It was one way traffic, downhill and with the wind, for Ashington as their made their superiority tell with wave after wave of attacks. In the 15th minute a shot from O’Dea went narrowly wide with the RCA defence just watching as he fired in from 25 yards.

In the 22nd minute Atkinson was forced into the save of the season when from eight yards out Taylor connected with a volley which was destined for the top corner of the net, but somehow Atkinson not only got a hand to it he had enough strength to take the ball clear of the goal and for a corner.

RCA were trying desperately to get a foothold into the game and Barton was working hard up front just to get a touch of the ball, he did have one effort on goal which was easily saved by Dryden.

Back came Ashington and a long ball by Lough was laid off by Walton into the path of O’Dea who fired in a low shot which was once again equalled by a brilliant save from Atkinson low down to his right turning the ball round the post for a corner.

Un the 29th minute another corner to Ashington was swung towards the near post and O’Dea, unmarked, met the ball superbly to flick in a header which gave Atkinson no chance.

A minute later and it was 4-0 as RCA capitulated completely and allowed Antony enough time and space to score and five minutes later a mistake by Beasley as the last man let in Johnson who rounded the keeper to fire into an empty net.

RCA huffed and puffed to no avail as Ashington seemed to take their foot off the pedal, but even given time and space on the ball they were finding it hard to string two passes together.

In the last minute of the first half Atkinson was forced to make another miraculous save again from Taylor who took one look at goal from 25 yards out and let rip, Atkinson in the right position made the save palming the ball over the bar.

Guerin-Lokonga, Halliday and Gary Shields replaced Marshall, Southern and Beasley in an attempt to halt the Ashington onslaught and in the opening minute of the second half it looked to have paid dividends when Guerin-Lokonga picked up the ball and ran at the heart of the Ashington defence before squaring the ball to Barton who slipped just before the ball came to him and Antony cleared.

Ashington’s response was to attack down the right with Johnson who passed to Taylor who fired wide.

RCA looking a little more threatening with Shields on the left, created the next opening when Guerin-Lokonga and Home-Jackson combined to set up Cutts but the midfielders shot was weak and easily cleared by Atkin.

In the 53rd minute the game was over as a competitive match as James Taylor picked up the ball, gave it to Johnson and his perfect cross was met at the far post by Glen Taylor and his looping header sailed into the net.

Home-Jackson produced a rare glimpse of his ability when he clipped in a shot but it went well wide of the upright.

For the first time in the game RCA were actually putting some pressure on the visitors goal and a good move between Shields and Barton, which saw the latter cross the ball into the box and it was only a fingertip save from Dryden that deflected the ball away from a Guerin-Lokonga certain goal.  

It was all to little to late for RCA and although they were starting to get better they never really created anything that troubled the keeper.

In the 70th minute a cross was driven in by Dugdale, saved by the feet of Atkinson and the ball spun into the path of Walton who headed over the bar.

The last 20 minutes were played out in almost a training exercise as both teams seemed resigned to the scoreline. In the last minute a blistering shot by Halliday was probably worthy of a goal but it was two yards wide of the goal.

All in all a bad day at the office and time over the next few days to reflect on the forthcoming cup games. It has to be said that the players who came in today did not do themselves justice and will need to improve dramatically.

Tow Law Town FC 2 Sunderland RCA FC 2 (AET) SRCA win 3-2 on penalties

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

League Cup Second Round 

The Merry Go round of changes to the team was in evidence again in this League Cup second round match at a bitterly cold Tow Law.

RCA made six changes to the team so comprehensively beaten at the week end. In came Gilbert, Forster, Halliday, Shields (G), Close and Guerin-Lokonga. Out went Henderson, Beasley, Davis, Marshall, Cutts and Southern.

This radical change didn't seem to do the trick as once again we went into a commanding lead, looked comfortable and then let it slip away and near the end of ninety minutes it could so easily have been Tow Law who went it the draw for the third round.

Give Tow Law there due they played really well and made it difficult for us especially in the second half.

The game started with a strong wind blowing across the pitch which the players took some time to get used to.

It was the Lawyers who settled the quickest and they had the majority of the first 10 minutes, Wilson was first to have a strike at goal but his effort went wide of the post, two minutes later a shot from Turnbull was well saved by Atkinson as Tow Law pressed forward.

In the tenth minute they were awarded afreekick 25 yards out which Pattinson took, he floated in a lovely cross which Preston headed away as far as Harrison and the Lawyers full back snapped in a shot which went well wide.

RCA having withstood the early pressure RCA struck back and were unlucky not the take the lead when a great surging run by Shields ended with a delivery into the box where Barton managed to get a shot in which was in turn headed by Home-Jackson narrowly wide of the upright.

Tow Law responded through Pottinger who went on a mazy run, beating two defenders before cutting inside and unleashing a shot which was blocked by Parker.

With 18 minutes gone a freekick taken by Home-Jackson was headed down by Guering-Lokonga into the path of Barton who mishit the shot straight to Robinson.

With wind causing havoc with anything in the air both teams started to play the ball on the ground and this was causing further problems as the ball bobbled on the uneven pitch. It was great credit to both teams that  they were able to serve up a fairly entertaining match.

RCA took the lead in the simplest of fashions, a Home-Jackson corner found Parker, unmarked on the penalty spot and he blasted the ball through a crowd of players into the net.

Within three minutes it was 2-0, again a corner, this time taken by Shields was not cleared and as the ball looped into the air Barton got a head on it to guide it into the net.

The Lawyers were understandably deflated by this double blow and took some time to get back their composure.

Meanwhile RCA continued to threaten and it was only a well timed tackle by Brassell on Close that stopped the RCA Captain from getting through on goal.

The lawyers had a good chance just before the end of the half when Pottinger set up Watkinson but he shat straight at Atkinson.

The second half started in explosive style when in the 48th minute Thompson picked up the ball in his own half and was allowed to carry it for 30 yards before unleashing a terrific thunderbolt of a shot which flew into the top corner of the net.

RCA were awarded freekick in the 50th minutes and Shields took it quickly passing the ball to Halliday who found Parker at the far post his header went across the face of the goal and was missed by Guerin-Lokonga from 2 yards out.

Having rode their luck Tow Law came back with a freekick of their own in the 60th minute. Harrison found Brassell inside the area and the Lawyers captain turned and fired in a rocket of a shot to make it 2-2.

As the game wore on it looked likely that a mistake would cost one team dearly, although both teams had great chances to score, Parker for RCA was clean through, but slid his shot wide and Brassell also shot wide when in a promising position.

So to extra time, played at a more sedate pace nobody wanting to make a mistake and the creativity was being negated by some great tackling, stout defending and solid goalkeeping.

Only one real chance was created in the first period a shot from Southern was well saved by Robinson.

In the second period it was much of the same, a lot of hussle and bustle but nothing to test the keepers until the second of last minute when a corner by Southern was uncharacteristically, palmed away by Robinson and Henderson at the back post sliced his shot wide.

Penalties, love them or hate them they are very entertaining for the spectators.

First three penalties missed, up stepped Southern to open RCA’s account, Two more missed penalties before Brassell made it 1-1. Atkinson made it 2-1 before Thompson equalised. Shields scored with RCA's final penalty and Tow Law missed their last one putting RCA through to the next round.

Not really the sort of preparation required before an FA Cup match on Saturday.       


Ashington FC 2 Sunderland RCA FC 1

RCA keeper Neal Atkinson catches the last of the winter sun as he clears down field in the first half of the match.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

FA Vase 2nd Round

Please click here for photos from the match.

Sunderland RCA failed in their bid to progress to the next round of the FA Vase when they were defeated by a very well organised Ashington team.

Although the result and the match itself was a lot tighter than the preceding fixture a week ago when Ashington thumped RCA 6-0, the writing was on the wall as early as the 11th minute when a free kick from Johnson struck Close and flew into the top corner of the net.

Ashington followed this up in 36th minute when an innocuous looking corner was allowed to travel to the back post where Grieve side footed home.

RCA fans had to wait until the 80th minute for any joy when Southern converted a penalty.

On balance RCA maybe could have forced a draw, but they could so easily have been three or four down at half time.

The Colliers started well and inside two minutes, Taylor found Walton free on the right and he drove in a shot across the face of goal which Atkinson was pleased to see go wide.

Within five minutes the Colliers almost scored when a through pass from Gray was smothered by Atkinson at the feet of Lough.

Ashington took the lead in the 11th minute. Johnson's free-kick from the edge of the area took a wicked deflection off Close to fly into the top corner of the net.

RCA replied with some good controlled football. Close found Guerin-Lokonga on the left wing and he produced a quality cross to the far post where Halliday was unlucky with his first time effort which went narrowly wide.

O’Dea had the next effort on goal, but he lifted his shot over the bar. Within a minute the same player played in Johnson on the right and he fired in a shot which flew wide of the far upright. In the 25th minute Johnson, who was causing RCA major problems, was again put through by O'Dea, but his shot was brilliantly saved by Atkinson.

RCA once again got a foothold on the game enjoying some good possession and when Guerin-Lokonga was fouled on the edge of the box, Home-Jackson curled in a free kick to the far post where Gilbert headed the ball over the bar with Guerin-Lokonga possibly in a better position.

A minute later and some good attacking play was rewarded with a corner to RCA. Home-Jackson took the corner and Guerin-Lokonga ghosting in at the far post glanced his header wide of the target.

RCA where punished for these two misses when a corner taken by Johnson, was flicked on at the near post by O'Dea and Grieve, unmarked at the back post was able to steer the ball into the net.

Shocked and disappointed by this RCA tried to regroup before half time, but although they maintained possession well they were not able to cause Ashington any defensive problems.

The second half saw RCA in a much more positive mood and this was displayed when the first effort of the half fell to Gilbert who cut inside the full back before unleashing a shot which went narrowly wide.

Johnson continued to be a thorn in the side of RCA and in the 49th minute he had directed an effort straight down the throat of Atkinson.

Back came RCA and Shields found space down the right, beat two players before cutting the ball back only to see Drayden block the shot and Atkin reacted quickly to clear the ball with Home-Jackson breathing down his neck.

RCA were going all out to get a goal back and efforts by Home-Jackson and Gilbert both went wide as RCA cranked up the pressure.

Henderson came on and with his first touch of the game almost scored when given a free header from a corner by Josh Home-Jackson, which he directed just wide of the goal.

Ashington's response was to pile forward and in the 74th minute produced a great move between, Antony, and Johnson before releasing Walton who passed two defenders across the edge of the box before blasting in a shot which looked destined for the top corner, but Atkinson was able to produce a great save, tipping the ball over the bar for a corner.

In the 80th minute, RCA were thrown a lifeline when Henderson was upended inside the area by Taylor and Southern, who had only been on the field two minutes, stepped forward to send Dryden the wrong way.

With ten minutes to go this set up a tense finale to a competitive match and when Southern played in Guerin-Lokonga it could so easily have been 2-2, but a great defensive challenge by Grieve robbed the RCA striker of the opportunity.

RCA were pouring forward at every opportunity put were leaving gaps in the defence, which Ashington were exploiting and they had two chances to extend their lead through Lough and Walton who should have done better from a good position.

The final whistle blew to the relief of the Ashington contingent and the dismay of the RCA supporters.

Billingham Synthonia FC 0 Sunderland RCA FC 0

Saturday, 24 November 2012

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Please click here for Stev48's photos from the match, including a terrific photo of our George with two Synthonia fans.

RCA welcomed into the team two old faces and one new with the return of Adam McGuinness and Lee Owens and the introduction of ex-Synners favorite James Magowan.

The team also had to be reshuffled when goalkeeper Neal Atkinson pulled up with a thigh strin during the warm up and the No 1 jersey was handed over to Craig Shields.

The game itself was shrouded in fog for much of the first half, but what could be seen was the constant attacking flair of Synners as they took the game to RCA with some good, skillful interplay and RCA were forced to defend for long periods. As the game entered the later stages of the half the fog descended and RCA started to make some inroads into the Synners' defence.

The match kicked off in heavy fog and in the opening two minutes Synners retained the ball well making it impossible for RCA players to get near it. A slick move started with Liddle sending a defence spliting pass into the path of Wilson who fired over the bar from 20 yards.

Shortly after this Liddle found Jennings on the edge of the box and the ex-RCA player held the ball up before returning a pass to Liddle who fired wide of the upright with shileds at full stretch.

The game settled down into a midfield battle which for the most part was being won by the influential play of Synners' captain Liddle. 

In the 15th minute a ball from Robinson to the left wing was picked up by Jennings who whipped in a cross which was met by Newby who shot high and wide.

RCA were looking to Owens to get going on the left wing and the RCA player showed a glimpse of his skill when he picked up the ball and ran 30 yards past three defenders before being tackled by Robinson.

On 25 minutes Synners had probably their best chance when Blyth cut in from the left, passed the ball to Liddle who in turn passed the ball into the path of Burton who burst into the box, but his shot from 12 yards out went across the face of the goal and wide of the far post.

RCA thought that they had opened the scoring on the half hour mark. They were awarded corner and Owens took it short to Close who measured his cross to the far post where Magowan was on hand to head home; unfortunately he was adjudged to be offside.

Having weathered the onslaught from Synners, RCA were fighting back and when Close was fouled on the touchline, Forster took the freekick which was headed down by Parker and scrambled clear for a corner. Owens took the corner crossing to the near post where McGuinness was first to the ball clipping it into the six yard box and the ball was clreared by Robinson.

The fog was getting worse as half time approached and both teams had chances to open the scoring, a header from Guerin-Lokonga went narrowly over the bar for RCA and Burto fired straight at Shields when in a good position

At half time referee Paul Keogh abandoned the match as the fog continued to decended.


Sunderland RCA FC 0 Bedlington Terriers 1

11 December 2012

EBAC Northern League Division 1

The ground staff worked wonders to get the pitch in order for this match to go ahead, unfortunately their efforts were in vain as RCA recorded yet another home defeat.

With RCA giving debuts to no fewer than four players it was always going too be tough against a well organised Bedlington outfit, but to record no shots on target, other than McGuinness' goal which was ruled out for offside, was disappointing to say the least.

The game started well enough with RCA forcing the pace, a through ball from Close found Rivers who turned and fired in a snap shot which went just wide of the post with Ball well beaten. Within a minute a long ball from Bussey was chested down by Magowan to Rivers and the resulting shot also went narrowly wide.

Bedlington replied through Shandran, when he met a great cross from Baptist but could only head over from eight yards out.

Shandran made amends a minute later when he gave Bedlington the lead. Brayson fired in a shot which was tipped onto the bar by Bussey and Shandran was the first to react heading home the rebound from insidw the six yard area.

This set up a period of play which saw Bedlington well on top and it could so easily have been 2-0 when Gate beat the offside trap but fired across the face of goal and past the post.

Gate was instrumental in the next good chance when he beat two defenders before slipping the ball to Brayson who fired the ball past Bussey but the ball stuck in the mud and McGuinness was able to clear off the line.

Wih the pitch cutting up and play getting scrappy there was little further goalmouth action. Rivers was a constant threat for RCA as was Brayson and Shandran for Bedlington.

In the 40th minute RCA were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box which was taken by McGuinness, but his curling shot went inches over the bar. 

The second half started much as the first had ended with the game bogged, excuse the pun, down in a midfield battle.

It wasn't until the 60th minute that either team had a shot at goal;  a well worked freekick by Bedlington saw Carr cross to pell who headed into the path of Shandran, but he headed wide.

RCA were starting, for the first time in the game to get into the match, using the slope to their advantage. A crossfield ball from Owens found Magowan in space, but the RCA striker snatched at the shot and it spun away harmlessly.

On came Guerin-Lokonga and Barton to add fire power to the RCA attack but it was never going to be RCA's night. For all the possession the only real opportunity came from a corner which was missed by Ball in the Bedlington goal, and fell to Richards whose shot was part blocked and McGuinness fired home only to be, rightly, ruled offside.

In the full game, I can only recall the keepers actually being called upon to make three saves between them.

RCA need to have a time of stability within the team, so that players can gel together but it is the same old story of plenty of possession and little effective fire power. On the plus side young Rivers does not look out of place at this level and was on the night probably our best player. 


Sunderland RCA FC 1 Bishop Auckland FC 5

Aristote Guerin-Lokonga heads home RCA's only goal in the 1 - 5 home defeat.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: RCA Guerin-Lokonga:  Bishop Auckland  Johnson 3 Megran, Jardine

Please click here for photos from the match

This hastily arranged League match against a high flying Bishops turned into a disaster both on and off the pitch, 76 turned up to watch the match, probably only 50 of them paying for the privilege and the Officials were from Scarborough and Redcar by far the most expensive this season.

On the pitch the woeful display by the home team was nothing short of disgraceful, there was no passion or endeavour, it looked and felt like a Sunday morning match. Everything that was good about the team last season and at the beginning of this season was missing. We are now embroiled in a relegation battle and need to pick up points quickly.

There were two notable performances, Rivers and Guerin-Lokonga did put some effort into the match, but produced little in the way of end product. Contrast this with Johnson and ex-RCA player Jardine who harassed RCA's defence all afternoon and got their reward in abundance.

RCA welcomed Bishops for yet another match and unfortunately the results of recent visits by the two blues was completely turned on its head as they ran out easy winners.

The match kicked off on a very wet pitch which had been well prepared by the RCA ground staff although it did cut up quite badly it was well playable and there were no complaints by either team before during or after the match.

RCA started positively and almost opened the scoring in the opening 5 minutes when Owens lobbed the ball goal ward, it bounced up and onto the top of the crossbar, although Jeffries looked to have the goal covered.

Atkinson pulled off a double save from Johnson after a strong run saw him fire in a low shot which was saved by the keepers foot, Johnson followed up blasting the ball goal ward and Atkinson again saved with his feet before the ball was cleared.

Bishops took the lead minutes later, a ball over the top was flicked by Megran to Johnson who rounded the 'keeper then flicked the ball into an empty net.

Bishops doubled the lead on 34 minutes when McGuinness was late with a tackle on Johnson the striker picked himself up to take tha spot kick firing it low to the Atkinson's right to make it 2-0.

A great run by Gibson, who beat the offside trap saw him cut inside before unleashing a powerful, curling shot which Jeffries did well to turn round the post for a corner.

Gibson took the corner and Guerin-Lokonga stooped low to head home through a sea of legs and it looked like game on.

However, just before the interval Wearmouth found Jardine with a lovely ball and the Striker repaid with a perfectly weighted pass, Wearmouth created space before firing in a shot which was half blocked but the ball found Megran eight yards out and he fired home to make it 3-1.

Johnson hit the post twice with one shot on 56 minutes when his near post shot was parried onto the post by Atkinson. The ball rebounded off the 'keeper and back onto the post before being gathered at the third attempt.

A long ball out of defence found Owens who broke past the last defender, but his first touch took the ball away from his feet and Jeffries made a great save racing tout and diving at his feet.

Johnson completed his hat-trick just before the hour with a near post blast which flew in to make it 4-1.

Bishops were well on top now and  as low shot by Bell was well saved by Atkinson the RCA keeper was called into action minutes later as Bell fired in another shot this time the ball was kicked off the line by the keeper. Then Johnson fired one past the post as the game headed to a conclusion.

In the final minute Bishops were awarded a fortunate penalty as Jardine lost his footing taking on a defender in the box. Ex RCA player Jardine was given the chance to open his account for Bishops from the spot and duly slotted home to conclude the scoring.

RCA play South Shields on Tuesday and need a big performance to appease their supporters

South Shields FC 2 Sunderland RCA FC 4

18 December 2012

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: SRCA: Guerin-Lokonga (2), Monson, OG.  South Shields: Graham, Coe.

Please click here for the Sky Tyne and Wear coverage.

Preparation for this game was considerable hampered an hour before kick off with the announcement that first choice keeper Neal Atkinson had hung up his gloves and second choice keeper Craig Shields was still feeling the effects of a hand injury so into the cauldron stepped Neal Bussey for his second appearance for RCA.

Just when we thought we had the team sorted we received notice from Nick Gibson that his car had broken down on the A1. Jamie Fryatt stepped in to replace him.

The management team also gave a debut to Nathan Monson a recent signing from Burscough Athletic.

The Filtrona Park pitch was, to say the least, wet. Deemed playable by the match officials, the game kicked off in dramatic style with South Shields forcing RCA onto the back foot and their reward was a stunning fourth minute opening goal.

Wightman's shot was deflected for a corner which Coe took short to Smith who crossed into the box, the ball was headed away by McGuinness and fell to Graham 35 yards out from goal, he controlled the ball before sending in a thunderous right foot shot, which rocketed into the net past a bewildered RCA defence. 

It could have been worse three minutes later when a cross field ball from Feasey found Wightman in space but Bussey pulled off a great save from the low shot.

RCA's only response at this time was a surging run from McGuinness which ended with a long range effort flying over the bar.

