The 2006-07 season

Club news

First Team

Team photo
The Sunderland RCA squad and coaching staff line up before the Esh Winning match on Saturday, 24 February 2007.

Back row, left to right: Karl Langley (Assistant Manager), Barry Massey, Gareth Hill, Dean Fox, Willie Crew, Gary D Anderson, Niki Lawson, Sean McLaughlin, Phil Hall, Anth Laidler, Si Andrews (Club Captain), Ian Matthews, Ian - Pop - Palfreyman (Physio), Scott Hembrough, Steve Smith (Manager)

Front row, left to right: Marcel Lundy, Danny Haley, Paul Moss (Captain), Jon Butler, Andy Middleton, Gary Anderson, Andrew Allen

Not in photo: Wayne Henderson, Karl Jarvis, Adam Monkhouse and Stuart Dixon.

Final Northern League Division 2 Table

Pos Team P W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 Spennymoor Town (C) 40 15 4 1 41 13 14 5 1 44 20 52 96
2 Seaham Red Stat (P) 40 14 3 3 52 28 12 5 3 47 24 47 86
3 Washington (P) 40 13 3 4 33 15 11 6 3 45 21 42 81
4 South Shields 40 13 2 5 46 30 10 5 5 43 28 31 76
5 Marske United 40 10 7 3 37 24 10 6 4 31 20 24 73
6 Norton & Stockton Ancients 40 12 2 6 45 26 9 3 8 41 32 28 68
7 Penrith 40 11 5 4 47 20 7 5 8 34 22 29 64
8 Stokesley SC 40 10 4 6 41 32 8 4 8 42 38 13 62
9 Guisborough Town 40 11 2 7 47 37 6 2 12 18 34 -6 55
10 Hebburn Town 40 9 5 6 41 38 6 4 10 27 33 -3 54
11 Team Northumbria 40 10 3 7 34 28 6 2 12 23 42 -13 53
12 Ryton 40 6 9 5 35 23 6 5 9 36 37 11 50
13 Thornaby 40 7 6 7 33 34 6 3 11 27 35 -9 48
14 Crook Town 40 8 3 9 40 42 5 4 11 32 46 -16 46
15 Whickham 40 9 3 8 40 33 3 6 11 31 43 -5 45
16 Esh Winning 40 7 4 9 34 41 5 3 12 29 42 -20 43
17 Brandon United 40 7 5 8 29 36 5 2 13 35 51 -23 43
18 North Shields 40 7 1 12 27 39 6 3 11 22 33 -23 43
19 Sunderland RCA* 40 7 3 10 26 34 5 1 14 24 51 -35 37
20 Prudhoe Town 40 6 1 13 29 49 2 3 15 19 55 -56 28
21 Alnwick Town (R) 40 5 3 12 31 47 3 1 16 19 71 -68 28

* Three points deducted

First team 2006-07 season results


ANL - Arngrove Northern League - Division 2
ATMC - Alan Thompson Memorial Cup
DCCC - Durham County Challenge Cup
EAMC - Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup
FAV - FA Vase
LC - League Cup
CC - Craven Cup