Disaster struck in the 14th minute when Henderson found Coe with a superb 40 yard pass and the Shields winger didn't need a second chance, running onto the ball and volleying the ball into the net past a helpless Bussey.

Shields were well on top at this point and RCA were having to dig deep just to stay in the game and only some poor finishing from the home side and some desperate defending kept the score at 2-0. The passion and commitment which had been lacking on Saturday was slowly returning and as the half wore on RCA started to create chances.

Close found Fryatt wide on th eright and his low cross into the box was met by Monson who sidefooted the ball inches wide of the upright.

Burnicle was guilty of a glaring miss when Wightman set him up, but the Striker lashed the ball well wide when in a goalscoring position.

Shields were to rue this miss as the ball was sent down to the other end and Guerin-Lokonga looked to have escaped his marker before being tackled from behind. Cutts took the freekick which Winter was forced to punch away under pressure.

RCA got a life line a minute later as they started to get a hold of the game. Fryatt received the ball from McGuinness, beat a defender and sent in a tantilising cross over Winter and towards the back post where Renshaw, under pressure from both Preston and Monson, headed into his own goal.

Shields tried to respond to this setback and Bussey was the next keeper in action as he dived full leangth to save from Burnicle.

RCA were in the ascendancy and as the half closed they were the team that were doing most of the attacking and in the 44th minute a great move which saw Close win the ball in midfield before playing it to Cutts who slipped the ball wide to Kane, the winger in one movement beat the defender and crossed into the box straight into the path of Monson who made no mistake from eight yards out.

There was still time in this action packed first half for Renshaw to head narrowly over from a Coe corner.

RCA started the second half in positive mood and substitute Rivers, on for Fryatt, picked up a pass from Cutts before cutting inside and unleashing a beautiful curling shot which, although dipping, cleared the bar by inches.    

In the 64th minute RCA took the lead when Cutts played the ball to Monson. His crosss-cum shot rebounded off the far post into the path of Rivers who tried to steer the ball home but it was deflected across the goal line and Guerin-Lokonga was on hand to stab home from close range.

From the kick off Shields responded and it needed a good save from Bussey to deny Wightman.

Guerin-Lokonga was causing Shields defender all sorts of problems as he continued to harrass them on the ball and forcing them into mistakes. Both Rivers and Monson benefitted from his endeavours, but on both occassions Winter was equal to their efforts on goal.

RCA made sure of all three points when Guerin-Lokanga forced a corner on the right. Kane sent the kick into the heart of the six yard box and it fell to Guerin-Lokanga who got his foot to the ball ahead of two defenders and the ball flew into the net.

Shields were in disarray and RCA were rampant as the game progreesed. Kane had a good opportunity to extend RCA's lead, but fired straight at Winter.

At the other end Coe sent a header well over from a corner and Wightman, with probably Shields best chance of the half, fired wide when clear of the RCA defence.

The game ended in very boggy conditions and both teams very tired.

If anyone could have predicted this score after 25 minutes they would have received amazing odds off Bet-Butler.

However credit when it is due, RCA showed that they do have passion and they can play a bit as well. They need to take this performance forward to Team Northumbria on Saturday and see if we can record back to back wins.


Sunderland RCA FC 3 South Shields 2

New signing Nathan Monson, who scored the third in the 3 - 2 home win, is tackled from behind in the first half of the match.

26 December 2012

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goal scorers: SRCA: Kane, Shaw, Monson. South Shields: Ramsey, Wightman.

Please click here for photos from the match.

Eleven goals in two competitive matches between these two clubs in the last eight days and two very entertaining end to end games which were a credit to the Northern League.

For RCA six, very welcome but hard fought, points. For South Shields there must be a belief that they can climb off the bottom of the table.

RCA included Gary Shaw (winger) and Lewis Graham (Goalkeeper) for their debuts after signing the pair  from Durham City.

Given the recent inclement weather the pitch looked in remarkably good condition.

RCA took advantage of the slope in the first half and were immediately on the attack with Monson forcing a throw in. The throw was taken, long, by McGuinness and Guerin-Lokonga flicked the ball into the path of Nick Kane, who scored with a flying header which gave Winter no chance.

Shields were in no mood to lie down and in Wightman they had a player who was willing to shoot on sight, in the 5 minute he picked up the ball on the edge off the box and fired in a shot which was blocked by Parker, the ball rebounded to Henderson who volleyed the ball goalward but this effort was thwarted by the lunge of McGuinness. 

Wightman looked to be waging a one man war against the RCA defence as he had a second attempt at goal saved by Graham, the ball fell to Peter Kane but he fired over. Then Wightman had another shot saved at the second attempt by Graham.

RCA weathered this mini storm and came back fighting, Close found Monson on the left and his cross was only inches away from Guerin-Lokonga's outstretched leg.

A long ball from Winter found Ramsey who laid the ball into the path of Feasey who sent in a rasping shot which was saved by Graham.

In the 15 minute RCA looked to open up Shields' defence when Cutts through ball found Nick Kane and the winger sliped past a defender before firing in a low drive which was well saved by Winter.

With the game flowing from end to end you coiuldn't take your eye off it for a second, Smith sent a greta ball in to Ramsey who chested the ball down into the path of Peter Kane who hit the ball first time and it took a brilliant save from Graham to deny an equaliser.

Two minutes later and RCA were 2-0 up when Buzzoe crossed to the far post where Shaw found space to head back across the face of goal and into the net. a simple but effective goal.

RCA looked to take advantage of the Shields defence as thy reeled from this setback and when Close found Monson inside the box it looked odds on for 3-0 when the striker check back onto his right foot and blazed in a low shot which Winter was able to push round the post for a corner.

Winter was by far the busier keeper at this point as RCA tried to push home their advantage, Cutts cut in from the right before unleashing a shot which Winetr was pleased to tip over the bar. From the resulting corner the ball found Parker unmarked at the back post but he shot into the side netting.

A minute later and a long ball from Cutts was picked up by Shaw, he burst into the box. slipped the ball past Winter who made contact with the RCA player, however Shaw kept his feet but slid the ball wide of the upright. Had he gone down it would have been a definate penalty and Winter would have been lucky to stay on the pitch.

Shaw almost made amends a minute later when he drifted into space before thundering in a shot which went narrowly wide.

Riding their luck, back came Shields through Coe who clipped in a lovely ball to the far post where Peter Kane headed the ball back across goal to Feasey who fired the ball over the bar.

In the 40 minute in a replica of RCA's opening goal as Wightman sent a long throw into the box which was not well defended by RCA's defence and the ball fell to Ramsey who slotted the ball home past the despairing dive of Graham.

Shields started the second half emphatically, with the advantage of the slope they drove forward looking for the equaliser.

Coe sent in a cross which was met by Wightman but he slid his shot wide.

RCA were awarded a freekick 25 yards our which was taken by McGuinness and easily saved by Winter who turned defence inro attack with a quick kick out which caused problems when Peter Kane dispossessed Close before slipping the ball to Wightman who had his shot blocked by a great sliding tackle from Cutts.

Shileds equalised 2 minutes later when Winter once again launched a long ball into the heart of RCA's Defence, this time Wightman took advantage of the poor defending to blast home from 8 yards out.

RCA were now the team that were desperately defending and when Wightman curled in a terrific freekick it took a supurb save from Graham to keep the scores level. The resulting corner found Renshaw who headed downwards but Graham was in the right place to make a good save.

The pace of the game could not continue and it was no surprise when both teams seemed to run out of steam, RCA made substitutions on came Rivers, Shields seemed content to leave the team as it was.

Rivers first touch took him past two defenders and his cross was forced over for a corner. Guerin-Lokonga got a touch to the resulting corner as Winter punched the ball clear it fell to Monson who hit the ball first time into the ground, the ball bounced up, struck Pickering on the head and dropped into the net.

 RCA picked up the pace in the closing minutes of the game and when Close found Nick Kane inside the box it looked all over bar the shouting but the RCA winger shot wide of the far post with Both Monson and Guerin-Lokonga in good positions.

As the game petered out Monson tested Winter with a dipping 25 yarder which the Shields keeper was forced to tip over the bar.

30 points on the board and a lot of positives from today's match. Going forward we look a threat again, Arris and Monson seem to have developed an understanding and Shaw looks very good , Cutts and Close look comfortable in midfield and the defence is starting to look settled although they do look vulnerable to long balls over the top.


Sunderland RCA FC 3 Guisborough Town FC 3

5 January 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: SRCA: Shaw 2 Guerin-Lokonga Guisborough Town: L Wood, G Wood, Poole.

Please click here for Sky Tyne and Wear video highlights.

No new signings for today's visit of Guisborough. However the same old problems materialised during the game, decent going forward but defensively very poor.  

RCA were 2-0 up inside 20 minutes, threw away the lead with inept defending, were losing 3-2 with two minutes to go and only a determined run and finish from Aris saved a point.

Supporters will believe that this was two points thrown away rather than a point won.

The performance of the backroom staff to get this game on were truly tested at Meadow Park ahead of the game against Giusborough Town. A power cut two hours before kick off was sorted out with minutes to spare before the officials arrived at the ground.

The game kicked off on a very soft pitch with RCA kicking against the slope having lost the toss.

Guisborough, with the advantage of the slope poured forward in the early stages but didn't appear to have brought their  shooting boots as first Roberts fired well wide then Luke Bytheway followed suit.

In their first real attack Shaw clipped in a ball towards, Monson who tried to round Dixon in the Guisborough goal and the ball was cleared by Bishop.

RCA looked to have withstood the Guisborough pressure and when a goalkick was headed on by Cutts it fell to Guerin-Lokonga who sent a first time ball on to Shaw wand the winger slotted the ballpast the advancing Dixon and into the far corner of the net.

A minute later Guerin-Lokonga received a ball from Close, cut back inside before curling a shot inches wide.

In the 17th minute RCA were 2-0 up as they tore through the Guisborough defence with ease, Guerin-Lokonga once again linked up with Shaw and once again the winger showed great composure as he passed the ball into the corner of the net.

Guisborough had a ball kicked off the line by Buzzeo when Gell headed a long throw goalwards. Then O'Sullivan had a long range shot deflected goalwards but Graham was able to adjust his dive to make the save.

Brilliant build up play between Monson, Guerin-Lokonga and Kane looked likely to open up the Guisborough defence again but a timely interception by Poole broke up the move.

In the 43rd minute Guisborough were thrown a life-line when they were awarded a dubious penalty when Parker was adjudged to have fouled Roberts who looked to slip before falling over, Poole stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way.

The second half opened with a shot from Roberts going just over the bar afetr he had been set up by Gell. Cutts then blasted a freekick wide from 25 yards.

Guisborough were taking the game to RCA and a shot from L Woods was deflected for a corner, RCA didn't fully defend the corner as it was cleared only as far as Bishop who squared the ball to L Woods his shot which looked to be covered by Graham took a wicked deflection into the opposite corner to level the scores.

RCA should have taken the lead when Guerin-Lokonga was sent clear by Close but his shot was tipped round the post by Dixon.

It was Guisborough who then took the lead in bizzarre circumstances, substitute G Woods picked up the ball on the right wing and from 40 yard out crossed the ball over a crowd of players, whether anyone got a touch or not was immaterial as the ball sailed into the net and G Woods claimed the goal.

RCA levelled in the 88th minute when M.O.M Close split the Guisborough defence with an inch perfect pass which Guerin-Lokonga despatched past Dixon and into the net.

Next up Bishop in the Durham Challenge Cup. Any bets on new players in before Tuesday and a new look defence. 




Newton Aycliffe FC 2 Sunderland RCA FC 0

Hard working forward meets strong defender in the first half of the match.

12 January 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: Aycliffe:  Young, Earl.

Please click here for photos from the match.

Please click here for match photos in Aycliffe Today.

A depleted RCA squad took on a Newton Aycliffe side who had recorded six wins in their last 9 games, a far cry from the catostophic opening to the season.

Defenders, Preston and Buzzeo were unavailable and were replaced by Henderson and Beasley.

The first half was unbelievably innocuous with little in the way of attacking flair from either team and both defences looking solid. the only chance of the first half fell to Aycliffe when a misplaced pass was intercepted by Lambert and he sent an inch perfect pass to Reay but Graham was quickly off his line to make a terrific save.

The half time whistle came as a relief to most spectators who had witnessed a rather dull a uneventful match thus far.

The second half opened with a bang as RCA pushed forward in an effort to liven the match up, Close played in Shaw and as the winger went round Pocklington he was clearly caught before the Keeper made contact with the ball and a penalty was awarded.

Owens stepped up and his weak effort was easily saved low down to his right. 

Guerin-Lokonga linked up with Cutts who burst into the box, Cleverly beat the defender and then tried to curl a shot into the far corner of the net, unfortunately the ball struck the post and rebounded to safety.

Aycliffe took heart from these misses and launched themselves onto the offensive, Reay was causing all sorts of  problems down the right and when RCA failed to clear a cross into the area the ball fell to Owen who volleyed the ball narrowly wide of the upright.

Aycliffe made a double substitution and this looked to change the course of the game as within minutes they took the lead, RCA failed to deal with a cross into the box and it fell to the influential Young who blasted the ball home from the edge of the box.

RCA were totally rocked by this goal and never looked likely to recover, Aycliffe's defence was well in command of the RCA attackers and Pocklington in goal was in no mood to concede today.

In the 78 minute RCA's fate was complete when Hughes raced past the RCA token effort at defending before cutting the ball back into the path of Earl who clinically fired from 12 yards out. Earl almost added to his and Aycliffe's tally in the dying minutes when he was clean through but his shot was well saved by Graham.

A below par performance from the whole team, the penalty miss probably summed up the whole afternoon.

We will need to do a lot better in the next two games if we want to reach the next round of the Durham Challange Cup and the management will be asking for a hugely improved performance against Darlington 1883 next Saturday.


Sunderland RCA FC 1 Durham City FC 1

New signing Jamie Clarke is tracked by Durham City and ex-RCA defender James Oates in the first half of the match.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Please click here for photos from the match.

A 10.00am inspection of the pitch was positive and the efforts of John Anderson, Dave Hill and Graham Defty were rewarded with our first match since the away defeat to Newton Aycliffe FC on 12 January 2013. Although the playing surface was very soft in places and liable to cut up.

The return of Ross Preston meant that the back four had a familiar ring to it, however the same cannot be said of the midfield as Kane was swithched inside and Monson and Rivers took on the roles of wide men.

RCA also gave a debut to Jamie Clarke partnering Guerin-Lokonga up front.

Durham City included in their squad Ex RCA player James Oates while RCA boasted at least 3 ex Durham City players in theirs. 

Although the state of the pitch was obviously going to play a part in the quality of football, the players started the match trying to play good football.

RCA created the first chance of the game when a cross from Monson was punched clear by Young, the ball fell to Close and the RCA Skipper curled the ball past Young but agonisingly wide of the far post.

As the game literally got bogged down in midfield it was clear that this was going to be a hard Battle.

A rare glimpse of magic from Rivers, on Work Experience from Middlesbrough, saw him collect a ball from Guerin-Lokonga, before bursting into the box, unfortunately he decided to shoot into the side netting when a better option might have been to square the ball to Clarke waiting in acres of space six yards out.

Minutes later and a long clearance from Madden found Fenwick, he played a quick 1-2 with Ward before unleashing a terrific shot which forced Graham into an outstanding save, turning the ball round the post for a corner.

Durham took the lead in somewhat fortuitous circumstances, a well aimed pass from Hotchkiss found Stoker who made a good run up the wing before crossing into the box where Parker was on hand to volley the ball into the roof of his own net.

RCA almost replied immediately when Monson flicked a pass into the path of Guerin-Lokonga who then fired wide of the far post with only the keeper to beat.

As the game became scrappy there were little mistakes creeping in and when Buzzeo picked up the ball from a misplaced pass, his cross into the box evaded Young and seemed destined for the head of Clarke but somehow Madden was able to get a little touch on the ball and Galloway cleared.

As the game approached half time Durham almost made it 2-0, Stoker crossed into the ox again, this time Ward got to the ball first but hit the post, the ball rebounded to Allen who looked certain to score from 3 yards out but an amazing block tackle from Buzzeo forced the ball away for a corner.

The second period started in much the same vein as the first with both teams serving up some decent football in deteriorating conditions.

Fenwick and Ward were playing well up front for Durham and in the 50 minute the two of them combined to force a great save from Graham and Ward really should have put the game beyond RCA reach when he latched onto a mistake by Parker, raced beyond the RCA defence but fired well over the bar.

RCA came back into the game and when Guerin-Lokonga forced a corner they were rewarded for their endeavour with an equaliser. From the corner kick the ball fell to Kane who shot, Young pulled of a tremendous one handed save and the ball rebounded 10 yards out, unfortunately for the City Keeper it fell to Preston who slammed the ball into the roof of the net.

Both sides when in search of the winner and as legs tired it was looking more and more likely that a mistake could win the game.

Clarke came closest for RCA when a cross from Guerin-Lokonga fell to the veteran striker but, at full stretch, he could only clip the ball wide of the post.

The final flurry of the game saw Durham pushing forward but the closest that they came was a number of Headers from corners which flew harmlessly over the bar and a poor freekick from the edge of the box.

Given the conditions this was an entertaining game played in the right spirit, between two teams who look destined to be playing in the first division next term.

Durham’s shaky start to the season and RCA’s little mid-season blip seem to have evaporated and both teams look decent enough to stay up. 

Sunderland RCA FC 1 Bishop Auckland FC 3

5 February 2013

Durham Challenge Cup 2nd Round

Goalscores:  SRCA  Clarke:   Bishops:  Johnson 2  Jardine

The long awaited Durham Challenge Cup match eventually took place after 4 postponements and on a very heavy pitch both teams produced some decent football in the first half.

However, RCA decided not to turn up for the second half and were totally over run by a rampant Bishop outfit. The second half was a defensive nightmare, from tha moment that Kane was replaced by Monson RCA struggled to get to grips with Bishops as they stormed forward at will.

What a transformation from the first half when RCA were in command for 40 minutes and were deservedly in the lead 1-0 and it could have been 3-0.

 Bishops took advantage of the slope in the first half but it was RCA who created the first opening when Kane found Guerin-Lokonga his slick pass set up clarke inside the six yard area but the usually deadly strikers shot was easily saved by Jeffries.

Guerin-Lokonga was causing a lot of problem in the Bishop defence and was unlucky not to set up Clarke as he shrugged of a challenge from Riatt but his pull back was cleared by Megran.

However two minutes later and Guerin-Lokonga was brought down in the box and a penalty was awarded, Clarke slotted the spot kick home to make it 1-0.

Bishops tried to rally and the ever dangerous Johnson came close with a great effort which went narrowly wide of the target.

RCA thought they had scored a second when a clipped freekick from Sullivan fell to Guerin-Lokonga inside the box, the RCA striker slipped the ball over the sprawling body of Jeffries and into the net but was adjudged to have been off-side.

This seemed to spur bishops on and they bombarded the RCA goal for the rest of the half, a cross from Megran found Harwood but his header was chested down by G Shields on the line and cleared.

Within a minute the same player cleared the ball off the line from a similar header by Riatt.

The second period was dominated by Bishops, Harwood found Johnson 20 yards out and the Bishop frontman crossed toward the far post where Jardine was on hand to slot home from close range.

Within a few minutes it was 2-1 to Bishops as a good run from Harwood went unchallenged and the winger floated a cross into the box, Johnson rose highest and deftly headed the ball wide of the despairing dive of C Shields.

RCA tried in vain to respond but were lacking any cutting edge in the final third and it was no surprise that Bishops went further ahead this time Johnson converting a penalty after Harwood had been upended in the box.

As the game pettered out it was clear that Bishops wanted the game more than RCA and the scoreline could have been a lot worse.

Bishops will now meet Norton and Stockton next week with the winner away to Gateshead in the Semi-final.    



Newcastle Benfield FC 1 Sunderland RCA FC 0

RCA forward Aristote Guerin-Lokonga contests the ball in the first half of the match.

9 February 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Please click here for photos from the match.

Sunderland RCA went to Newcastle Benfield and for the second time this season they were facing a Benfield team with a new manager, Steve Bowey and Gareth McAlindeon taking charge of their first game.

RCA gave league debuts to Thomas Marron and Patrick McClean, younger brother of James McClean the Sunderland AFC winger.

It was to be an inauspicious debut for McClean as he limped out of the game after 15 minutes with a dead-leg sustained in the 10 minute. Marron on the other hand gave a man of the match display.

If possession won you games then RCA would have won this game handsomely, unfortunately being unable to convert possession into goals has been our downfall all season and when things are not going well we revert to the Wimbledon "lump it and see" method of attack which most defences in this league can cope with easily.

RCA started brightly and took the game to Benfield without really creating any chances and Leighton and Brown seemed in no mood to let down their new manager who was also leading by example in the centre of the park.

In the 10 minute a heavy challenge by Williams left McClean on the floor, McGuinness took the free kick and Clarke's header fell to Guerin-Lokonga but his shot was blocked and fell easily into the arms of Grainger. Within five minutes young McClean's debut was over as he slumped to the floor unable to continue.

In the 17 minutes a right wing corner from Bowey was headed behind for another corner by Buzzeo as Norris looked odds on to score.

A run by Kane saw him feed the ball to Monson but he was caught in possession and the ball was sent forward to Bowey who played in Ormeston but Marron was able to get across to put the ball out of play for a corner. Bowey took the corner and the inswinger caught RCA out, Leighton headed againt the bar and in the ensueing goal line scramble, Young got a foot to the ball to stab it home.

The game became literally bogged down in a midfield battle, as the ground started to cut up the play became scappy with little in the way of enterprise by either team.    

RCA created the next real chance when Guerin-Lokonga won the ball 30 yards out and fed the ball to Clarke who controlled the ball before lashing it unceremoniously high and wide from 10 yards out.

This sparked a mini revival in play as Benfield struck back, Norris outpaced Buzzeo, and as Preston came across to cover the wing fired in a cross to the far post where Young was left unmarked 6 yards out but the striker managed to haed over with the goal at his mercy.

As the game moved into injury time Benfield were awarded a dubious penalty as Clarke seemed to win the ball before being kicked by Ormeston who fell to the ground. Nevertheless a penalty was awarded and up stepped Young to take the penalty, Graham saved the kick with his outstretched foot and the ball was cleared by Marron.

4 minutes into injury time Guerin-Lokonga had the Benfield defence at six and sevens as he cut inside the box but, with both Clarke and Monson in great scoring positions, he decided to go for goal and his shot was mre like a back pass to Grainger.

The second half belonged to RCA possession wise but once again their lack of quality in front of goal was evident for all to see.

In the 50 minute a long ball from McGuinness found Guerin-Lokonga but he didn't test the keeper from 15 yards firing the ball wide of the upright.

Benfield were reduced to defending deep and trying to break quickly through Norris but he all to often ran the ball out of play and the counter attacks came to nothing. When they did get the ball into the centre Marron and Preston were more than a match for their attack. 

RCA looked dis-jointed with no width and 4 players congested in a tight and very boggy midfield.

In the 61 minute Kane slipped past a defender before unleashing an effort from 25 yards which Grainger saved easily.

5 minutes later Benfield created their first effort of the second half when the ball was cleared from Leighton to Brown, he was allowed to get in a shot from 25 yards out which struck the inside of the post and rebounded, luckily for RCA, to Buzzeo who cleared up field.

Some poor decisions from the officials did nothing to help a scrappy affair, as the whistle seemed to be constantly blowing for little or no reason leaving player from both sides bemused to say the least.

RCA huffed and puffed their way through the remainder of the game and although they had plenty of chances none caused the Benfield defence much cause for concern as shots from Cutts, Home-Jackson and Kane were all off target.

Late in the game substitue Graham had a great chance for Benfield but sent his effort over the bar.

RCA might feel that they deserved something out of this game but to be honest they have to learn to play as a team and not a bunch of individuals.

It is beyond my comprehension that players can not play in a disciplined way for the team, this might mean playing in an unfamiliar role and out of position but at the end of the day it is the results that matters not individual displays.

Norton and Stockton Ancients 1 Sunderland RCA 3

Goal scorer Jamie Clarke holds the ball up at the end of the match with captain Brian Close available for support.

16 February 2013

Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: Guerin-Lokonga, Clarke and Cutts

Please click here for photos from the match.

Despite going a goal behind early on RCA eventually won quite comfortably on a beautiful day in Norton. RCA dominated the game from start to finish and could, and probably should, have won by a goal or two more. The only real disappointment on the day was the price of the beer in the Norton clubhouse, £3.29 for a pint of Carling!

The other major concern was the fact that RCA could name only two subs, due to injury and absence for various reasons. Now that the weather appears to have cleared up and we can expect to be playing at least twice a week from now to the end of the season, it seems as if further reinforcements are bound to be needed.

The first of those reinforcements, Jordan Dixon, just signed from Durham, made a very pleasing debut, showing good pace and skill out wide, and might have marked his first appearance with a goal, before having to be satisfied with an assist. At the other end of the age and experience scale Scott Richards was man of the match for your correspondent, being the pick of an excellent midfield three, with Elliott Cutts and skipper Brian Close also performing very well. The back four looked solid, with Ross Preston and recent signing Tom Marron developing a good understanding after some early alarms, and Buzzeo and McGuinness were very solid at full back, apart from one eccentric throw in from "Buzzer" which caused his team mates some concern. Up front Jamie Clarke and Aris Guerin-Lokonga were lively all afternoon. RCA's second goal, with Aris beating his man out wide and sending in an excellent cross for Clarke to score with a spectacular overhead kick was probably the pick of the goals on the day for the spectators, although their first, finished from close range by Aris after a lovely passing move, was one for the football purists. Craig Shields in goal was competent on the few occasions he was called into action, but mostly enjoyed the sunshine.

The game started with RCA well in control, before an eighth minute attack saw Norton take the lead with what looked a very easy goal, cutting through the defence with a couple of passes, before a simple finish.

When Norton repeated the move and nearly scored again some of us started to worry, but that was largely that for Norton in the first half, as RCA pressed forward continually, and exposed the keeper with several good moves. Richards, Close and Cutts had complete control in midfield.

The only problem was with forwards continually getting themselves caught offside needlessly, but even so it seemed like the pressure must tell. Clarke flashed a shot wide after a good turn, and Aris fired over, before the first RCA goal came in the 23rd minute after a beautiful move left Aris with a simple tap in.

Five minutes later he contrived to fall over his own feet when in an even better position, and as chances were missed it looked like being level at the break, before Jamie Clarke rolled back the years, and potentially put his back out, with a superb overhead shot right on the stroke of half time.

After the break RCA came on very strong and it was only a matter of time before it told.

Young Jordan Dixon broke through with only the keeper to beat and when forced wide did well to hold his nerve and play Elliott Cutts in to finish at the second attempt in the 55th minute.

That was it really, RCA eased off, Norton tried hard but never really looked like scoring, and the game petered out tamely enough. Good points, much needed, and a cheerful ride home!

Durham City FC 2 Sunderland RCA FC 3

19 February 2013

League Cup 3rd Round

Goalscorers: Durham : Hotchkiss, P Dixon:  SRCA: Guering-Lokonga, Clarke, J Dixon.

RCA made one change from the team that won so convincingly at the weekend, with Scott Richards missing through work committments and only expected to get to the game for the half time interval, Carl Beasley was drafted in to replace him.

A steady drizzle fell throughout the night but did not dampen the performances of both teams on the pitch. RCA started like a house on fire when in the opening minute a slide rule pass from Marron found Guerin-Lokonga in space on the right wing; his measured cross was met by Clarke who looked to steer it into the back of the net, but Young managed to get a hand to it and the ball went behind for a corner despite the lunge of Dixon ghosting in at the back post who was inches away from opening the scoring.

That was about as good as it got for RCA in the first half as Durham turned the screw with some good passing moves which RCA found difficult to cope with.

It was no surprise when they took the lead in the 10th minute when a great ball from ex-RCA star Oates found Allen. The winger took the ball on before cutting inside to deliver a ball into the box, in the scamble that followed Winter looked to be upended by Beasley and the referee awarded apenalty. Hotchkiss stepped up a fired into the net passed Graham.

RCA next forage upfield saw a header by Clarke go harmlessly over the bar. Durham replied with a shot from Hotchkiss which forced save from Graham and then Fenwick was guilty of shooting wide when Winter was in a great goalscoring possition.

Durham were stating to get on top at this point and it was only some excellent midfield / defensive work by Close which kept the scoreline down, his timely interception set up Cutts whose shot was well saved by Young and Monson following up was adjudged to be offside.

In the 27th minute Durham extended their lead with a typical flowing move which saw Allen once again released on the left wing, this time by Madden with a pinpoint pass which left the RCA defence scrambling and as the ball was crossed into the box Paul Dixon was on hand to slam the ball home from 12 yards out.

The young guns of Durham were in full flow now and a great run and shot by Fenwick could, and some would say should, have made it 3-0, but Graham got down well to turn the shot round the post for a corner and Madden headed the resulting corner well wide of the upright.

If RCA started the first half with a bang and finished with a wimper they came out all guns blazing in the second half, Clarke dispossed Ellison before passing to Dixon who crossed into the box where Guering-Lokonga was on hand to volley home from close range.

Two minutes later and RCA drew level. Shields, on for Beasley, found Clarke with a pass, he moved the ball on quickly into space and Dixon arriving at the far post slammed the ball home.

RCA had turned the game on its head inside five minutes of the restart and they  kept the momentum going, A shot from McGuinness was scramble clear.

Close and Cutts were bossing the midfield and their distribution was outstanding; the only Durham attack of the second half so far saw Paul Dixon fire wide after a good run.

RCA took the lead on the hour mark with a beautifully worked move, Guerin-Lokonga and Shields made progress down the right before slipping the ball inside to Dixon who laid the ball into the path of the evergreen Clarke who showed great composure before sliding the ball past the outstretched hand of Young.

The impetus of the match was well and truly with RCA  now and only a great save by Young from a McGuinness (Bale like) freekick kept the score down. The freekick being awarded as Cutts was brought down when bursting past the Durham defence.

Close was inspirational in midfield and it was a master-stroke by the manager to move Morran into the centre of defence to renew his partnership with Preston and to bring on Gary Shields in at right back.

The sight of Craig Shields warming up to come on as an outfield player must have sent shockwaves through the Durham City team and minutes after coming on he almost scored as he charged down a clearance from Young and the ball rebounded just wide of the upright.

Durham made a late rally as the searched for an equaliser, but shots from Ellison and Winter both went tamely wide as they appeared to run out of steam and it was RCA who were pressing as the final whistle blew.      

What a change in fortunes a below par first half by the lads followed by a vastly improved performance that was as good as they have played all season. In the end a thoroughtly deserved victory setting up a match against Spennymoor Town FC in the quarter final.


Celtic Nation FC 2 Sunderland RCA FC 1

26 February 2012

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: Celtic Nation: Archibald, Skinner,  SRCA: Kane.

The long trip to Celtic Nation produced no points for RCA but the team did show signs of improvement with a strong defensive performance.

It could be argued that the goals could have been prevented but all three goals in this match would have been worthy of winning any other Northern League fixture.

The only disappointment of the night apart from the result was the lack of a crowd, it must be so frustrating for the committee of Celtic Nation, who have spent a fortune on ground improvements etc., to be playing in front of less than 50.

In the early stages of the match Celtic Nation took the game to RCA who looked to be coping really well. However, in the 6 minute, with Marron recovering from a knock, the ball was knocked long into the path of Douglas who beat two defenders on the by-line then somehow managed to squeeze the ball through to Archibald who lashed the ball low into the bottom corner of the net.

RCA recovered from this quite well and started to produce some good football up to the final third when they were thwarted by a resilient Celtic Nation defence.

Celtic nation were awarded a freekick 25 yards out and Skinner fired inches wide with Shields confident that it was going there.

A long range effort from Close had the Celtic Nation keeper scrambling to make the save before Douglas went on another great run but was denied the shot as Preston made a last ditch tackle.

Douglas was causing a lot of problems playing in a free role and able to attack at will, in the 38 minute he had a shot saved by shields and the follow up shot by Reed struck the post before being cleared up field.

Back came Celtic nation two minutes later and a dribble and cross from Reed found Douglas but he shot well wide.

Having withstood this mini revival by Celtic Nation, RCA came back and a great move between Guerin-Lokanga, Cutts and Clarke ended when Skinner intercepted the final pass.

In the 42 minute RCA were back on level terms when a sweeping move by RCA saw the ball switched to Close on the right wing and his cross was headed down by Guerin-Lokonga into the path of Kane who swept the ball into the top corner.

At the start of the second half it was Celtic Nation who looked to be in the ascendancy and RCA were forced to defend deep although they didn't look to unsettled by the Celtic Nation forwards.

They came closest in the in the 66 minute when a run and cross by Archibald was missed by three players but fell at the far post to Douglas who fired wide with the goal at his mercy.

The winning goual when it came was scored by player manager Skinner, picking the ball up on the half way line he was allowed to carry the ball forward 10 yards before unleashing a swerving, dipping shot into the top corner of the net.

Within minutes RCA almost equalised when Close clipped the ball forward and Kane latched onto the ball before firing goalwards, the ball struck the keeper on the shoulder as he charged off his line and the ball rebounded out of play.

Both teams huffed and puffed without really creating much in the way of chances in the final 10 minutes.

You always know when you have watched a decent game when you look at your watch and there is only a few minutes remaining when you thought there was 20 minutes left and this is how this game was.

Not breathtaking brilliant but very workmanlike and entertaining.




Bedlington Terriers FC 2 Sunderland RCA FC 3

Saturday, 2 March 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

The Bedlington perspective

Goal Scorers: Terriers: Doninger, Carr   SRCA: Clarke (2), Home-Jackson.

Ross Preston failed a late fitness test and his position in central defence was taken by Paul Wardle. Monson replaced Guerin-Lokonga up front and there was the welcoming sight of Gary Shaw taking his place on the left side of midfield at the expense of Dixon.

Bedlington were forced to make a change just prior to the kick off when their keeper failed to arrive in time for the Kick off due to traffic problems on the A19.

After the snow and rain over the last few weeks the pitch was in remarkably good condition.

There was no clear advantage to either team in the early exchanges with neither keeper tested as the game was played almost entirely in midfield.

The first real chance of the game fell to Bedlington after 15 minutes when a sweet move between Convery and Leeson saw the ball chipped to the far post where Williamson headed past Shields but Close was on hand to clear off the line.

The game was livening up and a cross by Close to the far post was headed goalwards by Shaw but stand in keeper Baxter made an easy save.

both sides seemed committed to attacking football and only the constant intervention of the referee's whistle stopped a free flowing game. In the 20 minute Shields was forced into a save from Brayson and this then resulted in a sucession of corners which were all dealt with by the RCA defence.

The deadlock was broken in the 25 minute when Shaw ran onto a lovely through ball from Kane, carried the ball forward into the six yard area but as he tried to go round Baxter, the keeper unceremoniously fouled him and a penalty was awarded. Clarke strode up and stroked the ball into the net .

A clever move by Bedlington almost got them the equaliser as a long ball by Stewart was chested down by Williamson into the path of Doninger put shields, racing from his line,  was able to make a great save.

Shaw was causing problems to the Bedlington defence and on the half hour was unlucky not to put RCA 2-0 up when he wriggled past two defenders but his shot went narrowly wide, the referee inexplicably brought the paly back and awarded RCA a freekick 25 yards out which McGuinness fired over the bar.

Back came Bedlington, Convery fed a great through ball to Williamson who chipped the keeper but Marron was able to get across to chest the ball away from danger.

As the first half closed a long ball by Shields was picked up by Shaw who tried to lob the keeper from 18 yards out but the ball fell tamely into the arms of Baxter.

At the opening of the second half it was RCA who went on the offensive taking the game to Bedlington. Guerin-Lokonga, on for the influential Shaw, combined with Clarke to set up Cutts but the midfielders shot was weak and easily saved by Baxter.

Within a minute, Cutts burst past two players before squaring the ball to Clarke who turned and shot, forcing a great save from Baxter.

Bedlington responded with a cross from Baptist which was headed over the bar by Doninger.

Kane was making some good runs and was unlucky with a shot which went narrowly wide.

Then, slightly against the run of play a long ball by Morton found Doninger on the edge of the box and he struck the ball first time into the bottom of the net.

RCA were in no mood to lie downand a beautiful through ball from Cutts set Kane on a run down the middle, Carr came across and clearly fouled the RCA player who lost control of the ball and the chance of a shot on goal was lost, RCA protests only resulted in a booking for Cutts.

The introduction of Home-Jackson was a master stroke as the RCA forward tore into the heart of the Bedlington defence. within two minutes of coming on he had caused Baxter to mis time a clearance by chasing him down and then got booked as the keeper fell over.

In the 70 minute Home-Jackson picked up the ball on the left side of goal area and cut inside, one tackle and was then brought down. The referee immediately pointed to the spot and Clarke once again converted the spot kick sending Baxter the wrong way. 

RCA were well on top at this point and almost made it 3-i when Home-Jackson side footed a cross from McGuinness into the path of Kane but the winger sent the ball sailing over the bar from 10 yards out.

In almost an identical move two minutes later Clarke headed down a McGinness freekick into the path of Kane and once again the winger was guilty of missing the target.

RCA got the reward that their play deserved in the 84 minute when a Home-Jackson picked up a crossfield ball from Guerin-Lokonga, dribbled past two defenders before side footing past Baxter into an empty net.

Bedlington tried in vain to respond and when Shields,RCA's keeper, was injured coming for a cross the referee allowed play to go on while the ball was in and around the penalty area and only some desperate defending by McGuinness, Wardle and Morran kept the ball out of the net.

The referee by this time seemed to have lost control of the game, was well off the pace of the game and making wrong decisions time and aagain.

In the 93 minute, Morran was involved in a clash of heads with Brayson and lay in the box holding his head, the referee ignore the protests of the RCA players and let play continue, he ball was sent back into the box and by Cave and Carr, with his back to goal turned and volleyed the ball into the back off the net. A truely superb goal, but a one that should not have happened should the referee had stopped the game.

A great all round team display by RCA, a poor performance from the man in the middle especially in the second half. RCA players need to produce these sort of performance levels consistently, if they do then you will see us rising up the table.

Note of warning, It is absolutely pointless arguing with the referee when he is in the mood that Mr Woodward was in on Saturday.            

West Auckland Town FC 6 Sunderland RCA FC 2

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goal Scorers: West:   Campbell, Wilkinson, Banks, Bulmer, Moffat 2:     SRCA: Close 2

After the excellent display against Bedlington at the weekend RCA came back to earth with a massive bump against a rampaging West Auckland team.

Debutant keeper Scott Young must have been shellshocked after six minutes as the defence in front of him crumbled and he was left hopelessly exposed.

RCA brought back Buzzeo and Close, who had been very effective as a stand in right back, was moved into his more customary position in the centre of the park.

In the opening minute of the game Shaw lost possession in the west 18 yard box and the ball was swiftly sent forward to Moffatt who fed the ball to Campbell who scored with an angled drive past  Young.

On five minutes Young was called upon again, this time turning a Cambell shot round the post. the resultant Coffey corner was headed home by the unchallenged Wilkinson. 2-0 down inside six minutes: not what the doctor ordered.

RCA tried to respond and a run from Shaw ended in the winger forcing the first save of the night from Mullin.

Cambell and Moffatt were having a field day up front and two good save from Young denied Cambell from making it a hat trick inside 20 minutes.

Things went from bad to worse in the 23rd minute when Home-Jackson pulled up with a hamstring problem and was replaced by Dixon.

Almost immediately Gibson sent Banks through on goal and in those positions he very rarely misses, so 3-0 down in less than half an hour.

The home crowd were in raptures and everyone was wondering when Moffatt would put his stamp on the game, the answer was four minutes later when Campbell skipped past the non existent tackle of Buzzeo, made a great run down the left before crossing into the box where Moffat was on hand to volley home from 1o yards.

West were in full control and looking to add to the score and it was that man Moffat again this time picking the ball up 20 yards from goal he deftly lobbed the keeper to make it five on 37 minutes.

Things surely couldn't get worse?

RCA's improvement was evident almost from the kick off in the second half, with Shaw sending Dixon free on the left but his cross evaded Clarke in the box and was cleared by Gray.

A run by Banks on the right ended in the winger firing wide and in the 55th minute RCA got a goal back when a long clearace was pounced upon by Close and the RCA skipper blasted the ball home.

This gave RCA the lift that they needed and five minutes later it should have been 5-2 when Shaw had a great shot saved by Mullin.

In the 66th minute a freekick was headed down by Clarke into the path of Close who gave the keeper no chance from 10 yards out.

Game on as RCA poured forward. Shaw was causing a lot of problems and it was only the superb keeping of Mullin that kept him off the score sheet on two seperate occasion denying him with the goal at his mercy.

Having weathered the RCA pressure back came West and Young was forced into making a double save firstly from Bulmer and then from Banks

In the final minute Peter Bulmer, fired the sixth into the top corner giving Young no chance.

Managers comments taken from Ray Simpson's report:

West Auckland manager Peter Dixon said: "It could have been a lot more. At half time, it was a classic case of where do we go from here. We've been threatening to do that against a lot of teams."

RCA manager Neil Hixon said: "It was the worst first half I've ever been involved in, I gave the players a right roasting at half time. We competed in the second half and could have pinched a draw with the chances we had."


Penrith FC 2 Sunderland RCA FC 1

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Scorers: Penrith: Jardine, og:   SRCA: Dixon

I am not sure what it is about playing Penrith at the new Stadium at Frenchfields Park, but we never seem able to get a team out. Last season 11 turned up when we were doing well this season 12 turned up, one of whom was the injured goalkeeper Craig Shields who was forced to play due to the lack of another recognised keeper.