Date KO Venue Opposition
F - A
Saturday 22 July 2006 3:00 PM Away Shildon
1 - 1
Tuesday 25 July 2006 7:30 PM Away Nissan
2 - 2
Saturday 29 July 2006 3:00 PM Home Chester le Street
2 - 2
Tuesday 1 August 2006 7:30 PM Home Ryhope CW
1 - 1
Thursday 3 August 2006 7:30 PM Home Horden CW
1 - 4
Saturday 5 August 2006 3:00 PM Home Consett
1 - 4
Saturday 12 August 2006 3:00 PM Away Ryton
0 - 8
Tuesday 15 August 2006 7:30 PM Home Alnwick Town
2 - 5
Saturday 19 August 2006 3:00 PM Home Guisborough Town
1 - 0
Tuesday 22 August 2006 7:30 PM Home Whickham
0 - 0
Saturday 26 August 2006 3:00 PM Home Seaham Red Star
3 - 3
Monday 28 August 2006 11:00 AM Away South Shields
3 - 4
Saturday, 9 September 3:00 PM Away Alnwick
1 - 3
Tuesday 12 September 2006 7:30 PM Home North Shields
2 - 3
Saturday 16 September 2006 3:00 PM Away Team Northumbria
1 - 2
Saturday 23 September 2006 3:00 PM Away Hall Road Rangers
1 - 2
Wednesday 27 September 2006 7:30 PM Away Shildon
4 - 3
Saturday 30 September 2006 3:00 PM Away Spennymoor Town
0 - 3
Tuesday 10 October 2006 7:30 PM Home Esh Winning
1 - 2
Saturday 14 October 2006 3:00 PM Away Hebburn Town
0 - 4
Tuesday 17 October 2006 7:30 PM Home Murton FC
3 - 4
Saturday 21 October 2006 3:00 PM Home Penrith
0 - 3
Saturday 28 October 2006 3:00 PM Away Norton & Stockton Ancients
0 - 4
Tuesday 31 October 2006 7:30 PM Away Prudhoe
0 - 2
Saturday 4 November 2006 3:00 PM Home Stokesley
1 - 0
Saturday 18 November 2006 3:00 PM Home Washington
1 - 3
Tuesday, 21 November 2006 7:30 PM Home Marske United
0 - 2
Saturday 2 December 2006 3:00 PM Home Crook Town
2 - 1
Saturday, 9 December 2006 3:00 PM Away Guisborough Town
4 - 2
Saturday 16 December 2006 3:00 PM Home Ryton
2 - 4
Tuesday 26 December 2006 11:00 AM Home South Shields
2 - 0
Saturday 6 January 2007 3:00 PM Away Seaham Red Star
1 - 2
Saturday 13 January 2007 3:00 PM Home Prudhoe Town
2 - 0
Tuesday 16 January 2007 7:30 PM Home Brandon
3 - 1
Saturday 20 January 2007 3:00 PM Home Spennymoor
0 - 2
Saturday 27 January 2007 3:00 PM Away North Shields
2 - 1
Tuesday 30 January 2007 7:30 PM Away Tow Law Town
1 - 2
Saturday 3 February 2007 3:00 PM Home Team Northumbria
5 - 1
Wednesday 21 February 2007 7:30 PM Away Thornaby
3 - 2
Saturday 24 February 2007 3:00 PM Away Esh Winning
0 - 1
Saturday 3 March 2007 3:00 PM Home Hebburn Town
0 - 1
Tuesday, 6 March 2007 7:30 PM Home Guisborough Town
0 - 1
Saturday 10 March 2007 3:00 PM Away Penrith
1 - 1
Wednesday 14 March 2007 7:30 PM Away Brandon United
0 - 1
Saturday 17 March 2007 3:00 PM Home Norton & Stockton Ancients
0 - 3
Saturday 24 March 2007 3:00 PM Away Stokesley
2 - 5
Saturday 31 March 2007 3:00 PM Home Thornaby
0 - 0
Tuesday 3 April 2007 7:30 PM Away Whickham
2 - 1
Saturday 7 April 2007 3:00 PM Away Washington
0 - 1
Saturday 14 April 2007 3:00 PM Home Brandon United
2 - 1
Tuesday 17 April 2007 7:30 PM Away Marske United
1 - 2
Saturday 21 April 2007 3:00 PM Away Crook Town
3 - 2


Match reports from the 2006-07 season


Shildon 1 Sunderland RCA 1


Saturday, 22 July 2006

Our first friendly saw the first team squad in action in a highly competitive match away to Arngrove First Division club Shildon AFC. This was the first friendly of six whereby manager Steve Smith was hoping to assess the fitness and potential of his squad.

Sunderland RCA started brightly with several good moves breaking down at crucial points, mostly on the edge of the box.

Although chances were rare in the early exchanges it was clear that there would be little to separate both teams. As the first half wore on it was the experienced Shildon team who began to take control and only excellent goal keeping kept the score 0-0 at half time.

In the second half both teams rang the changes and it was to no surprise when the lively Shildon forwards broke through to open the scoring early in the second half. This did not deter the youthful SRCA team who battled throughout and deservedly equalised.

A good workout was experienced with manager Steve Smith and his assistant Karl Langley declaring that there were 'more positives than negatives to come out of the game' and 'this is certainly a platform to build on'.

Nissan 2 Sunderland RCA 2


Tuesday, 25 July 2006

Sunderland RCA more than held their own throughout and took an early lead through Craig (Sid) Ellison - a great finish.