There were obviously a number of first team players missing but the management team were still able to put out a strong looking team.

On a near perfect pitch RCA started with a bang, a through ball from Marron found Cutts who laid the ball inside to Dixon who struck a perfect shot over the outstreched arm of Jamieson and into the roof of the net.

Penrith pushed forward and RCA were forced to defend in numbers.

In the 14th minute a free kick taken by Allison was headed away by Marron for a corner. The corner was taken by Jackson and Jardine, ghosting in at the far post was able to score unchallenged.

Penrith took a hold of the game and only some good defending kept them at bay, it wasn't until the 28 minute that Shields was called into action, turning a fierce drive from Gullen round the post for a corner. Once again the corner was taken by Jackson and this time it was Davidson who was afforded a free header but it flew over the bar.

Within minutes Penrith were back again with Gullen getting down the wing to send in a great cross which evaded everyone and landed at the feet of Allison inside the six yard box but the winger somehow managed the blast the ball wide.

It is fair to say that Penrith were having more of the possession in the first half and it was Shields that was the busier of the two keepers.

In the 40th minute a stinging shot from Jackson brought a truely great save from Shields as he parried the ball over the bar from point blank range.

RCA eventually forced a corner in the 43 minute, Cutts took it and Wardle powered in a header which was saved by Jamieson, the ball fell to Close who clipped in a delightful cross which was saved by the penrith keeper under pressure from Guerin-Lokonga.

As the players walked of at half time it was noticeable that the Penrith keeper was struggling and so it was that he was replaced by Brass who was making his debut.

RCA, as in the first half, stared with great purpose, Dixon skipped past two defenders before delivering a great cross to the near post which Wardle clipped towards goal only for Brass to pull off a good save.

Two minutes later he was called into action again when a freekick taken by Clarke looked to be creeping in at the far post Brass managed to get a hand to the ball and gathered it in under pressure from Monson.

Penrith responded witha freekick of their own, taken by Allison, his shot was headed away by Marron and Holliday following up could only fire the ball straight at Shields.

Shields looked to take a knock a few minutes later as a good move between Connelly and Holliday ended with the latter firing wide and Shields who had closed down the forward got up clutching his injured shoulder. Not a good sign for RCA.

RCA were actually now the team in the driving seat and were pushing Penrith back, a Shot from Clarke was easily saved by Brass at the expense of a corner. Cutts took the kick and Marron rose highest to head toward goal but Brass once again saved.

A clever move between Dixon and Monson released Clarke just inside the area, the striker looked to curl the ball into the net but Brass was equal to it and saved easily.

Clarke tested the keeper twice more in quick succession and each time the keeper made the saves look easy.

RCA forced another corner in the 82 minutes and Cutts fired it into the area, Guerin-Lokonga met the ball perfectly but could only direct it narrowly over the bar.

In the 86th minute, against the run of play Penrith were awarded acorner after Gullen's shot had been deflected wide. The corner was sent into the six yard box where it appeared to strike Preston and shot into the net.

There was no way back for RCA and the game pettered out to the final whistle.

RCA probably should have got a draw out of the performance tonight; there was no lack of committment from the players on display and it was only unfortunate that an injury to our keeper Craig Shields probably cost us a point.


Spennymoor Town FC 2 Sunderland RCA FC 1

Spennymoor defender and captain, Daniel Moore, clears ahead of RCA's Jamie Clarke in the second half of the match.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Please click here for photos from the match.

Scorers: Spennymoor: Moore, Rae.  SRCA: Shaw

After a late pitch inspection at the Brewery Field the game was declared on at the request of both managers.

Games are won and lost at all levels of football by inexplicable lapses by officials and today's match was no exception.

Spennymoor started the game with the advantage of the slope and made the most of it, applying the early pressure but RCA stuck to their guns and defended really well.

Cogdon forced the first corner of the game on five minutes when he danced past Preston, but Marron was on hand to clear. The corner was headed away by Richards and Guerin-Lokonga picked up the loose ball before sprinting into space, but unfortunately he could not deliver a meaningful cross and Moore was able to clear.

In Spennymoors next attack Ruddy was fouled on the edge of the box and Stephenson stepped up to fire in a shor which McGuinness headed away for a corner.

McGuinness was in action at the other end of the pitch minutes later when a loose ball was scrambled away from the Spennymoor area into his path and he hit a curling shot which Dean saved.

A slick move between Cogden and Capper saw the latter cross into the box and Davison, rising head and shoulders above everone else, headed down, but Ball was able to save at the second attempt.

In the 25th minute RCA were unlucky not to take the lead when McGuinness curled in a cross to the far post were Shaw chested the ball past Capper before curling in a superb shor which had Dean beaten but rebounded of the underside of the bar and was cleared by Dodds.

A long ball out of defence tried to find Cogden but RCA debut keeper Ball was aware of the danger and raced out to clear. Inexplicably the referee brought play back 20 yards to awarded a freekick to Spennymoor for an incident between Marron and Cogdon, neither of whom looked to have a chance of getting to the ball ahead of the Keeper. 

Capper floated the ball to the far post where the ball was headed back into the box and Moore rose above the keeper to head into the net from close range.

Spennymoor upped their game and it was only some good saves from Ball that kept RCA in the game. A header from Davison was saved low down and he had to react quickly with Cogdon closing in on the rebound.

Ruddy was starting to make an impression on the right and when he cut inside and let fly on 40 minutes; it looked all over a goal, but Ball managed to get a fingertip to help it onto the bar. Stephenson's corner was once again met by Davison, but he headed wide.

RCA tried to rally and Clarke had a great chance in the final minutes of the half when Close fed the ball through the centre of the Spennymoor defence, but Clarke's shot lacked power and was easily saved by Dean.

RCA started the second half in determined fashion,.A freekick, awarded when Richards was brought down on the edge of the box, was taken by McGuinness, but his shot didn't trouble Dean.

The kick out by Dean fell straght to Wardle who played in Kane and the RCA winger shot straight at Dean.

Spennymoor were finding it difficult to get the ball out of their own half and it was RCA who carved out the next chance as Kane dribbled past two defenders, got to the by-line before sending in a dangerous low cross which Laws got to fractionally before Guerin-Lokonga.

RCA deservedly got the equaliser in the 55th minute when Richards won the ball in midfield, Close picked up the loose ball before sending an inch perfect pass to Shaw who calmly slooted the ball into the net past the outstretched arms of Dean.

As the pitch started to cut up so the game started to get a bit scrappy with the ball sticking sometimes and skidding away at other times it was very difficult playing conditions, but both teams were trying to play football and chances were being created.

The ever dangerous Ruddy sent in a terrific shot which went narrowly wide and the introduction of Richardson was causing concern to the RCA defence.

As Spennymoor started to turn the tide and start creating openings RCA were resorting to quick counter attacks and both Clarke and Guering-Lokonga had shots which were easily dealt with by Spennymoor's defence.

In the 80th minute a long range effort by Capper flew over the bar and looked to be the shot of a tired player.

Looking around the pitch there seemed a lot of tired legs on display. A lazy tackle on Richardson as the Spennymoor forward was bearing down on goal went unseen by the officials.     

With the game deep into injury time Richardson received the ball inside the 18 yard area and in one movement fired the ball into the side netting; inexplicably the referee awarded a penalty for a late challenge by Wardle. (having seen the video it looks to me as if Wardle is trying to block the shot not tackle Richardson and the Spenny forward follows through falls over the defender. listening to the commentary the Spenny supporters are as shocked as the RCA players are that it is awarded).

Rae took the kick and made no mistake sending the keeper the wrong way.

For all the RCA supporters 2-1 was bitter pill to swallow after their team had given everything in the cause.

Once again a referee booking a player in the 98th minute of the game for a trip was ridiculous given the spirit and conditions the game was played in.  

If RCA can continue to produce performances like this then they should have no worries.    

Billingham Synthonia FC 2 Sunderland RCA FC 0

 20 March 2013

Ebac Northern League Division 1

Scorers: Synners:  Callender, Hassan

RCA returned to the Glamal Stadium for this rearranged Ebac Northern League match after the original match was abandoned at half  time due to heavy fog.

Late changes to the team selection were forced on the management team with the work commitments of Richards, Preston and Shaw. In came Pattison, Charlton and Cutts.

RCA started well with Guerin-Lokonga making a surging run down the right, his cross was met by Pattison who scooped his shot over the bar.

Synners then started to play the ball about to good effect in midfield and in the 13th minute a Callender through ball to Cattermole, split the RCA defence, and Porritt who had found space could only watch as his shot went wide.

A minute later and Ball was called into action for the first time saving low down from Cattermole

Charlton had a shot charged down by Robinson and the ball was cleared only as far as Clarke who fired goalwards but Griffiths made the save look easy.

This mini revival by RCA was stopped in its tracks as Synners once again produced some flowing football. Edwards sent an inch perfect pass to Bettson who in turn found Porritt and it took a great save from Ball to turn the ball past the post for a corner.

RCA responded almost immediately from the corner the ball was played up to Clarke who laid the ball to Charlton who ran through on goal but his finish went wide of the target.

Porritt, who was linking up well with Edwards in the middle of the park, played in Bettson who volleyed the ball over the bar.

Synners took the lead in the 33rd minute when Porritt found space in the box to turn and shoot, the ball rebounded off the post and Callender was the quickest to react firing the ball home from six yards out.

They almost doubled their lead in the 40th minute, a corner was headed goalwards by Callender, it looked to take a deflection and was cleared off the line by Close the clearance bounced about in the area before Ball took control smothering the ball and averting the danger.

The second half started with RCA pressing for an equaliser, in the 50th minute RCA were awarded a freekick and Cutts fired in a low grass cutter which Griffiths did well to save.

Griffiths kick out was picked up on the halfway line by McGuinness who ran 20 yards with the ball before unleashing a terrific shot which Griffiths plucked from under the bar.

In the 58th minute Synners had their first effort of the second half when Callender shot wide of the target and a minute later some sloppy defending allowed Cattermole in on the right and his floated shot cleared both the outstretched hand of Ball and the upright.

RCA were back on the attack in the 63rd minute, Guerin-Lokonga crossing from the right for Pattinson, who had acres of space at the far post, his shot goal-wards brought a great reaction save from  Griffiths.

It was end to end play as  Synthonia then attacked and a shot from Callender was blocked by Wardle, the ball rebounded to Wilson who fired over.

RCA piled players forward now and they almost got the reward in the 70th minute with a quick break sawo Guerin-Lokonga pick up the ball on the left blasted his shot wide into the side netting.

Synners almost made it 2-0 when Wilson clipped a cross onto the crossbar with Ball beaten.

You couldn't take your eyes off his game for a spilit second as the ball was cleared up field Guerin-Lokonga beat the offside trap and was clear of the Synners defence, but he once again fired the ball into the side netting.

As the game entered injury time RCA threw everyone forward leaving only one man back in a vain attempt to salvage a point but it was Synners who claimed a a second goal when Porritt played left to substitute Johnson and he squared to Hassan who cooly picked his spot and placed the ball beyond the reach of Ball in the RCA goal.

Another good performance by RCA but it has to be said that when Synners passed the ball tonight they were very, very good.

RCA need to take heart from the last few performances. Keep the faith and belief and we will be ok.  

Sunderland RCA FC 0 Celtic Nation FC 2

RCA's right back Ross Preston attacks during the second half of the match.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goal scorers: Celtic Nation: Simpson, OG.

Please click here for photos from the match.

Once again SRCA were guilty of missed chances and were punished for two errors of judgement.

Preston, Richards and Shaw were recalled after the mid week defeat by Billingham Synthonia and Gordon started the game on the right wing.

In difficult conditions with a strong swirling wind, both teams served up a fairly entertaining affair with Celtic Nation taking their chances when they came along which proved the difference between the two teams.

It could have been so different given the start that was made by RCA kicking up the slope in the first half. As early as the second minute a long clearance from McGuinness bypassed the Celtic Nation defence and fell to Clarke. Unfortunately he decided to try and beat the keeper with a first time header and Lowson saved comfortably.

A minute later and a strong run from Kane saw him dribble past three defenders before shooting over the bar.

Celtic Nation's first attack produced a corner as Preston came across to cover a good run by Reed. The in swinging corner was headed clear by Wardle to Close who was dispossessed on the half way line by Simpson who played the ball to Reed who fired in a low shot which Ball saved low down to his left.

Celtic Nation took the lead in the 12th minute when a ball from Lee was misjudged by Marron and found Hoolicken on the left. He crossed into the box where Simpson was unmarked and he drove the ball into the net from 10 yards out.

RCA picked up the pace again and a shot from McGuinness went narrowly wide. From the goal kick Preston headed to Gordon who returned the ball to the overlapping Preston; his cross was met by Clarke who turned sharply but fired over the bar.

Celtic Nation were winning the midfield battle and RCA were forced to use the flanks, which they did to some effect. Shaw in particular was causing problems with his direct approach and he really should have done better in the 33rd minute when he beat two defenders before shooting into the side netting.

The game became a bit scrappy with both teams guilty of misplaced passes, but the windy conditions were making good football almost impossible.

As the game neared the end of the first half Clarke had a shot which took a huge deflection, but as RCA's bad luck in front of goal continued, the ball flew up in the air and Lee headed the ball inches wide of his own goal. In the final attack of the half McGuinness curled in a wicked looking shot cum cross which Clarke was only inches away from getting a touch on for a certain goal.

RCA were almost back level within minutes of the start of the second half. A drilled cross from Gordon was met superbly by Celtic Nation defender Lee, who powered his header over the bar.

Celtic Nation, with the advantage of the wind, broke forward at every opportunity and were causing problems for the RCA defence. Marron was outstanding in marshalling his defence and it was only a piece of bad luck which saw Celtic Nation extend their lead, an inocuous looking cross in from the right seemed to get caught in the wind and was heading towards two attacking players at the far post. Preston, under pressure, headed the ball into the roof of the net to make it 2-0.

RCA rallied and threw men forward in an attempt to get something from the game. Guerin-Lokonga, on for the injured Richards, made a great run into the box before cutting the ball back to Shaw who could only chip the ball into the arms of Lowson.

It was certainly not RCA's day in front of goal and this was shown when good work by Guerin-Lokonga and Shaw set up Cutts inside the six yard area, but he hit his shot onto the post and it was cleared.

Celtic Nation looked to have settled for their two goals and were only looking to counter attack, which they did to great effect with both Wallace and Simpson going close.

RCA's best chance in the closing stages fell to McGuinness who headed over the bar from eight yards out.

With time running out RCA threw caution to the wind and sent men forward looking for the goal that might spark a revival, but it was all in vain and they were left to rue the missed chances of the first half.

We need to start taking the chances we create or we will end up in a relegation dog fight. Celtic Nation for their part are a well organised, slick outfit who, if they keep this team together, will be a force to be reckoned with next season.

Sunderland RCA FC 0 Spennymoor Town FC 1

25 March 2013

Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup 4th Round

Scorer: Spennymoor: Ruddy

Both teams had a depleted look to them with Spennymoor looking to rest some players ahead of their FA Vase Semi-final 2nd leg match on Saturday and RCA with no fewer than six players cup tied.

The eventful plane journeys to and from Guernsey were the main topic of conversation prior to the match with a few players and management staff still feeling the after affect of the horrendous landings encountered.

Captain Brian Close declared himself fit to play and RCA started with two debutants, Mark Foden in goal and Ian Redman partnering Marron in the centre of defence.

RCA opened well with Gorden making a good run down the left before slipping the ball to Monson who was fouled just outside the area. Clarke stepped up and fired the freekick straight at Knight who saved easily.

Close picked up the goal keeper's clearance and played a quick one-two with Marron before setting up the RCA defender, but his tremendous drive went well wide of the target.

A quick breakaway by Spenny saw Ruddy interchange paases with Peacock and only a well-timed challenge from Redman blocked Ruddy's shot at goal.

In the 10th minute Ryan was booked when he hauled Monson to the floor following a long ball out of defence from Marron. Once again Clarke took the freekick, this time sending it high over the bar.

Guering-Lokonga was causing all sorts of problems on the left wing and when he skipped past Ellison into the box it looked likely that he would test the keeper, but Laws came across and cleared the danger with a well timed tackle.

At the other end Ruddy was causing similar problem to the RCA defence with his direct running and he was unlucky with a shot which cleared the bar.

Spennymoor took the lead in the 16th minute. A corner for RCA was cleared up field where Peacock picked up the ball and ran at the RCA defence before passing to Ruddy who made no mistake from 12 yards out giving Foden no chance.

RCA responded through Guerin-Lokonga who continued to take on the Spenny defenders at every opportunity; in the 25th minute he beat two players before cutting the ball back for McGuinness who unleashed a terrific shot which Knight did well to save.

Both young keepers where doing very well in this match and Foden was once again called upon to save from Boyd, manageing to get a hand to a shot and then recovering to dive at the feet of Peacock.

Guerin-Lokonga then had a shot which went into the side netting just before the half time break.

Within five minutes of the restart RCA were forced to bring on Shields to replace the struggling Close and reshuffle the team to accommodate.

Almost immediately Moors almost scored as Moore stepped inside Preston's challenge before firing hard and low towards goal, but Foden was able to get down and save at the foot of the post.

The game became a very scrappy affair as players started to vent their frustrations and a few mistimed tackles were duly rewarded with yellow cards.

RCA started to push forward more and more as the half wore on, but never really tested Knight in the Moors' goal and for all their possession could not find a way through a well organised defence.

It was Moors who were getting the most joy as they countered at speed and it was only some superb saves by Foden that kept the score at 1-0. One memorable one when Peacock set up Ruddy in a carbon copy of the goal: this time the keeper stood firm and produced a truely sublime save send the ball over the bar.

With a howling wind and sleet causing the conditions to worsen by the minute it was a relief to the players, officials and supporters when the referee blew the whistle to end the match.

Good wishes to Spennymoor in their endeavours in the FA Vase and also in the semi final of the League Cup against Dunston FC.

RCA showed that they can compete at this level and the position they hold in the league looks to be false, however the table doesn't lie and we now need to start turning performances into points.





Sunderland RCA FC 1 Hebburn Town FC 0

27 March 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Scorer: SRCA :  Shaw.

After six straight defeats and no goals in our last three matches, the possibility of being dragged down into the relegation battle were becoming a reality.

The pitch was in remarkably good condition given that this was the third match played on it in five days although the night itself was bitterly cold.

17 year old Mark Foden retained the number 1 jersey after an impressive home debut against Spennymoor on Monday, Kane replaced the injured Gordon and Shaw replaced Monson.

RCA again started well, as they have in their last three matches, but poor decisions in front of goal have cost them dearly, tonight was to be no exception.

As early as the second minute a cross into the box by Kane caused widespread panic in the Hebburn defence, but nobody could put a touch on the ball and Regan took charge smothering the ball at the feet of Guerin-Lokonga.

Hebburn seemed happy to sit back and soak up the RCA pressure and hit on the counter; both teams were looking nervous and that was probably down to their recent form nobody was looking to make a mistake.

The next chance of the half fell to Hebburn when Luccock swung in a right wing cross which was partially cleared by Wardle but Mcdonald, ghosting in at the back post headed past the post.

RCA had plenty of possession and looked dangerous up to the edge of the box, but failed to make their good work pay off and the Hebburn defence seemed capable of holding its own.

Nicholson had a great chance for Hebburn on 18 minutes, but fired his shot wide of the target

A delightful move by RCA almost culminated in a goal when Kane picked the ball up, ran into space before picking out Guerin-Lokonga who in turn slipped the ball through too Shaw, the normally cool winger could only hook the ball over the bar.

The dangerous Nicholson almaost scored when he managed to get a touch on a cross by Gredziak, but headed just wide.

RCA then took control ao the remainder of the half, except on the half hour mark when a Hebburn free kick was lofted into the box and Kirkup headed down for Gredziak who struck the ball sweetly towards the corner of the goal, but Foden brought off a brilliant save to turn it round the post.

A minute later a great move in which at least six players were involved saw the ball switched from one wing to another until the ball fell for McGuinness who fired in a 25 yard screamer which went narrowly over the bar.

The pressure was being applied by RCA now and a quick throw found Guerin-Lokonga on the right. He fed the ball to Clarke who powered in a shot which was deflected wide by Donaldson. The corner was headed away by Kirkup for another corner which was met by Clarke, but he could only steer his header wide of the near post.

The last action of the half saw Harrison cross in to the far post where Luccock seemed to have acres of space but the winger fired wide.

The second half saw a quick change in fortune for RCA in front of goal as a goal kick from Regan was headed forward by McGuinness to Clarke who fooled the Hebburn defence with a neat back heel into the path of Shaw who, cool as you like, slid the ball under the keeper.

Hebburn responded by sending 6'5" Kirkup into an attacking position and then sending in high ball after high ball in the hope that he could get an equaliser.

The plan almost suceeded on a number of occasions by some stirling defending and goalkeeping kept Hebburn from scoring.

In the 62nd minute RCA should have killed the game off. A long ball from Wardle was flicked on by Clarke and  Guerin-Lokonga raced onto the ball, but just as he was about to shoot the ball bobbled and the shot went wide.

The long throw of Gredziak was causing some problems and in the 69th minute one of his throws was volleyed towards goal by Donaldson but Foden was equal to it making the save look easier than it was.

Hebburn were pouring forward looking for an equaliser and a Luccock’s cross was dropped by Foden but the keeper reacted well to dive at the feet of Gredziak.

It was RCA now who were reduced to counter attacking and when  Guerin-Lokonga picked up the ball on the right and ran past the last defender to crossed to Shaw, it looked certain to be RCA's second of the night, but the normally reliable Shaw fired over the bar from eight yards out.

A Kirkup header was then cleared off the line by McGuinness and the half ended with a snap shot from substitute Robson flying wide of the upright.

Certainly not the best game of football seen this season, but both teams gave 100% and on another night it could have ended 6-6. By the end of the night the effort of playing three games in five days was starting to tell on the RCA players.

At least they will get a bit of a rest before the match on Saturday against league leaders Darlington at Heritage Park. Weather permitting.


Sunderland RCA FC 0 Darlington 1883 4

A packed Ray Baines Stand, as nearly 500 people attended the Northern League fixture between RCA and Darlington on 3 April 2013. Good luck to Darlington, who are an excellent team and club.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: 1883: Thompson (2), Scott, Johnson.

Over 450 turned up to watch this second encounter between RCA And Darlington 1883 in the last five days.

RCA made a number of changes to the team, giving a debut to new signing Adam Drysdale who replaced the injured Richards, Redman replaced Wardle who was also carrying a knock and Home-Jackson came in for Clarke.

Three goals in the last seven minutes saw Darlington record their 14th win in a row, as the Quakers ran out 4-0 winners at Sunderland RCA.

Time and again this season RCA have fallen victim to the late strike, if every game was decided on 85 minutes then we would probably have an extra 10 points on the board. Not that it would have made any difference tonight as there were three superb strikes in the last seven minutes of the game.

Was it just four days ago that RCA were beaten 7-2 at Heritage Park? Tonight was a different matter as RCA set out their stall from the outset getting men behind the ball and hitting quickly on the break. This was a much more resilient performance from the team.

Darlington, with the advantage of the slope in the first half, struggled to create any clear cut chances in the early stages of the contest and it wasn't until the 14th minute that they had a shot on target. Thompson took a freekick from 25 yards out which forced Foden into a brilliant one handed save, turning the ball round the post.

The game was being played mainly in midfield with both teams unable to produce a telling final ball. Nicholls fired over the crossbar after 17 minutes.

A clearance from Marron was missed by Brown and fell to Owens, but he lobbed his shot over the bar from 12 yards out.

Shortly after this miss RCA were hit with a double blow when Gordon limped off with a groin injury and within five minutes he was followed into the dug out by Home-Jackson with a pulled hamstring.

Thompson, as he did on Saturday seemed to be central to Darlington's attacking flair and he almost gave them the lead on the half hour mark when he fired just wide of the post as RCA were adjusting to the second substitution.

Two minutes later, he picked the ball up on the left and drove into the box, where he was seemed to ride the first challenge, but was caught and a penalty was awarded. Thompson as on Saturday, fired the ball into the net, sending Foden the wrong way.

It was turning into the Thompson v Foden show as the Darlington forward was unlucky with a shot after some good build up play by Scott and Emms.

RCA were being forced to defend deep, but they were doing so really well and in the 40th minute a ball from McGuinness found Pattison on the left. The winger cut inside and then instead of shooting he chose to pass to Owens and Brown was able to get across to clear.

In the final minute of the half Gott forced a great save out of Foden firing in a low shot from a freekick  which the keeper did well to turn away for a corner.

This was to be his last contribution to the game as he limped off at half time with a groin / hip problem.

As with the first half RCA continued to frustrate Darlington and showed great battling qualities without setting the game alight in the final third of the pitch.

RCA's best chance of the half fell to Pattison, but the winger was again guilty of hesitancy and the ball was taken off his foot by Brown.

Darlington’s fitness began to tell as the game drifted into the final 15 minutes and Purewal came close poking a shot over the bar from 15 yards.

RCA must have thought that they could pinch a draw as they piled men forward for a corner in the 80th minute, only for Bell to pluck the ball out of the air and send it straight to Thompson who again cut inside onto his right foot, but fired over.

With seven minutes left, another darting run by Thompson, who looked to have the whole pitch to himself, saw him go past two defenders before playing a one-two with Johnson before lifting an exquisite chip over the keeper from 20 yards and into the net.

Within a minute it was 3-0 as Scott moved into the area and, with the RCA defence at sixes and sevens, stroked the ball past substitute keeper Ball and into the net.

Super sub Johnson as he is becoming known as, continued his record of scoring from the bench when he made it 4-0 in the 88th minute with a simple tap in after a goalmouth scramble.

RCA did show glimpses of the commitment needed to compete against the best in the league, but in the end it was fitness which did it for Darlington, Fitness and Finishing.

Thompson was once again almost unplayable, but there were some notable performances from RCA tonight, Close led by example, Redman could establish himself at this level in the future and debutant Drysdale kept Gott quiet for most of the game. Everyone played a part until that dreaded last ten minutes.

Keep the faith.

Sunderland RCA FC 1 Billingham Town FC 0

Centre forward Ross Preston in action in the second half of the match.

Saturday, 06 March 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: SRCA: Clarke.

Please click here for photos from the match.

Another hard fought win against a team, like ourselves, struggling at the wrong end of the league.

With goalkeeper Foden suffering a torn glutean maximus (whatever that is) muscle and out for the rest of the season the RCA management installed able deputy Jonathan Ball between the sticks for this very important Northern League relegation battle.

Billingham for their part had won five out of their last six games, only losing to Spennymoor Town.

In the early stages neither team seemed able to settle into a rythme and the hard uneven pitch was adding to the problems encountered by the player as the ball bounced erratically.

It wasn't until the 16th minute that a chance was created when a long ball was missed by the RCA defence and Brunskill turned but mistimed his shot.

Five minutes later, Garbutt dispossesed Shaw and sent a 50 yard pass into the path of Flockett who fired in a shot which was deflected for a corner.

RCA were pricked into action by this and Close fed the ball through for Clarke whose shot was charged down by Butterworth, only as far as McGuinness who curled a lovely shot narrowly wide of the upright.

As the game wore on it became clear that neither team looked capable of finishing in front of goal.

Preston, playing in an unfamiliar forward role chased down a ball from Wardle, winning the ball in the corner he played in Shields who picked out Clarke with a deft chip but the RCA striker could only head his effort wide.    

The rest of the first half staggered uneventfully to half time with both teams guilty of poor passing and woeful shooting.

The second half started a lot better than the first half, in the opening minute a good run and cross by Macdonald was well held by Ball in the RCA goal with Brunskill on hand to pick up on any mistake.

Close picked up the ball in midfield before squaring it to Marron who ran 20 yards with the ball before unleashing a shot which flew over the bar.

The impressive Preston closed down Butterworth and the ball sprang to Close who passed wide to Shaw who looked to lob Molyneux, but only succeeded in passing the ball into the keeper's hands.

A cross into the box by Brunskill was easily dealt with by McGuinness, but the ball fell to Selby who fired in a shot just wide of the upright.

Billingham were starting to get a foothold into the game and were awarded a freekick 22 yards out. Butterworth stepped up and blasted in a dipping swerving shot which Ball did exceptionally well to turn round the post for a corner.

Back came RCA with Shaw bursting down the left and forcing a corner off Gaston. Shields took the corner and Wardle's downward header was blocked by Risbrough and scrambled away for another corner by Wray. Again Shields took the corner and this time Wardle headed wide of the upright.

The only goal of the game came in the 71st minute and was simplistic in its construction. Close ran down the left wing to deliver a left foot cross which somehow eluded three Billingham defenders before reaching Clarke who scuffed the ball beyond the reach of Molyneux and into the corner of the net.

Billingham were stung into action and Brunskill was guilty of a glaring miss as he picked up a cross from Flockett but his hastily taken shot went harmlessly wide.

RCA had a great chance themselves to sew up the match when Preston won th eball and gave it to Shields who crosses into the box, but Risbrough intercepted the ball before it reached Shaw.

In the final flurry by Billingham, Butterworth pushed forward and had an effort which went high over the bar.

Not a game for the purest as passes went astray and there was no real impetus to the game, but from RCA's perspective it was three well earned points.

Team Northumbria on Monday will be a different kettle of fish and we will need to be a lot better than today.


Team Northumbria FC 5 Sunderland RCA FC 1

Monday, 08 April 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: TN: Sherlock (2) Marshal (2) Cavener :  SRCA: Shaw.

On a bitterly cold night RCA were destroyed by the fluent passing and movement of Team Northumbria.

With players unavailable through injury and work commitments, Dixon and Drysdale were brought in but the bench was decidedly void of players with just two named only of which never arrived.

In the opening 10 minutes both teams played well, attacking at pace but not threatening and the defences were able to deal quite comfortably with what was thrown at them.

In the 11th minute a long ball from Wardle was flicked on by Preston to Shaw who cut inside his marker before placing his shot wide of the keeper; unfortunately it also went wide of the far post.

The game seemed to burst into life at this point, a smart run down the right by Marshal was stopped by McGuinness, but the ball sprang free to Sherlock, who thundered in a shot from 35 yards which went narrowly over the bar.

The goalkick from Ball was met by Preston who slipped the ball to Dixon. He clipped the ball into the area for Shaw who from 10 yards out poked the ball over the bar.

It was end-to-end fooball and the pace of the game was frightening. Sayer picked up the ball from Jennison, played the ball out wide to Marshal who ran 35 yards unopposed before delivering a pass to Cairns who blasted the ball over the bar.

Team Northumbria took the lead in the 26th minute when a lovely through ball by Jury bounced invitingly for Cavener and the centre forward lobbed over the head of the advancing Keeper.

Worse was to follow four minutes later when a move, started by Sayer was finished by ex-RCA player Marshal, the build up play was mesmerising but the inexplicable lapse by Ball in the RCA goal rushing out and leaving the goal area exposed gave Team Northumbria the sort of chance that they rarely miss.

RCA started a mini revival as they surged forward looking for some inspiration and it came in the form of a dribble and shot from Dixon who forced a terrific save from Jennison. From the corner Drysdale rose best but could only steer his header wide of the goal.

Then Clarke receiving the ball with his back to goal managed to get the ball through to Preston, but the striker, at full stretch, could only steer the ball wide of the target.

RCA started the second half looking to try and add to the momentum they had built up towards the end of the first half, but the Team Northumbria defence held firm and looked menacing on the break.

So it was that in the 55th minute a wonderfully controlled clearance from Story found Riley who passed inside for Sherlock and he made no mistake to make it 3-0.

Within a minute RCA should have got one back as Shaw took the ball past two defenders before sliding the ball to Drysdale who, under pressure, got in a great cross to Clarke three yards out but the striker hooked the ball over the bar.

Gary Shaw gave RCA a little hope of a recovery when he latched onto a through ball and fired the ball under the body of Jennison.

Within a minute it could so easily have been 3-2 when Clarke hit the bar from inside the six yard box.

It was obviously not going to be RCA's night and it got even worse when Shelock picked up the ball on the left and completely bamboozled two RCA defenders before firing past Ball for his second and Team Nothumbria's fourth.

Team Northumbria continued to press forward and it seemed inevitable that a fifth goal would come this time another swift move saw the ball switched from the left by Sayer into the path of the unmarked Marshal who gave Ball no chance from 12 yards out.

The fitter team won tonight and they along with Darlington have been the best passing team we have played all season and in all four games against these teams we have been well beaten.



Ashington FC 3 Sunderland RCA FC 1

RCA's Adam McGuinness attacks during the first half of the match.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: Ashington: Grieve, O'Dea, Antony. SRCA:  Shaw.

Please click here for photos from the match.

Preparation for this important EBAC Northern League match was disrupted once again when Nicholas Kane was pulled out of the starting line-up with an injury sustained in the warm up. Gary Shields replaced him.

After the 5-1 defeat at Team Nothumbria SRCA were looking for an improvement. Marron switched back to a more familiar central defensive role and Drysdale moved to right back with Richards returning from suspension occupying the centre of midfield.

However all this was to no avail as Ashington swept RCA aside in the first 11 minutes taking a 2-0 lead.

RCA conceded a corner in the first minute and Grieve rose head and shoulders above everyone else to power in an unstoppable header.

Straight from the kick off Ashington were back on the attack and it took a superb save from Ball to prevent Walton from making it 2-0.

The only response was a through ball from Close to Clarke who, although firing in a shot which Dryden saved easily, might have done better to square the ball to the on coming Shaw.

In the 11th minute Ashington increased their lead when Godsmarck crossed in to O'Dea who calmly side stepped the RCA defence before slotting the ball home.

The "Colliers" went into comfort mode for the next 20 minutes, a lot of midfield passing, but no final thrust. RCA for their part were also finding it hard to make any inroads to a solid looking Ashington defence.

On the half hour mark Walton had another great chance, the ball was swept into the box by Johnson and from inside the six yard area Walton fired over the bar.

Minutes later O'Dea went on a run up the right, then cut inside before curling in a shot which went narrowly wide of the upright.

RCA's only real reply came from Close who picked the ball up 25 yards out before thundering in a shot which Dryden did well to save.

As half time approached a long ball out of defence by Greive sent Walton clear of the RCA defence and either by luck or good judgement Ball managed to save the ball between his legs.

Whatever was said to the RCA team at half time had the desired effect.

The introduction of Gordon for the aging and ineffective Clarke put instant pressure on the Colliers' defence. A free kick from McGuinness found Shaw who cut the ball back to Gordon and the striker fired narrowly wide.

RCA pulled a goal back in the 49th minute. Shields did well to stop the ball from going out of play, slipped it to Close who in turn picked out Shaw inside the area. Shaw looked up before curling a fiercly struck shot into the far top corner of the net.

The came was coming to life and when the inspirational Close won a corner on the right it almost set up the equaliser as Shields flicked McGuinness' corner kick just wide of the upright with Dryden beaten.

Two minutes later and Shields and Close were involved again this time Shields turned provider as his cross was met by Preston but the forward could only manage to head into Dryden's hands.

Unfortunately for RCA not taking their chances when they cam along was to cost them dear. A high ball into the RCA box was cleared by Marron, but the ball fell to Antony 25 yards from goal and he blasted in a shot which rocketed into the net past a bewildered RCA defence.

RCA were not finished and continued to press forward. A long clearance by Ball fell to Shaw who crossed in to Preston but he was stretching to far and fired over the bar.  

Both sides started to tire towards the end of the game and neither keeper was really tested in the final 10 minutes.

Once again our failings are defending set pieces, not closing down in vital areas and and inability to be direct in front of goal.

Positives to come out of the game: the performance in the second half was very encouraging, Shields on the right gave 100%, Close continues to lead by example, Gordon and Shaw both played their part especially in the second half and Drysdale has impressed in the games he has played, just doing the job he has been asked to do effectively.

As Paolo Di Canio has said of SAFC evey game has to be treated like a cup final from now until the end of the season. The same must apply to SRCA. The team has too much quality to be involved in relegation battle.

We probably now require nine points from five games to retain 1st Division status. Starting at Consett on Wednesday. 




Consett FC 3 Sunderland RCA FC 0

RCA's Ian Redman goes shoulder to shoulder with a Consett forward.

17 April 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: Consett: Guerin-Lokonga, Sullivan (2).

Please click here for photos from the match.

Another dismal day at the office for the RCA team as they succumbed to two quick goals just before the half hour, missed a penalty, hit the bar and then conceded a goal mid-way through the second half.

The team need to pull together now for the remaining fixtures of the season to avoid the drop into the second division. Coincidentally this would replicate the last time RCA were relegated, three years after promotion to the first division.

Consett made it look easy playing four games in seven days and recording victories in all four games and only conceding one goal. In stark contrast to RCA who have shipped 12 goals while only scoring two in their last four games

A cross wind greeted the two teams as they came out for RCA's last visit to Bell Vue and the wind caused a lot of problems in the first 20 minutes as both teams tried to get to grips with the conditions.

In the 22nd minute an inocuous looking cross from Robson was easily caught by Foden in the RCA goal but the referee pointed to the spot, deeming that Redman had pushed Sullivan inside the box. Up stepped ex-RCA star Guerin-Lokonga to make no mistake from the spot. How many times when he was at RCA did he have the ball taken off him to watch someone else miss the penalty?

Within two minutes it was 2-0 as RCA once again collapsed at the back. A corner was swung into the box and although initally cleared it fell to the unmarked Sullivan who smashed it into the top corner.

It was all one way traffic at this point and when Lund cut in from the left and unleashed a terrific shot it looked all over a goal until Foden somehow managed to get a hand to the ball and divert it for a corner. 

RCA rallied towards the end of the half and a well taken freekick by Clarke had Elliott scrambling to turn round the post for a corner. 

RCA's best chance of the half came when they were awarded a penalty five minutes before the break, but Elliott once again denied Clarke with a fine save.

The wind effected the second half even more as it seemed to get worse.

In the 52nd minute a freekick from Smith rattled the RCA upright and flew away from the advancing Sullivan and was cleared.

Sullivan then made it 3-0 in the 56th minute, reacting to a Lund shot which was brilliantly saved by Foden to power a shot into the empty net.

RCA tried in vain to get something from this game, however their lack of composure in and around the opponents goal was all too evident. McGuinness did strike a lovely freekick against the cross bar in a frantic last five minutes, but the result was never really in doubt.

Sunderland RCA FC 0 Dunston UTS 1

Ross Preston returned to his usual defensive duties after playing up front for a few matches.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Scorer: UTS: Craggs

Please click here for photos from the match.

Please click here for Ken Fitzpatrick's photos from the match.

Well what a change from the dismal display on Wednesday, RCA bounced back with a match full of character and heart.

A goal down after just 25 seconds and a man down after 35 minutes the remaining 10 men produced a plucky display which almost got them a well deserved draw, only the referee blowing for an infringement, when Clarke headed into the Dunston goal stopped them equalising.

The game started in dramatic fashion, from the kick off the ball was played to Pickering who sent a long ball down the right wing to Shaw, his cross was met by Craggs who had time to controll the ball before guiding the ball  past Foden to make it 1-0 after 25 seconds.

RCA came back and almost equalised when Home-Jackson cut inside on the right and crossed in to Gordon who flicked his header on to Shaw who could only guide his shot wide of the upright.

Home-Jackson's injury woes continued as he limped off after eight minutes with what looked like a hamstring problem.

Dunston's next real attack came on 15 minutes when Shaw was again the provider this time it was Teasdale who found space, but could only head into the arms of Foden.

Although RCA were playing well the old failing of a lot of possession was not creating any real chances up front continued.

Dunston for their part looked dangerous when they attacked, a corner taken by Craggs was headed over the bar by Swailes and Burrell was denied when Foden brought off a good save.

In between these efforts Clarke, on for the injured Home-Jackson, received a through ball from Richards and fired in a shot which bounced just in front of Clark, the Dunston keeper, who made the save.

In the 35th minute after a foul tackle by Young on Richards, the RCA player retaliated and was given a straight red card.

Dunston stepped up a gear and only some heroic defending kept the score at 1-0. A goal mouth scramble in the 40th minute saw no less than four shots blocked by RCA players as they put their bodies on the line for the cause.

The second half saw 10 men RCA taking the game to Dunston, it was difficult at times to tell who had the 10 men.

On the hour mark Close picked up the ball 45 yards out and ran at the Dunston defence before unleashing a terrific shot from 25 yards which had Clark scrambling to push round the post.

There followed a succession of corners which saw Clarke's header deflected wide, then a McGuinness header  hit a defender on the line and was cleared for another corner.

It was all RCA at this point and when Kane flicked the ball over Robson's head and then over Swailes head he looked in a good position to finish, but the ball bounced awkwardly and his effort flew over the bar.

RCA did get the ball in the net in the 70th minute when Shaw's corner was powerfully headed into the net by Clarke, but he was adjudged to have pushed a Dunston defender prior to scoring.

Dunston were reduced to counter attacks utilising the pace of substitute McAndrew.

As the game wore on RCA just got better and better and it was Dunston's turn to defend in depth and Swailes was outstanding, repelling attack after attack. Four corners in quick succession were all dealt with by the big centre half and his co defenders.

It was a testament to RCA's superiority in this second half that it wasn't until the 85th minute that they posed a real threat when McAndrew crossed in from the right wing to Bulford who, unmarked 8 yards out, headed over the bar.