Slack defending cost us for the equaliser to make it 1 - 1 at half time.

Nissan took an early lead in the second half through a goal keeping error. However not too long after we got our rewards with a well taken reply from John Butler.

It was another good workout, where we deserved at least a draw. Again, Steve made wholesale changes to have a fair look at everyone.

Sunderland RCA 2 Chester-le-Street 2


Saturday, 29 July 2006

Speed of thought, skill and bottle in the face of the
on-rushing Chester goalkeeper led to the first goal
of the match for SRCA number nine Willie Crew.

Our first friendly at home.

It was a tremendous display for the first hour, but we then lost our shape due to changes.

Willie Crew got both our goals. The first was a just goal when he ran at the goalkeeper and forced a rebound into the net. The second a class finish lobbing the keeper. At this point we were cruising.

In the second half with better luck we may have been four up, however due to fair changes in personnel and, it has to be said, abysmal defending we conceded two goals.


Sunderland RCA 1 Ryhope CW 1

Alan Thompson Memorial Trophy

Tuesday, 1 August 2006

This was an excellent competitive match before a good and enthusiastic crowd for the Alan Thompson Memorial Trophy. Sunderland RCA had the better of the first half, passing the ball well, hitting the bar and missing a couple of other good chances, while Niki Lawson in the RCA goal also had to be alert on a couple of occasions as Ryhope CW pressed on the break.

At half time the game was goalless, but John Butler opened the scoring for the RCA early in the second half. Ryhope CW pressed hard after this and when it looked as if their efforts were going to be in vain, Gavin McGuinness came up with an excellent lob over the keeper ten minutes from the end. There was still time for RCA to make a couple of good chances to win the game but it was not to be and it finished all square, with the trophy shared for this year, and more importantly £300 raised for local charities.

Ryton FC 8 Sunderland RCA 0

Northern League

Saturday, 12 August 2006

There will have been a lot to say about this match and most of it will have been said behind a closed dressing room door. On a very uneven pitch, Sunderland RCA were often overrun and caught out at the back by a rampant Ryton, who had a very effective, new centre forward. The score line does not do justice to our lads though, because at times we were well in the match, threatening and playing some nice football. We did not, though, have Ryton’s directness. Definitely a match from which to learn, forget and move on.

Sunderland RCA 2 Alnwick Town 5

Northern League

Tuesday, 15 August 2006

Our first ANL home match – and on a much better playing surface than we had for Saturday – and well done to Owen for the last minute line marking duties! While we had been on the end of an 8 – 0 score four days before, Alnwick had played out a 1 – 1 draw in their first match. Expectations of a turn around were high. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Alnwick went three up in the first half before Willie Crew pulled us a goal back. In the second half they piled on the misery with two more goals, with Willie getting his second and our consolation goal towards the end of the game. Alnwick played direct football and our defending lacked organisation and marking leaving too much space for the Alnwick attack to run into and to have time on the ball in and around our penalty area. This was a more frustrating match than at Ryton. At times Sunderland RCA played some really neat football – one move on the right during the first half was really terrific – but we lacked the directness of play shown by both Ryton and Alnwick, making life more difficult for our forwards. Plenty to work on as we head into a series of home games against some tough sides, but good play too, which should soon translate into results.

Sunderland RCA 1 Guisborough Town 0

Northern League

Saturday, 19 August 2006

The RCA first team recorded their first win of the season in the Arngrove Northern League Second Division with a solid and well earned 1-0 win over Guisborough Town. RCA controlled most of the game, looking very solid at the back, but failed to convert chances until the 70th minute when a composed John Butler finished very calmly through a crowded penalty box. RCA then saw out the game comfortably enough although further chances to settle things were missed meaning the game stayed open to the end.

Sunderland RCA 0 Whickham 0

Northern League

Tuesday, 22 August 2006

It was a cracking match at Meadow Park last night when Sunderland RCA entertained Whickham FC in an ANL Division 2 match. A good advert for football at this level with some great football and solid goal scoring efforts belying the goalless score line. RCA started very strongly and could have notched on several occasions during the first half, with one save from Whickham custodian, Steve Robinson to tip a bottom corner bound effort by RCA centre forward Willie Crew being particularly noteworthy. RCA failed to make their first half dominance count and came under increasing second half pressure as Whickham pressed forwards with the advantage of the notorious Meadow Park slope. The RCA defence stood firm with Lee Charlton and Gary Anderson particularly prominent and saw RCA through to their second clean sheet in four days, good news after the goals shipped in the first two games. Good game!