In the last minute of normal time RCA were awarded a freekick on the edge of the box, Clarke stepped up and fired in a shot which beat both the keeper and the far post.

Today's performance was what a lot of supporters have been looking for from this team, we knew that the players are good enough, they just need to believe in themselves. the only thing missing from today's performance was goals. They will come if we continue to play as we did today. 

Sunderland RCA FC 0 Whitley Bay FC 1

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goal scorer: Whitley Bay: Wardle og.

Sunderland RCA welcomed Whitley Bay to Meadow Park for this re-arranged Ebac Northern League match after the first was called off when the electricity supply unit failed and almost set fire to the away dressing room.

Also in attendance at the match was a film crew from the FA who were doing a piece on the Secret Shoppers initiative. It has to be said that both dug outs seem well behaved and but for a few lapses by the players the general mood was one of let's enjoy the game.

RCA made only one change to the team that played so well on Saturday, Redman came in for Richards and the misfield was reshuffled so the Marron moved into misfield to partner Close.

A brisk opening five minutes saw both teams go close. A break by Shaw was halted by Reid but the loose ball was picked up by Marron who fired goalward, the ball took a deflection for a corner and the resulting kick was cleared by Kerr.

In Bay's first attack Kerr found Davis with a direct ball, but his cross into the box was cut out by Redman and the danger was averted.

RCA then produced a great move. Shaw picking the ball up on the right touchline cut inside and beat two defenders, forced along the edge of the 18 yard line he produced a lovely through ball to Marron but the midfielder was unable to get his shot on target.

The impressive Kerr once again picked up a ball deep in his own half before releasing an inch perfect pass to Chow who fired straight at Foden.

In the 16th minute, a long ball out of defence found Fawcett on the right wing and in acres of space, the Bay winger whipped in a cross which was deflected into his own goal by Wardle with Chow in close attendance.

Unfazed by this set back, RCA continued to take the game to Whitley Bay and in their next attack Shaw once again looked to cut inside before shootng narrowly wide.

Whitley Bay took a firm grip on the game just before the half hour mark and it was only some fine defending than averted an avalanche of goals, Reid combined with Davis to create an opening but the Bay defender fired straight at Foden, then a beautifully weighted crossfield ball from Kerr was inches away from Chow who from five yards out would surely have scored if he made any contact and then a little backheel flick from Robinson fell to Brooking who also shot straight at Foden.

Having survived this onslaught RCA looked to get back in the game and a long ball from McGuinness found Gordon on the edge of the box, his shot was blocked and the rebound fell to McGuinness but his curling shot went wide.

In the final minutes of the half a raking shot by Shaw beat Hammond in the Bay goal but went narrowly wide of the upright.

The second half was in much the same vein as the first but reversed as RCA took the initiative and Whitley Bay were forced to defend.

Shaw was causing problems for the Bay defenders and was really unlucky when he latched onto a bouncing ball from Close, he got to the ball before Hammond but could not find the net with his lob, the keepe managing to get a hand to it.

Davis, at the other end, fired wide when in a good position.

RCA seemed to sense that they could get something out of the game and continued to push forward, a cross into the box by McGuinness was headed out for a corner by Blake the resulting kick was headed into the danger zone by wardle but Reid scrambled the ball clear.

Back came RCA. Shaw fed a lovely ball through to Gordon who fired in a vicious shot which Hammond did well to parry out but only as far as Marron who fired over the bar from 12 yards out.

It was relentless pressure fromn RCA, but nothing to show for their efforts, throwing men forward did have its drawbacks as Chow started to find space in the RCA defence. Twice in quick succession the ball was cleared up field into the path of Chow and both times he was not able to test Foden as he slid the ball wide of the post. One the one occassion he did hit the target Foden was equal to the shot and saved easily.

As the game entered the final 10 minutes, it seemed that it was only a matter of time before RCA scored. Attack after attack was being thwarted by a rock solid Bay defence and when RCA did breach it Hammond was in fine form.

In the 85th minute RCA were awarded a freekick on the edge of the box, McGuinness took the kick, floating it to the back post where Close rose and headed against the post from three yards out.

The game ended with RCA still attacking but not getting any luck in front of goal.

Another excellent performance by the whole team and a good game to watch for the neutral. If RCA can continue to perform at this level until the end of the season then points should start to coming their way.

The performances of Marron, Close and Redman were exceptional tonight, but everyone played their part in a great team performance.

Whitley Bay played their part in a very entertaining match with Kerr, Scroggins and Reid the pick of their team.

Sunderland RCA FC 1 Billingham Synthonia FC 3

RCA's Nick Cane in second half midfield action.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goal Scorers: SRCA: Gordon:  Synners: Close og, Newby, Huggins.

Please click here for photos from the match.

The woes of RCA continued. When you are near the bottom of the league things always seem to conspire against you: today, an own goal and three penalties (one missed) all to Billingham Synthonia. When your luck is out it is well and truely out.

RCA kept the same team that played so well against Whitley Bay in midweek although the shape of the team looked a little unfamiliar at kick off as they looked to play with three at the back.

In the opening minute, as with the match on Tuesday, a ball into space behind McGuinness almost created a goalscoring chance but J Wilson's cross was intercepted and cleared by Preston.

Then a ball from Liddle released Cattermole on the right. His cross was met by Jameson, but his shot was charged down by Wardle.

RCA were awarded freekick 25 yards out and Close took responsibility firing narrowly wide.

In the 5th minute Synners' opened the scoring Jameson picked up the ball on the right, ran 15 yards with it before sending in a low cross which was turned into his own goal by Brian Close.

Five minutes later and it was 2-0 Foden came tearing out of his goal and in trying to clear the ball collided with Jameson, the referee awarded a penalty and Newby made no mistake from the spot.

Synners were flowing now and two minutes later Liddle found McWilliams on the left he played in Jameson who shot wide of the upright.

As Synners continued to push forward they looked likely to score at will, but some stirling work at the back kept them at bay, however RCA can count themselves lucky that a further penalty was not awarded when Jameson looked to be caught inside the area.

RCA started to make progress up the field and Close clipped in a ball to Gorden who's shot went wide of the upright.

Then Shaw dribbled his way inside the box before passing inside to Kane, but his shot was blocked by Abel.

In the 38th minute RCA pulled a goal back. McGuinness's long ball found Shaw on the left and his cross found Gordon whose first shot hit the post, but he made no mistake with the rebound rifling it into the top corner.

Apart from the goals no keeper had been called upon to make a save until the 40th minute when N Wilson's effort forced a reasonably easy save from Foden.

From the kick off of the second half RCA pushed forward looking for the all important equaliser, but it was Synners who had the first real chance when Porritt had a shot blocked by Redman, the ball was picked up by McGuinness who sent Kane away down the left, He cut the ball bac k and then lobbed Grifiths, but Newby was able to get back head away for a corner.

RCA piled on the pressure at this point and continually threatened the Synners' goal. When Kane received the ball on the edge of the penalty area he lined up his shot but it went just wide of the post.

As the second half settled down Synners started to produce some attacks of their own, most notably when J Wilson found Cattermole on the edge of the box and the Synners captain fired in a shot which was superbly saved by Foden turning the ball round the post.

While RCA continued to threaten they were unable to trouble Griffiths in the Synners goal. A snap shot from Shaw was probably the closest that they came.

Time was running out for RCA and they threw caution to the wind as the pushed more players forward looking to get something out of the game. 

In the 89th minute Synners broke forward and Liddle slipped the ball to Cattermole and he was caught by McGuinness and another penalty was awarded. Newby stepped up again, but this time shot wide of the target.

Was this the change in fortune that RCA had been hoping for? They poured forward again and once again were caught on the break in the 93rd minute when Synners were awarded their third penalty of the game as Wardle was adjudged to have fouled Liddle inside the box. Huggins took charge of the kick this time and made no mistake.

Another decent performance from RCA players, but once again poor decision making has let them down and Synners have taken full advantage.

Next up for RCA will be Billingham Town, the re-arranged match due to the playing of an ineligible player in the game that RCA won 1-0.  


Sunderland RCA FC 2 Billingham Town FC 0

Spectators take their seats for the match.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Goalscorers: SRCA: Clarke (2)

Out of adversity comes strength and purpose and in this penultimate game of the season RCA somehow managed to summon these qualities to produce a performance and a result which can only inspire them to go forward with confidence.

Every player who turned out tonight deserves massive praise for their commitment to the club and its supporters and special mention should be made to Jamie Clarke, who travelled from Manchester to play, and Wayne Henderson, who once again showed his dedication and loyalty to SRCA.

With several players unavailable due to holidays only 12 players were available for selection and of them Gary Shaw had got off his sick bed to be included on the bench.

RCA started the game well and were soon on top, kicking up the slope in the first half they were passing the ball well, but found it difficult to break down a stubborn Billingham defencee.

It wasn't until the 12th minute that either team tested the keeper and it was from a run a cross by Gordon that saw Clarke rise above Gaston to heade goalward but Molyneux was on hand to save easily.

Selby was looking to influence the game from midfield fro Billingham and a through ball from him found Brunskill in space but the billingham forward fired just wide of the upright.

RCA kept up the pressure and forced Billingham into mistakes. A foul by Butterworth on Gary Shields produced a well taken freekick from McGuinness which was headed back acroos goal by Wardle into the path of Gary Shields, but his well drected header was saved by Molyneux.

Molyneux set up MacDonald with a long clearance and the Billingham winger cut inside brfore unleashing a terrific shot which Close did well to head away for a corner.

RCA took the lead in the 27th minute when Richards persistance paid off when he won the ball from Risbrough near the corner flag, slipped the ball to Kane who produced a perfectly flighted cross onto the head of Clarke who made no mistake from six yards out.

A totally dominant RCA were now totally outplaying their rivals and it could so easily have been 2-0 when a shot from Kane was parried into the path of Gordon by Molyneux, but the RCA striker steered his shot wide of the post from five yards out.     

Molyneux was called into action five minutes later when a fierce shot from 25 yards by Gordon looked destined for the bottom corner. The Billingham keeper managed to parry the shot away at full stretch and Risbrough cleared the danger.

With the advanrtage of the slope in the second half RCA continued to press forward, however unlike other matches when they have over committed and been caught on the counter attack, today they kept their shape and looked a much better team.

In the 50th minute a clever reverse pass from Close found Richards and his shot on the run flew narrowly over the bar.

The game started to get a bit scrappy at this point with a lot of misplaced passes and Billingham were guilty of not seeming able to get the ball forward to Brunskill and Martin and when they did they were well marshalled by Wardle and Henderson.

In the 65th minute RCA were unlucky not to score when a McGuinness freekick to the far post was met by Clarke who thundered in a header which was cleared off the line by a Billingham defender.

RCA were then awarded a penalty when Clarke was brought down in the area by Risbrough. The RCA striker dusted himself down and stepped up to send Molyneux the wrong way and make the score 2-0.

The response from Billingham cmae in the form a a cross from Macdonald which found the head of Brunskill, but he could only head over the bar and craig shields looked to have it covered.

Marron who was now bossing the midfield picked up the ball on the half way line moved forward unapposed before slipping the ball to Gordon who fired wide of the target.

As the game entered the final few minutes, RCA were happy to retain possession of the ball and Billingham looked like they just wanted the final whistle to blow.

The players tonight have thrown RCA a lifeline and a win next week against Shildon will put further pressure on Newcastle Benfield in their final two matches.


Sunderland RCA FC 0 Shildon AFC 3

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

EBAC Northern League Division 1

Please click here for Sky Tyne and Wear video.

Finally we can say that the season is over and unfortunately history has repeated itself as relegation has followed three seasons of Northern League Division 1 football. Of course the season isn't quite over yet and there could be a sting in the tail. All should be revealed on the 17 May 2013 when the FA committee will make its final decisions on promotion and relegation issues.

The final game of the season brought a weary looking Shildon team to Meadow Park, with nothing left to play for both teams looked below their best as they played in front of both Sky TV and BBC televison cameras.

The main pre match action took place in the bar where Shildon's secretary John Atkinson managed to secure the release of a bottle of white wine from "Defty's Diner" for the princely sum of £3.00. Bargaining Defty down from the dizzy heights of £5.00. Who says that there is no generosity in the Northern League.

The off field problems continued at RCA with the theft last Friday/Saturday of scaffolding poles used on the walkway to seperate the players from the spectators.

In the opening minute Wood should have put Shildon in front when Mark Foden fumbled a shot into the path of Wood who somehow managed to slide the ball wide of the upright. A minute later and the same player had another chance, but with only the keeper to beat he again fired wide.

A run by Shaw on the left wing almost produced a goal when he played in McGuinness but the RCA defender's shot cleared the bar.

In the 15th minute a lovely pass from Close found Kane and he skipped past two defenders before getting in his shot which was deflected for a corner.

RCA were passing the ball well and Close seemed to be at the start of every promising move, a through ball from him to Clarke at the far post set up Shaw, he received Clarke's header inside the box turned and shot but his effort was turned round teh post by Jake Johnson.

Shildon took the lead in the 40th minute when a corner from Hughes was met by Briggs and took a deflection past the helpless Foden in the RCA goal.

Early in the second half keeper Foden was injured in a collision with Owens and went off to be replaced by RCA's only substitiute Craig Shields.

On the hour mark Shildon were 2 up with a dubious goal. A cross from Owen was headed in at the far post Hughes, who looked to be well off-side inside the six yard area, but the goal was allowed to stand.

The game was over as a contest now and both teams looked leg weary and ready for the final whistle, but there was time for another unusual goal when Adam Johnston scored direct from a corner.

3-0 it finished and probably on chances Shildon just edged it, it might have been a different sort of game had there been something to play for. 


Squad pen pictures

Jonathan Ball

Goalkeeper signed from Whitley Bay, Jonathan is a good shot stopper and has a asafe pair of hand. He has bags of confidence and shows that in his general play. Hopefully he can avoid the goalie plague that has hit Sunderland RCA this season.

Jamie Clarke

Recently signed from Darlington 1883. Jamie has been plying his trade in the Northern League and the Northern Premier league for more years than he cares to remember yet still remains a constant threat in front of goal. His goalscoring record at this level is second to none. He joins us for his second spell with the club and as he heads towards his 40th we trust that his annual tally of 30 goals a season continues.

Callum Charlton

Callum joins us from Hebburn Town after previously playing for Easington CW. He is an attacking full-back who loves to get forward at every opportunity.

Brian Close

A top quality central midfielder with speed, skill and steel, Brian joined RCA for the 2011-12 season from Stokesley. His league career involved stops at Middlesbrough, Chesterfield and Darlington.

Elliott Cutts

Recently signed from Durham City FC, a grafting midfielder who gives 100% and asks the same from his team mates. Good motivator good tackler and has good distribution skills.

Jordan Dixon

Jordan has been signed from Durham City FC. He is an exciting speedy winger who has an eye for goal. his height belies his courageous attitude to the game. Looks like Hikka might have found a gem here.

Adam Drysdale


Adam has been signed from neighbours Seaham Red Star.He is a classy defender who gets on with the job efficiently and effectively.He is a versatile player who can play in any defensive role he is also deceptively quick and reads the game well.


Eugene Ferry

Signed from Derry City in Northern Ireland, Eugene is a professional goalkeeper who has a safe pair of hand, is a great shot stopper and his distribution skills are excellent.

Mark Foden

Mark is an outstanding young keeper who we have signed on a work experience until the end of the season. Mark is currently on a pro contract with Hartlepool United where he is held in high regard.He is a tall keeper who commands his area, is a good shot stopper and has great distribution skills.

Kevin Gordon

Kevin has been signed from Seaham Red Star. He is a striker who has natural pace. Kevin was top scorer for Red Star in season 2011-2012, but has suffered a number of injuries this season. We are hopeful that he will return to goalscoring ways in the Red and White of SRCA.

Lewis Graham

Goalkeeper signed from Durham City, played last season in the Evo-Stick league. A good shot stopper with a safe pair of hands and excellent distribution of the ball.

Josh Home-Jackson

Recent signing from Durham City FC, Josh can play as a wide man of in the centre of midfield, an attack minded player who possesses a lot of skill. Formerly with Sunderland AFC, Josh is a great addition to the squad.

Nick Kane

Recently signed from Newcastle Benfield FC Nick is a a quality midfielder who will add pace to the team, comfortable on the ball, he also possesses a great range of passes. His inclusion in the squad should give us more attacking options.

Thomas Marron

Thomas joins RCA from Marske United, He is a strong, quick centre back who is tough in the tackle. He reads the game well and makes the game look too easy at times. Once he settles in he will be a great asset.

Patrick McClean

Patrick has signed from Northern Irish club Derry City: The younger brother of Sunderland AFC’s James McClean. He comes highly recommended and is known to be a pacy player who can play in a number of positions.

Adam McGuinness

Adam returns to the club after a short spell at Hebburn Town. Addsy has a sweet left foot and can play in any defensive position. Loves running with the ball, possesses great vision and can’t half hit a dead ball. Great to see him back.

Nathan Monson

Nathan has signed after training with the first team squad. Previously, he played for Burscough Athletic reserves and comes highly recommended. Nathan has pace to burn, likes to attack defenders and is a good reader of the game. He scores his fair share of goals and should be a great addition to the squad.

Lee Owens

Lee has missed almost a full season through work commitments so it is good to see him back playing football. He has been signed from Whitley Bay and if reproducing the form of two seasons ago he will be brilliant signing. Lee is an old fashioned winger, can play on either flank and is capable of torturing defenders when in the mood. Another shrewd move by management if they can keep him playing.

John Parker

A recent signing from West Auckland Town, John renews his partnership with Ross Preston at the heart of the defence. He is a strong and physical defender and has the ability to read the game and make it look easy.

Michael Pattison

Signed from Chester Le Street, Michael returns for his second spell at the club where he started his Northern League career. He is a versatile forward who is comfortable playing up front or as a winger if required. Loves to take defenders on and has an eye for goal.

Ross Preston

Ross is a centre half and good all-round defender, who Neil has tried to sign for the last four seasons, finally prizing him away from West Auckland where he was part of the Wembley Vase squad.

Ian Redman

Ian has been signed from local football, a strong central defender who is good in the air and quick on the ground. Reads the game well but possibly needs games under his belt at this level.


Scott Richards

Scott has returned to the RCA cause from a spell at Esh Winning. Scott is a very experienced central midfielder who combines skill, drive and determination with a desire to win. He is strong and courageous in the tackle and can pass the ball effectively.

Jarrett Rivers

Jarrett has been signed from Middlesbrough FC on Work Experience. He is an energetic winger with bags of energy. He has pace to burn, loves to dribble and has an eye for goal.

Gary Shaw

Gary has signed from Durham City, he is a pacy winger who scores his fair share of goals. Loves to take on defenders and has the ability to turn defence into attack with his quick thinking and passing.

Craig Shields

Keeper Craig returns to the club from Horden CW. He's registered as a player, but his duties will be mostly on the coaching side rather than on the field. Although if the manager is short of a forward then Craig could be your man. However freekicks are not in his remit (ask the corner flag at Spennymoor).

Gary Shields

Gary, a Sunderland East End lad, has a wealth of Northern League experience, he scores his fair share of goals and is a great, committed team player. A bit of a joker off the field, he has been known to upset a few opponents with his banter. A the ripe old age of ... Gary can still see most players off in training. Roll on the "bleep test."

Andrew Sullivan

Andrew has been signed from Horden CW FC. He is a left sided defender / wing back. A youngster who has potential and will provide us with much needed left wing cover.

Paul Wardle

Paul is welcomed back to fold after a spell at rivals Hebburn Town. An experienced centre-back who loves a header and is a commanding figure at the heart of the defence, Paul also captains Plains Farm, one of the top Sunday League sides in the north-east.

Management Team:

Neil Hixon (Manager)

Neil has been around the Northern League for more years than he cares to remember and has brought all of that experience to Sunderland RCA. The last three seasons have seen a distinct improvement in the fortunes of the club, culminating in promotion and Neil has been central to that transformation. He sets high standards and is ably assisted by his backroom staff, which now also includes Carl Beasley as Assistant Manager.

George Herd (Head Coach)

Nothing can be written about George that has not already been said. As a coach he is second to none at this level, possibly at any level. He has the respect of everyone at the club and his enthusiasm is infectious. He is at an age when most people would be looking to put their feet up, but not George. He continues to coach at a high tempo and will not accept second best from anyone. A legend in his playing days at Sunderland, he is now a Super Legend as a coach at Sunderland RCA FC.

Ian Smith (Coach)

Sunderland born Ian has joined us from Redby CA, where he was head coach. He's looking to advance his coaching career with RCA completing his UEFA B coaching qualification last season.

Steven Shaw - Physio

Sports Therapy graduate, Steven Shaw brings qualifications and experience to the RCA physio role: two seasons at Middlesbrough and stints with Morpeth Town, Hebburn Reyrolle and Seaham Red Star. For the day job, Steven runs Sports Therapy PT.

RCA Grangetown Florists


Competition  Date  Home      Away
John Daley Memorial Trophy 22 July 2012  RCA Grangetown Florists 2 0  Ryhope CW
Friendly 29 July 2012  Wearside Wildcats 0 4  RCA Grangetown Florists
Friendly 5 August 2012  Kelloe WMC 1 2  RCA Grangetown Florists
Sunderland Sunday League - Premier 19 August 2012  Herrington CW 2 3  RCA Grangetown Florists
Sunderland Sunday League - Premier 30 August 2012  The Ashbrooke 2 1  RCA Grangetown Florists
Durham County Sunday Cup 2 September 2012  RCA Grangetown Florists 3 2  Ferryhill Saints
Total Sport Challenge Trophy 9 September 2012  Lambton Worm 0 6  RCA Grangetown Florists
Sunderland Sunday League - Premier 16 September 2012  RCA Grangetown Florists 1 3  Farringdon SC
Durham County Sunday Cup 23 September 2012  Hartlepool Camerons Old Boys 0 8  RCA Grangetown Florists
Sunderland Sunday League - Premier 30 September 2012  Grangetown WMC 1 6  RCA Grangetown Florists
Sunderland Sunday League - Premier 7 October 2012  Humbledon Plains Farm 3 3  RCA Grangetown Florists
Durham County Sunday Cup 14 October 2012  RCA Grangetown Florists 5 0  Shotley Cricketers
Carlsberg FA Sunday Cup 21 October 2012  RCA Grangetown Florists 2 1  Northallerton Sportsmans
Durham County Sunday Cup 4 November 2012  Billingham Constitutional Club 4 2  RCA Grangetown Florists
Total Sport Challenge Trophy 11 November 2012  RCA Grangetown Florists 3 1  Sandhills
Joe Holborn Memorial Trophy 18 November 2012  Ryhope CW 0 1  RCA Grangetown Florists
Carlsberg FA Sunday Cup 6 January 2013  RCA Grangetown Florists 3 0  Liverpool Eden Vale
Carlsberg FA Sunday Cup 13 January 2013  T8's FC 0 1  RCA Grangetown Florists
Carlsberg FA Sunday Cup 3 February 2013  RCA Grangetown Florists 0 2  HT Sports FC
Sunday League Cup 10 February 2013  Castleview 0 8  RCA Grangetown Florists
Sunday League Cup 17 February 2013  Ryhope CW 1 6  RCA Grangetown Florists
Joe Holborn Memorial Trophy 24 February 2013  RCA Grangetown Florists 4 1  Steels Athletic
Sunderland Sunday League - Premier 28 February 2013  RCA Grangetown Florists 2 0  Ryhope CW
Total Sport Challenge Trophy 3 March 2013  RCA Grangetown Florists 2 0  Myers
Sunderland Sunday League - Premier 7 March 2013  Silksworth Paragon 0 1  RCA Grangetown Florists
Sunderland Sunday League - Premier 14 March 2013  RCA Grangetown Florists 3 2  Herrington CW
Joe Holborn Memorial Trophy 17 March 2013  RCA Grangetown Florists 3 1  Silksworth Paragon
Sunderland Sunday League - Premier 31 March 2013  RCA Grangetown Florists 2 1  Hylton Castle TWR
Sunderland Sunday League - Premier 4 April 2013  Hylton Castle TWR 2 4  RCA Grangetown Florists
Sunderland Sunday League - Premier 7 April 2013  RCA Grangetown Florists 0 2  Humbledon Plains Farm
Sunderland Sunday League - Premier 9 April 2013  Ryhope CW 1 4  RCA Grangetown Florists
Sunderland Sunday League - Premier 11 April 2013  RCA Grangetown Florists 1 5  Myers
Sunderland Sunday League - Premier 14 April 2013  Myers 2 3  RCA Grangetown Florists
Sunderland Sunday League - Premier 21 April 2013  RCA Grangetown Florists 10 1  Grangetown WMC
Sunderland Sunday League - Premier 25 April 2013  RCA Grangetown Florists 5 0  The Ashbrooke
Sunderland Sunday League - Premier 28 April 2013  RCA Grangetown Florists 6 0  Redhouse WMC
Sunderland Sunday League - Premier 30 April 2013  RCA Grangetown Florists 0 1  Silksworth Paragon
Total Sport Challenge Trophy 5 May 2013  Saltgrass 1 4  RCA Grangetown Florists
Sunderland Sunday League - Premier 7 May 2013  Farringdon SC 1 4  RCA Grangetown Florists
Sunderland Sunday League - Premier 12 May 2013  Redhouse WMC 2 1  RCA Grangetown Florists
Joe Holborn Memorial Trophy 19 May 2013  RCA Grangetown Florists 1 1  Farringdon SC
Total Sport Challenge Trophy 23 May 2013  RCA Grangetown Florists 1 2  Farringdon SC



Herrington CW 2 RCA Grangetown Florists 3

Sunday, 19 August 2012 - 10:30am

Sunderland Sunday League - Premier
RCA Grangetown Florists got their season off to a stuttering start against a well organised and youthful Herrington CW, with a 3-2 hard fought victory. 
Herrington started the much brighter against the RCA Florists patched up starting eleven and dominated from the off with good slick passing all round the pitch and confidence on the ball, whilst RCA were sloppy in possession and somewhat disjointed. So it was no surprise that after 10 minutes a quick passing move from in their own half resulted in Rob Hall finding himself in space 18 yards out and he slotted home to the keeper's right to give Herrington a well deserved lead. Unfortunately for them they failed to capitalise on further excellent chances to increase their lead and only went into half time 1-0 ahead.

The second half saw RCA Florists come out much more determined and an equaliser came within two minutes of the restart when Chris Trewick challenged for a cross and the ball seemed to come off the defender's head onto Trewick's and looped over the stranded keeper to bring the scores level.
RCA Florists then began to dominate in midfield and created some decent openings, but then it was their turn to pay for not scoring again when Dean Smith was released through the inside left channel to cooly round the keeper and put Herrington ahead after 65 minutes. Herrington went to sleep immediately from the resumption and allowed John Turvey to set up Micky Wharton who volleyed home from 10 yards. RCA Florists then went for the winner and were rewarded when again John Turvey was allowed room in the penalty box, but was thwarted by the keeper. The ball rebounded to Mick McVay who controlled it on his chest and volleyed left footed across the keeper to put RCA Florists into the lead for the first time, a lead they protected comfortably to full time to give them a 3-2 victory.
Credit to Herrington who played some really attractive football and they will cause problems for a lot of teams in the Premier this season.

The Ashbrooke FC 2 RCA Grangetown Florists 1

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Sunderland Sunday League
Two understrength teams served up a dreadful game that neither side deserved to win. The result centred almost exclusively around RCA Florist centre half Phily Hall, who used up his normal quota of season's mistakes in one game, with both being punished by Ashbrooke's Lewis Hutchinson and Lee Collins, with an equaliser sandwiched in between by the said Phily Hall.
Nothing else worth reporting really!

RCA Grangetown Florists 3 Ferryhill Saints 2

Sunday, 2 September

Durham County Sunday Cup
RCA Florists faced a difficult County Cup First Preliminary Round tie against the in form Ferryhill Saints from the Durham League on a perfect playing surface in ideal conditions. Both sides served up some good football and the game flowed back and forth right up to the final whistle.
The first half saw both sides attacking with flair and the deadlock was broken on 10 minutes when Saints broke from a RCA Florists corner and the ball was squared for an easy tap in to put Saints 1-0 up. RCA however bounced back when Gareth Hill was put clear and he held off the attentions of two defenders to slip the ball past the advancing keeper to bring RCA Florist level after 25 minutes. Saints then had a great opportunity to lead again from the penalty spot after 40 minutes, but squandered the chance by blasting against the bar.

Saints started the second half on the front foot and restored their lead on 60 minutes when RCA Florists left an unmarked Saints forward with the chance to head home at the far post following a free kick. RCA Florists response was to then take  more or less total control of the game and create numerous good chances, all of which were spurned. So just as it looked like luck would desert them the game turned in the last ten minutes, when Gareth Hill nodded back a cross into the six yard box and Steve Clark volleyed home right footed to bring the scores level with five minutes to go.
The game looked to be heading into extra time when in the time added on a deep cross from the right to the far post was challenged for by Martin Metcalfe who was clattered by the Saints keeper. The referee pointed straight to the spot for a penalty, which was subsequently dispatched with some aplomb by Steven Clark again, leaving no time for Saints to respond and giving RCA Florists a 3-2 victory to take them through to the next round.
All in all a great match played in the right spirit and a great time was had by all back in the pub post match. Good luck to Saints for the season.

Lambton Worm FC 0 RCA Grangetown Florists 6

Total Sport Challenge Trophy, First Round

Sunday, 9 September 2012
RCA Grangetown Florists comfortably progressed into the next round of the Total Sport Challenge Trophy when overcoming spirited resistance from 10 man Worm. A first half hat-trick from Chris Trewick was followed with three further second half goals from Brett Chapman, Martin Metcalfe and George McCain to give a final scoreline of 6-0.
Worm never stopped trying to compete and full credit to Graham Taylor's team for that.

Humbledon Plains Farm 3 RCA Grangetown Florists 3

Sunday, 6 October 2012

Sunderland Sunday League Premier Division

RCA Grangetown Florists brought to an end Plains Farms 100% start to the season when they twice came from behind to claim a deserved point with a late equaliser.

Plains Farm took the lead, but recent signing Lewis Hutchinson equalised only for Plains Farm to take the lead again and lead 2-1 at half time. The second half saw Plains Farm further increase their lead to 3-1, but RCA Florists refused to go away and sub Matty Harrison reduced the deficit to 3-2.

In a storming finish RCA Florists got their just rewards when a Phil Hall header crashed against the bar and the rebound was put away by Martin Metcalfe to give a final score of 3-3.

RCA Grangetown Florists 5 Shotley Bridge Cricketers 0

Sunday, 13 October 2012

Durham County Sunday Cup - Third Preliminary Round

RCA Florists progressed smoothly into the First Round of the DFA Sunday Cup with a comfortable 5-0 victory over Shotley Cricketers from the Consett Sunday League. RCA Florists were on the front foot from the start and had a couple of good chances before Martin Metcalfe gave them the lead with a 10th minute penalty. This was followed by three further first half goals, at regular intervals from Chris Trewick, Martin Metcalfe again and Gary Hills to give RCA Florists a 4-0 half time lead. 

Martin Metcalfe had the chance to claim his hat trick immediately after the break, but Shotley's keeper saved well. RCA Florists continued to control the game and introduced subs Chapman, Harrison, Wharton, Curtis and Oliver for Hall, Hills, Metcalfe, Trewick and Kelly and Micky Wharton eventually converted one of numerous chances near the end to give a final score line of 5-0 to RCA Florists.

RCA Grangetown Florists 2 Northallerton Sportsmans 1

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Carlsberg FA Sunday Cup

RCA Grangetown Florists progressed to the Second Round of the Carlsberg FA Sunday Cup with a hard fought 2-1 victory over a very strong Northallerton Sportsmans outfit.

In perfect conditions RCA Florists, including 46 year old John 'Scon' Anderson in goal, were further disrupted after just two minutes when George McCaine was forced out of the game with an ankle injury and had to be replaced with David Rush, but despite this they took control of the game and deservedly took the lead after ten minutes  when Gaz Hill was put through and he dispatched a left foot finish into the bottom right hand corner. Sportsmans responded well and the contest became pretty even with both sides playing some neat passing football. Sportsmans then equalised after 25 minutes when Andrew Ramsbottom headed home a corner and it appeared that would be the half time score. But once again RCA Florists pushed forward and Gaz Hill again pounced when Sportsmans keeper Corps hesitated and he slid the ball home from 10 yards after 42 minutes  to give RCA Florists a half time of 2-1.

Sportsmans came out second half in determined mood and began to dominate possession with centre forward Anderson giving RCA Florists defenders plenty to think about with his good movement and aggression, and home keeper Anderson had to save smartly down to his right after good work produced an opening for Ramsbottom. RCA Florists rearguard was being well marshalled by Hall and McVay, ably assisted by Metcalfe and Kelly, but they could do little about a crisp finish from Anderson that crashed against the post and was scrambled clear. RCA Florists though began to get more control and should have increased their lead late on, but still managed to hold on comfortably in the end for a 2-1 victory and now await the Secind Round draw with great anticipation. Good game played in the right spirit.

RCA Grangetown Florists 3 Sandhills FC 1

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Total Sport Challenge Trophy

RCA Florists progressed to the next round of the Total Sport Challenge Trophy with a hard fought, but well deserved, 3-1 victory over a very well organised and spirited Sandills FC.

In perfect conditions the game started with both sides in confident mood and RCA Florists should have taken the lead after 5mins when Gaz Hill outmuscled a defender and from the edge of the box tried to lob the advancing keeper, only to put it straight into his hands. Sandhills however were playing their part and opened the scoring after 10mins when RCA Florists lost the ball cheaply in midfield and Scott Mallaburn was played in over the top and he calmly advanced, rounded the keeper and slotted home. RCA Florists responded positively with Martin Metcalfe producing good service from the right wing and it was from him that the ball was played across the six yard line to find George McCain unmarked at the far post whose first effort was blocked but he stroked home left footed to bring the scores level. The rest of the first half was fairly even with both sides playing some good football, but the score remained 1-1.

The second half saw RCA Florists playing up the slope and gradually they began to take control, with Chris Trewick and Richie Jordan dominating the midfield and creating numerous good chances, but Sandhills defended resolutely and Gaz Hill in paricular was thwarted three times with goal line clearances, before from yet another corner Chris Trewick turned the ball home at the near post to put RCA Florists 2-1 ahead after 65mins. Further chances came and went for Florists, but Sandhills kept at it and were unfortunate not to have a penalty awarded in their favour for hand ball, but RCA Florists finally took yet another chance when Richie Jordan stroked home confidently after a flowing left wing move to put RCA Florists 3-1 ahead after 80 minutes, a lead they comfortably held to the final whistle.

Good luck to Sandhills who will do very well this year, as they play some good stuff.

RCA Grangetown Florists 3 Liverpool Eden Vale 0

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Carlsberg FA Sunday Cup, Second Round

This much delayed tie finally took place and resulted in a well deserved victory for RCA Florists and a Third Round tie away against Nottingham T8's FC next Sunday, 13 January.

The match kicked off with RCA Florists kicking up the slope and they got off to a dream start when Martin Metcalfe was played in down the left channel and he advanced on towards the keeper and cooly slotted home to give RCA Florists a 1-0 lead after just three minutes. Eden Vale then had a spell on top with left winger Andy Fowler firing in two long range efforts which keeper Snowdon dealt with comfortably. RCA Florists then had two or three good opportunities, again down the left flank, but they were either overplayed or dealt with by Eden Vale's defence or keeper Lake.

The game developed into a dogged affair with both sides playing some decent stuff on a difficult surface, but RCA Florists gained a decisive advantage when they scored through a Phil Hall header from a corner in the 43rd minute to give a hal time score of 2-0 to RCA Florists.

The next goal was always going to be the defining one and Eden Vale came out in determined mood for the start of the second half, but it was RCA Florists who should have extended their lead when Chris Trewick headed over a great chance from six yards ofter 5o minutes. However, with the game becoming more even, it was RCA Florists who hit the decisive goal when Martin Metcalfe broke down the left to the by-line and squared to find Richy Jordan who side footed home from close range to make it 3-0 after 65 minutes.

RCA Florists then played out the remainder of the half comfortably, without taking any chances, to run out 3-0 winners.

Details of travel arrangements for anyone wishing to travel down to Nottingham to support the lads will be posted as soon as information is available, but thanks to the decent crowd who turned out on the day for this match to support us, it's appreciated.

Nottingham T8's FC 0 RCA Grangetown Florists FC 1

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Carlsberg FA Sunday Cup - Third Round

RCA Grangetown Florists produced a superb performance against the previously unbeaten Nottingham T8's, despite being without five of the previous weeks starting eleven, to progress through to the Fourth Round of the national Carlsberg FA Sunday Cup by a 1-0 scoreline courtesy of Gareth Hill's 80th minute header.

Travelling was delayed for nearly an hour while the ground in Hucknall was inspected after an overnight snow flurry, but was declared playable at 8:45am and the coach left for a 1:00pm ko.

Conditions were far from perfect, with a thin covering of snow on the surface at kick off. RCA were missing defenders McVay and Lonsdale, keeper Snowball and midfielders Petch and Metcalfe and started with Harkes in goal, a back four of Rush, Ferguson, Hall, and Kelly with McCain, Jordan, Trewick and Gargett in midfield, Hill and Wharton up top. The subs bench was pretty bare with only Chapman as a regular squad member and two others, namely 'older' stalwarts Churchill and Burns.

T8's started very strongly with their front three causing problems for RCA Florists who were finding it difficult to adjust to the conditions and there were a number of good chances created, especially from numerous corners, but excellent defending and good fortune kept the score goalless and by the 30 minute mark RCA Florists were beginning to get a grip on the game with Trewick and Jordan both prominent. One or two half chances went begging and half time arrived without any score.

RCA Florists then came out in much more confident mood for the second half and really got to grips with the match and began to dominate possession and along with steady defending, especially from the outstanding David Rush at right back, started to make chances, but the all important first goal, which was always going to decide the tie, just would not come. Both Hill and Wharton had efforts blocked and with Ferguson winning headers at dead balls you felt it was just a matter of time. Eventually that proved to be correct when left back Kelly floated in a cross onto the head of Gaza Hill at the near post 12 yards out and his looping header found the top corner, in the 80th minute. RCA then spent the remainder of the match mostly in control of the ball to run out 1-0 winners of this very tough encounter. 

RCA Florists now travel to Brighouse FC in Yorkshire to take on HT Sports FC from Leeds in the last 16 next Sunday, 20 January.

RCA Grangetown Florists 4 Steels Athletic 1

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Joe Holborn Memorial Trophy

RCA Grangetown Florists progressed to a semi-final meeting with Paragon by virtue of this comfortable 4-1 victory over a spirited Steels outfitit in the Joe Holborn Memorial Trophy. With the pitch in remarkably good condition RCA Florists started kicking down the slope and were quickly into their stride, missing a couple of great openings when one on one with the keeper. But Steels net minder Craig Jeffries made the first of his numerous good stops to thwart RCA Florists efforts until the 20th minute when Martin Metcalfe broke through and scored off the left hand post post despite another half stop from Jeffries.

Steels though got back into the tie when RCA Florist full back Fletcher's mistake led to him conceding a penalty which Steven Wilson stroked home confidently. However RCA Florists upped their game and scored twice before half time through Scott Kelly and a Gareth Hill header to lead 3-1 at the break.

The second half saw RCA Florists waste numerous opportunities to increase the lead only to be held up by poor finishing and good keeping from Jeffries, but a fourth goal did arrive, courtesy of sub Brett Chapman to give a final score of 4-1 to RCA Florists.

RCA Grangetown Florists 2 Ryhope CW (Sun) 0

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Sunderland Sunday League

RCA Grangetown Florists finally got back to league business with their first game since mid October with a very comfortable 2-0 victory over a spirited Ryhope CW.

RCA Florists got off to the perfect start when Gareth Hill was played into space on the right and drove home across the keeper after just five minutes, but then RCA Florists chose to waste numerous chances to increase the lead up to half time, despite dominating play. Indeed they nearly allowed Ryhope back into the game just on half time when keeper Snowball picked up a back pass and Benson hit the post with the subsequent free kick and the rebound was driven wide. So 1-0 to RCA Florists at half time.

The second half produced another dominant display from RCA Florists, but again woefull finishing and poor pass selection meant they had to wait till two minutes from time to make the game safe when David Rush curled a fine effort past the Ryhope keeper to give a final score of 2-0 to RCA Florists.


RCA Grangetown Florists 2 Myers 0

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Total Sport Challenge Trophy

RCA Grangetown Florists saw off the challenge from Myers to progress smoothly into the Semi-finals of the Total Sport Challenge Trophy with a 2-0 victory.

In near perfect conditions RCA Florists produced a commanding performance against a slightly understrength Myers, and but for an outstanding display from Myers keeper Ryan Graham would have had this match won well before the 88th minute second goal went in.

RCA Florists got off to the perfect start again when awarded a penalty for a push on Gareth Hill in the fifth min and Martin Metcalfe confidently stroked home to put them 1-0 up. The remainder of the first half produced further chances for RCA Florists, but Graham dealt with them all competently and as is always the case when just 1-0 up, Myers had a good chance late in the half but RCA Florists' keeper Harkess turned the shot round the post, to leave a ht score of 1-0 to RCA Florists.

The second half produced another string of outstanding saves from Graham to keep Myers in the tie and but for a near miraculous last ditch block from Mick McVay from three yards and another decent stop from Harkess, Myers could have snatched an undeserved equaliser. However Graham was eventually beaten in the 88th minute, when after another save resulted in a corner, the ball fell to Jason Gargett at the far side of the box and his left footed half volley flew through the crowded box into the net giving Graham no chance whatsoever of even attempting a save, to give a final score of 2-0 to RCA Florists.