Sunderland RCA 3 Seaham Red Star 3

Northern League

Saturday, 26 August 2006

Red Star shaded the first half, scored early, and preserved their lead through to the break. The second half was a different story with RCA showing pace and determination to constantly stretch the Seaham defence. Anthony Middleton and Anthony Laidler scored in a 10 minute spell in the middle of the half, and when Willie Crew converted an 82nd minute penalty which also saw a defender dismissed, RCA looked home and dry. But Seaham had other ideas, replied immediately through a penalty, and then pressed hard into extra time. A corner was conceded with literally seconds remaining and former RCA man Ian Watson headed home with the RCA defence static. Very disappointing, but a good game with lots of bright spots, including good combinations from our front two and the pace and willingness of our wide men.

South Shields 4 Sunderland RCA 3

Northern League

Monday, 28 August 2006

Going to South Shields to face a side on top of the league, and with a number of RCA players unavailable always felt like a tough ask. To find ourselves a minute or two from the half time whistle therefore with a 3-0 lead, featuring two tremendous Karl Jarvis strikes from range, was very pleasing indeed! Shields notched right on the break however, which seemed to give them the lift they needed going into the second half. The home team came out all guns blazing and soon leveled things with an unfortunate own goal and the second penalty against us of the weekend. RCA steadied the ship and had chances on the break but were undone right on time again as yet another penalty conceded saw the South Tynesiders collect all three points. So near and yet so far! Touching distance of two wins which would have made the league sit up and take notice. Six goals scored with only a one point return is a blow, but there was much to admire and build on in the approach play of the team.


Team Northumbria 2 Sunderland RCA 1

Northern League

Saturday, 16 September 2006

Sunderland RCA forward Willie Crew controls the ball in the Team Northumbria penalty area prior to scoring our goal and, below, watches as his shot beats the Team Northumbria goalkeeper.

Sunderland RCA slumped to another Arngrove Northern League defeat, with a very disappointing display at League new boys Team Northumbria. Two bad mistakes early in the game gifted the students a lead, and had not Niki Lawson saved a penalty things could have looked even worse before the break. The second half was better as Willie Crew continued his excellent goal scoring run with a goal mid way through the half. That was all RCA could manage however, and we find ourselves in a parlous league position after the first 6 weeks of the season. Improvement will be needed as cup ties over the next couple of games give us some respite from league battles.

Hall Road Rangers 2 Sunderland RCA 1

FA Vase

Saturday, 23 September 2006

Saturday's Vase trip to Hall Road Rangers near Hull saw RCA go into the game with a five man midfield supporting Willie Crew as lone striker.

The game started with RCA seeing lots of the ball, and it was soon clear that Hall Road were, as we had heard, a very direct side. The pitch wasn't great but the weather was fine, and RCA made a good start. Willie Crew had what looked like a very good penalty appeal turned down inside the first five minutes, before bad luck with early knocks saw both Barry Massey and Simon Andrews needing to be replaced within the first 20 minutes.

At half time the 0-0 score line was probably fair and RCA were right in the match. Early Hall Road pressure was weathered in the second half before a super Karl Jarvis strike on 72 minutes gave RCA the lead. The RCA defence held out comfortably enough as Hall Road pressed before disaster struck in the 86th minute as their winger was allowed to get his cross in from the bye line for the Rangers to equalise with a close range header. Worse was to come as a stray ball across the box took a wicked bounce to beat keeper Nick Lawson, who had an excellent match, to allow Hall Road to snatch the tie deep in injury time. another odd goal defeat for Sunderland RCA.

Shildon 3 Sunderland RCA 4

Durham County Challenge Cup

Wednesday, 27 September 2006 Seven-goal Durham County Challenge Cup thriller!

Sunderland RCA forward Willie Crew lobs the ball over the advancing Shildon keeper to make it 4 - 3 and a win for RCA in last night's Durham County Challenge Cup tie.