They now look forward to a semi-final against first division high flyers Saltgrass FC.

Silksworth Paragon 0 RCA Grangetown Florists 1

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Sunderland Sunday League

RCA Grangetown Florists just edged this game 1-0 against Silksworth Paragon, with both sides understrength.

Paragon started the brighter with Hopps, Charlton and Howell causing problems with their direct running approach, but as the first half wore on RCA Florists began to come more into it, although the only real chance of the half fell to RCA Florists Martin Metcalfe and he sliced horribly wide, to leave a ht score of 0-0.

RCA Florists then had much the better of the second period, but the game had 0-0 written all over it, until a long diagonal free kick was allowed to bounce in their own area by Paragon and Brett Chapman reacted quickest to glance a delicate header over the advancing keeper Donnelly to give RCA Florists a 1-0 lead after 65 mins. RCA Florists had 2 or 3 half decent chances to increase their advantage but Paragon keeper Donnelly made good blocks and despite Paragon going till the end they were unable to produce any chances worthy of note and RCA Florists ran out 1-0 victors.

Not the best game but credit to both sets of players for turning out on a bitterly cold night and doing their best.


RCA Grangetown Florists 3 Herrington 2

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Sunderland Sunday League

RCA Grangetown Florists and Herrington put on a tremendous display of end to end football in this league encounter and it was not untill the 90th min that the result was decided.

On a perfect night for football both slightly under strength sides put on a great spectacle for the neutral supporters and with Herrington kicking down the slope the first 25 minutes produced half chances at both ends, but in the 28th minute Herrington's livewire left winger Mike Brunning ran at the home defence and released a great ball through to Dean Smith who thundered an early left foot shot across home keeper Hood into the far corner to give Herrington the lead. However RCA Florists responded immediately when Trewick won the ball in Herrington's half and played in Martin Metcalfe who went on to slip the ball home under the away keeper to bring it back to 1-1. Herrington then produced a slick passing move which resulted in a tremendous save by home keeper Hood to keep the score at 1-1 up to half time.

The second half continued in the same vein and Herrington again took the lead through Smith when he won a foot race to a ball over the top and rolled in after 65 minutes. RCA Florists responded with sustained pressure, but Herrington would not buckle until RCA Florists sub Mick Wharton found some space and clipped home via the left hand post to bring the scores level at 2-2 with 10 minutes to go. It looked like that would be it, and a fair share of the spoils, but RCA Florists were awarded a definite penalty for a push and Martin Metcalfe drove it home to give RCA Florists a last minute winner.

A great game played in the right spirit.

RCA Grangetown Florists 3 Silksworth Paragon 1

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Joe Holborn Memorial Cup

RCA Grangetown Florists fought out a fierce battle against Silksworth Paragon in this semi-final of the Joe Holborn Memorial Cup to come out 3-1 winners and book their final spot in May.

Paragon, kicking down the slope, started much the brighter and had at least two great chances in the first five minutes to take the lead, but these were squandered and the game became a tense affair with both sides giving their all. However the deadlock was broken after 23 minutes when a keeper's clearance was returned into the path of RCA Florists' Adam McQuillan and he shot across the Paragon keeper into the bottom left corner to give RCA Florists the lead. More was to follow five minutes later when a free kick found Richy Jordan completely unmarked around the penalty spot and he duly dispatched the ball into the top right hand corner of the net, giving Donnely no chance, to leave RCA Florists 2-0 up after 30 minutes.

Paragon were then given a lifeline by an inexplicable, and subsequently proven, incorrect decision by the combined efforts of the inexperienced officials, who awarded a penalty and despite the protestations from RCA Florists Lee Harrison drove home from the spot to give a half time score of 2-1 to RCA Florists.

The second half again saw Paragon on top early on and they wasted a glorious chance for the equaliser when Steven Bogie sliced horribly wide of an open goal on the hour mark and the game then was effectively killed off by RCA Florists when a short corner was played back to Kelly who sent in a teasing cross to the far post and Phil Hall arrived to power an unstopable header into the net from six yards after 70 minutes.

Paragon never gave up the fight, but were unable to find a way through the resolute RCA Florists' defence and the match ran its course to give RCA Florists a final appearance some time in May.

A good game played in the correct spirit by two old adversaries who both gave there all, but there could only be one winner and on this occassion that turned out to be RCA Florists.

RCA Grangetown Florists 2 Hylton Castle TWR 1

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Sunderland Sunday League Premier Division

RCA Grangetown Florists deservedly came out on top in this league encounter against a determined and committed Hylton Castle TWR, by 2-1.

Kicking up the slope, RCA Florists quickly got into their stride, producing a couple of decent openings which they were not quite able to capitalise on and they were punished when after 12 minute the first real threat from Hylton Castle came with a ball over the top into the outside left area which resulted in hesitancy from full back Clark and keeper Harkness which allowed Darren Snowball  to nip in and roll the ball home from 18 yards to give Hylton the lead.

RCA Florists continued to have the better of the play and McQuillan was unlucky when his chip from 40 yards, after a poor clearance from Hylton keeper Smith, just cleared the bar. However the same player restored parity after 25 minutes when he turned sharply in the box to drill home from 10 yards to bring about a half time score of 1-1.

The second half opened with a great opportunity for Hylton to go ahead again with a break down the right flank, but they failed to deliver the killer ball and the threat was averted. McQuillan then had two efforts superbly saved by Hylton keeper Smith, along with two other efforts just clearing the bar, before the same player set up Gaz Hill from 10 yards to drive home an unstoppable shot past the keeper to put RCA Florists 2-1 up after 70 minutes. Hylton never gave up and had one or two half decent opportunities, but it was RCA Florists who continued to create the better openings and Hill wasted a similar chance to his goal but sliced wide.

Led by the outstanding Phil Hall RCA Florists played out the last five minutes and secured another victory, by a 2-1 margin, and will have to do it all over again this coming Thursday against the same competative Hylton outfit. Games coming thick and fast now.

Hylton Castle TWR 2 RCA Grangetown Florists 4

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Sunderland Sunday League

RCA Grangetown Florists completed a quickfire double over Hylton Castle TWR with a hard fought 4-2 victory, with the outcome in doubt untill a last minute clincher for RCA Florists.

With both sides missing key players, Hall, Metcalfe and Arkley missing for RCA Florists and Hylton having to play coach Lee Blacket in goal, the game kicked off in freezing and windy conditions with Hylton quickly into their stride. They found the opening goal within five minutes with a superb volleyed strike into the left hand corner from Adam Drysdale. RCA Florists responded almost immediately and equalised through Steve Clarke on 15 minutes. Hylton however came back strongly, aided by the strong breeze, and an even better cross shot from Darren Snowball across the keeper found the left corner again to put Hylton 2-1 up at half time.

RCA Florists needed a quick response to start the second half and began to dominate in midfield and it was no surprise when they quickly equalised after 55 minutes when Jason Gargett headed home a far post cross from Gaz Hill. This was followed within another five minutes with a goal from Adam McQuillan who latched on to the ball ten yards out and drove under Blackett to give RCA Florists the lead for the first time.

Both sides continued to go at each other, with some quality football being played, but the decisive strike came in the final minute when once again McQuillan drove home from ten yards to give RCA Florists a 4-2 win.

More games coming thick and fast now, but the next game on Sunday 7th sees RCA Florists taking on recently crowned County Cup winners Plains Farm in a top of the league clash that should definitely be worth watching.

RCA Grangetown Florists 0 Humbledon Plains Farm 2

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Sunderland Sunday League

Humbledon Plains Farm continued their relentless charge to the Premiership title with a 2-0 victory over their nearest rivals RCA Grangetown Florists.RCA Florists were weakened by the late withdrawal of centre half Hall through injury and the unavailability of his partner at the back McVay (stag do) and resorted to Arkley and Trewick at the back, while Plains Farm brought in Toomey and Ross into their starting eleven.

RCA Florists started the brighter and for 20 minutes were on top without testing keeper Atkinson, but it was Plains Farm who had the first real chance when Fairley cut back to Johnson 10 yards out and he lifted the chance over the bar. McBryde then wasted an even better opening when heading over from just three yards out after 30 minutes.

The deadlock was finally broken when a clumsy challenge on Fairley from stand in defender Trewick resulted in Fairley slotting home the resultant penalty after 44 minutes to give Plains Farm a half time lead of 1-0.

The second half was even-steven with both sides seeking the advantage, but Plains Farm took a decisive 2-0 lead after 70 minutes when, a suspiciously offside looking McBryde took a Ross pass in his stride and slid the ball under keeper Harkness. RCA Florists were then denied a way back into the match when Atkinson blocked Metcalfe's volley on 80 minutes and then RCA Florists hit the post minutes later.

RCA Florists were denied what looked like a stonewall penalty for handball in the closing seconds, which may have resulted in a well deserved consolation goal, but credit to Plains Farm who probably shaded it on chances created and look likely to be unstoppable as they head towards retaining their Premiership title.

Ryhope CW (Sunday) 1 RCA Grangetown Florists 4

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Sunderland Sunday League

RCA Grangetown Florists got back into their stride with an, in the end, comfortable 4-1 victory over a hard working and determined Ryhope CW outfit.

RCA Grangetown had to once again adjust their team due to various factors and had to call up veteran utility player/keeper Steven 'Birdy' Hood to play in goal.

In near perfect conditions, but with a hard bobbly pitch neither side claimed any early dominence and it was not until the 25th minute that Hood had to save smartly from a close range header to keep the score at 0-0. Gradually though RCA Florists began to get a grip with Arkley in defence, Harrison in midfield and McQuillan up front beginning to stretch Ryhope's resistance and keeper Smith had to make two or three smart saves before Adam McQuillan pounced on a loose ball, after good work down the left and another save from Smith, to poke home at the near post after 40 minutes to put RCA Florists 1-0 up. They were not done though and further increased their lead in the 44th minute when a good passing move released Mick Wharton through the inside right channel and he cooly placed his shot across the keeper into the bottom left hand corner of the net to give RCA Florists a 2 - 0 half time lead.

Any thoughts Ryhope had of a fight back were quickly put to bed after 5 minutes of the second half when McQuillan took a chance from just outside the box after a half clearance and the ball took a slight deflection of a defender and wrong footed keeper Smith to put RCA Florist three up. RCA Florists then toook control and McQuillan completed his hat trick with a confident right foot finish after 60 minutes.

RCA Florists and Ryhope introduced subs around this juncture and the game died a bit, but Ryhope were determined to get something out of the game and they duly pounced on some slack play from RCA Florists to score through a cool finish from Lewis Storey, to give a final score of 4-1 to RCA Florists.

Good luck to Ryhope who have established themselves in the Premier League this season.

RCA Grangetown Double Header Match Reports

RCA Grangetown Florists 1 Myers 5

Thursday, 11 April 2013
Sunderland Sunday League - Premier
Myers 2 RCA Grangetown Florists 3
Sunday, 14 April 2013
Sunderland Sunday League - Premier
RCA Grangetown Florists played Myers twice in four days last week and honours finished even with one victory each.
First, on Thursday night Myers gave RCA Florists a good thumping, despite RCA Florists taking a lead after 10 minutes. From then on a catalogue of errors and superb finishing from Stephen Moody handed RCA Florists a 5-1 hammering, something that their display on the night fully deserved, despite some of their squad playing their fifth game in six days. Myers quickly equalised and went on to victory with four goals from Moody and one from Ryan Hodgson.

On Sunday RCA Florists started in the same vein and quickly went 2-0 down when the same two players put Myers on the way within 15 minutes of kick off. However RCA Florists' returning midfielder Richie Jordan decided enough was enough and produced an outstanding personal performance. He pulled a goal back before half time and then drove RCA Florists on in the second half. Gaz Hill equalised from close range, following up when Myers keeper Graham uncharacteristically spilled a Trewick shot and both sides went for the winner on the difficult windy, hard bouncy surface, dishing up some good football along the way.

However it was Jordan who would have the final say when after 85 minutes he produced an awkward cross that was deflected high in the air and fell into the far corner to put RCA Florists ahead 3-2 and they held on to secure the win.

Two good matches and three points apiece before heading off to the pub to see the Barcodes given a good drubbing. Happy days.

RCA Grangetown Florists 10 Grangetown WMC 1

Sunday, 20 April 2012

Sunderland Sunday League: Premier Division

RCA Grangetown Florists did their goals difference a power of good when beating Grangetown WMC by an emphatic scoreline of 10-1.

RCA started kicking up the slope and took a third minute lead through Jason Gargett when he headed home from a Gary Hill cross. Further goals arrived from Martin Metcalfe and Gary Hills by the 30th minute, only for Grangetown WMC to pull one back with a Ben Stokoe penalty. However RCA Florists restored a three goal advantage with another Gargett goal on 44 minutes to give a ht score of 4-1.

The second half saw RCA Florists run riot, and but for some stout defending from the outstanding Graham Thornton and some clumsy finishing from RCA Florists, the scoreline could have been even worse. But nevertheless a further six goals duly arrived with another brace from Gargett bringing his total to four, two from sub Mick Wharton, and one each for George McCain and Scott Kelly.

Well done though to WMC who kept going right up to the final whistle.

Back to business on Thursday night with another midweeker, this time against relegation threatened Ashbrooke FC.

RCA Grangetown Florists 5 The Ashbrooke 0

Thursday 25th April 2013

Sunderland Sunday League : Premier Division

RCA Grangetown Florists posted another three points onto their total with a 5-0 victory over a very committed Ashbrooke side.

In an even first half RCA Florists took the lead after 15 minutes when Chris Trewick was played in and hit a cross shot into the bottom left hand corner. It stayed this way until half time

RCA Florists effectively killed off the game within three minutes of the restart with two goals from George McCain, and these were followed by a further strike from Trewick before McCain completed his hat trick to give a final score of 5-0 to RCA Florists.


RCA Grangetown Florists 6 Redhouse WMC 0

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Sunderland Sunday League : Premier Division

Sunderland RCA Grangetown Florists recorded a 6-0 victory over Redhouse WMC on a hard and bumpy surface, in very windy conditions.

Kicking down the slope and with the wind behind RCA Florists scored at regular intervals against the overworked Redhouse defence and scored six unanswered first half goals through Gary Hill two, Micky Wharton two and one each for George McCain and Richie Jordan.

The second half can best be described as 'turgid and 'dull as dishwater', with both sides struggling to come to terms with the conditions, and produced nothing of any note to report. So that left RCA Florists 6-0 winners at the final whistle.


Saltgrass 1 RCA Grangetown Florists 4

Sunday 5th May 2013

Total Sport Challenge Trophy : Semi-final

RCA Grangetown Florists bounced back to winning ways after their midweek 1-0 reverse against Silksworth Paragon (not at game, so hence no report, sorry!) with an, in the end, comfortable win over a very good Saltgrass side in the semi-final of the Total Sport Challenge Trophy.

RCA Florists got off to the perfect start after two minutes when Richie Jordan volleyed home at the far post after a corner, but were unable to build on this, being unable to deal with a hard uneven surface and a difficult wind, not to mention more than capable opponents. Saltgrass were causing plenty of problems with a strong wind at their backs and duly equalised on 20 minutes when a long throw caused confussion and was deflected for an own goal off RCA Florist defender Hall. At this stage it was no more than Saltgrass deserved and that concluded the first half scoring, so 1-1 at the break.

With the wind advantage RCA Florists opened the second half strongly, but were still not able to get their game flowing and were fortunate to be awarded a dubious penalty after 65 minutes which Dean Arkley drove fiercely into the roof of the net. Thereafter, despite Saltgrass still giving their best, RCA Florists began to dominate and were rewarded when a Jason Gargett drive was handled in the box and Arkley this time stroked home into the bottom right hand corner to put RCA Florists 3-1 up after 75 minutes. Scott Kelly finished off the scoring after 85 minutes with a header after a flick on from Chris Trewick to put RCA Florists into the final, but great credit must go to the Saltgrass team who will be a force next year in the Premier when their promotion is finalised.

Farringdon SC 1 RCA Grangetown Florists 4

Tuesday 7th May 2013

Sunderland Sunday League : Premier Division

RCA Florists only had 11 players available (+ Kevin Burns at 37 and Keith Churchill at 40 as the only subs) and Farringdon had one or two also missing. However RCA Florists started kicking against a strong wind but got to grips with the conditions much quicker than Farringdon causing problems down the flanks.

After 15 minutes a McCain through ball was collected by Jason Gargett and when he side stepped keeper Donaldson the keeper tripped him resulting in a penalty and a very lucky Donaldson who was expecting the inevitable red card, but the referee decided to not even caution him. Dean Arkley duly dispatched the penalty into the bottom left hand corner and RCA Florists went 1-0 up.

Farringdon were trying to play balls over the top for their pacey forwards but Hall and Rush dealt with these or allowed the ball to go through to keeper Hood. Anything down the flanks did not bring any joy either with Kelly and Hutchinson in control. RCA Florists were dominating midfield through Arkley and Trewick with Metcalfe attacking down the right and it was Metcalfe who produced a ball across the face of the Farringdon goal that keeper Donaldson could not hold and Trewick poked home to put RCA Florists 2 up after 25 minutes. Metcalfe then brought out the first of many outstanding stops from MOM keeper Donaldson after 40 minutes, but once again a foray down the right produced a cross to the far post and there was Brett Chapman to head into the net to give a 3-0 scoreline to RCA Florists at half time.

Farringdon came out in determined mood at the start of the second half and dominated, without ever testin keeper Hood, but on the hour they produced an attack down the left  and when the ball was cut back the shot was parried and Martin Hope bundled home to give Farringdon hope, but then RCA Florists stepped up a gear and Donaldson had to make another four great saves, but could do nothing about Kelly's thunderbolt at the death. So 4-1 to Florists it finished.

Redhouse WMC 2 RCA Grangetown Florists 1

Sunderland SundayLeague : Premier Division

Sunday 12th May 2013

RCA Grangetown Florists failed to get the point required to clinch Runners Up in the Premier, when with very much the same side that defeated Farringdon in midweek, they capitulated meekly against a committed Redhouse.

Not being at the game I can only report what I have been told, and it was not good. RCA Florists just did not come to the table and were poor all over the park and despite an equaliser from Richie Jordan went down to strikes from Phil Makel and Dale Huggins.

However due to Farringdon's 1-0 reverse against Champions Plains Farm, RCA Florists have now secured Runners Up in the Premier.

Hopefully the restructuring of the league next season will result in less midweek games, because upon checking RCA Florists played 50% of their league games in midweek, and they are not alone in this situation.

RCA Florists though have two more massive games to complete the season, these being the finals of the two League Cup competitions, both against Farringdon SC and two crackers they promise to be, as follows : Sunday 19th May Joe Holborn Memorial Cup at Meadow Park kick off 10.30am and Thursday 23rd May Total Sport Challenge Trophy again at Meadow Park kick off 7.00pm.

So why not get along and give your support to the lads.

RCA Grangetown Florists 1 Farringdon SC 1

Joe Holborn Memorial Cup : Final Tie

Sunday 19th May 2013

RCA Grangetown Florists won the Joe Holborn Memorial Cup, after a very close match against Farringdon SC, by 4-3 on penalties after the game finished 1-1 after extra time.

RCA Florists started kicking up the slope with Farringdon hoping to gain the advantage and the first 15 to 20 minutes were spent testing each other out with very few chances being created. The deadlock was however broken when a hopeful cross from the right was misjudged by Farringdon keeper Donaldson allowing Martin Metcalfe a simple header into the unguarded net to put RCA Florists into the lead after 25 minutes. Farringdon pressed for the equaliser and were rewarded with a dubious penalty award when a cross was just missed by RCA Florists defender Hall and the ball was headed back towards goal from virtually point blank range and struck his hand with him facing the other way. However this did not concern Farringdon and Pattison struck home to give a half time score of 1-1.

The second half started brightly for Farringdon and RCA Florists keeper Harkess had to be on his toes to make three good blocks from close range efforts. RCA Florists were then presented with a penalty of their own after a rash tackle on Jordan gave Arkley the spot kick chance, but he drove wide of the left hand post. Both sides tried to find a winner, but it was not forthcoming, even after another 30 minutes extra time, so penalties it was.

Farringdon were first up and Redman's poor effort was easily saved, and then RCA Florists scored their next four through Jordan, Clark, Petch and Rush, with Farringdon converting through Pattison, Mather and Place. This left Jordan Thompson needing to score to make RCA Florists win it with their last penalty, but his strongly hit shot to the bottom left corner was well saved by Harkess to give RCA Florists the Cup by 4-3 on penalties.

Credit to both sides for a sporting contest, which will resume again on Thursday night in the final of the Total Sport Challenge Trophy, again at Meadow Park, 7:00pm kick off.