Sunderland RCA came out on top in a seven-goal Durham County Challenge cup-tie at high-flying Arngrove Northern League side Shildon last night. RCA midfielder Karl Jarvis opened the scoring after five minutes with a terrific shot from 30 yards. Shildon then settled their nerves, equalising through a penalty and then taking the lead. RCA’s John Butler headed an equaliser to make the match even at half time.

A Sunderland RCA attack in the first half of the match

The second half saw the penalty count evened up, with Willie Crew equalising from the spot and taking us into a 3 - 2 lead. Shildon made it 3 - 3 with a blasting shot which gave RCA keeper Niki Lawson no chance. As the match headed into the last ten minutes Shildon piled on the pressure. They failed, though, to clear deep in their own half, despite three attempts, and the ball fell to RCA forward Willie Crew who skillfully lobbed the advancing Shildon keeper from 25 yards to make it 4 – 3 and a terrific cup win for the Sunderland RCA lads.

Spennymoor Town 3 Sunderland RCA 0

Northern League

Saturday, 30 September 2006

RCA fought hard against a powerful Spennymoor team, who led from the 25th minute as they attacked down the notorious Spennymoor slope. A 1-0 deficit at half time probably would have been acceptable, but a scorching 25 yarder a minute before the break gave RCA a mountain to climb in the second period. With the advantage of the slope in the second half RCA had long periods of dominance, but could not find the net, before a breakaway ten minutes from time sealed the Moors victory. RCA now have a ten day break to organise themselves for a vital home clash against Esh Winning.


Sunderland RCA 1 Esh Winning 2

Northern League

Tuesday, 10 October 2006

Another disappointing night for SRCA against Esh Winning. SRCA took the lead through Jon Butler after 10 minutes and in an even first half Esh equalised after 30 minutes. SRCA had experienced defenders Paul Moss and Marcel Lundy making their debuts and they certainly gave an air of security at the back with Gary Anderson and Lee Charlton holding the wide defensive berths.

The second half saw few chances with Esh generally having the slight edge but SRCA also making chances. Willie Crew took the ball around the keeper in one attack but was forced wide before he could get his shot in, and as the ball broke Adam Monkhouse, making his seasonal debut after injury, agonisingly hit the bar. It summed up SRCA's season to date when Esh broke the deadlock 10 minutes from time with an absolute screamer of a free kick.

Hebburn Town 4 Sunderland RCA 0

Northern League

Saturday, 14 October 2006

It’s a tough and challenging time for players and staff and Sunderland RCA! Losing 4 – 0 at Hebburn Town did not make for good watching. Hebburn went one up through centre forward Paul McKenna’s 31st minute strike, but the first half was a very evenly balanced affair, with SRCA unfortunate to go into half time a goal down.

The game altered dramatically after Hebburn’s Michael Younger made it 2 – 0 in the 50th minute which led to a change of formation to gamble to pull the game back. Goals from Daniel Grey (73) and sub Tony Hanson (80) piled on the misery and it could have been worse but for wasteful Hebburn finishing.

In the second half, Karl Jarvis produced one of his trademark long strikes at goal, which slammed into the bar with the keeper stationary. This was not our day.

New players have arrived and once they bed in we’re confident that we will turn things around. For everyone at the club now’s the time to re-discover the self-belief in our abilities and our fighting spirit.

Sunderland RCA 3 Murton AFC 4

Durham County Challenge Cup

Tuesday, 17 October 2006

In a match in which they were never behind, Murton AFC went through to the next round of the Durham County Challenge Cup 4 – 3 after extra time at Meadow Park.

After a 20-minute delay because of floodlight failure, Murton took the lead in the tenth minute through a Stephen Brown goal. Despite their efforts, RCA had to wait for until the second half for John Butler to equalise on 46 minutes.

Paul Moss, centre, heads past the Murton AFC keeper to make it 2 - 2
at Meadow Park in the Durham County Challenge Cup

Karl Garside made it 2 – 1 to the visitors on 63 minutes and RCA centre half Paul Moss equalised on 76 and the score stayed at 2 – 2 to full time.

Murton took the lead in extra time through Paul Wintrip, who headed home from a corner at the cemetery end. Si Andrews, who had come on as a substitute for Willie Crew, broke away to place a fine shot past the Murton keeper.

Paul Wintrip heads home a Murton corner to put Murton 3 - 2 up

In the 110th minute, Murton went on to win the game through a fine individual goal from Stephen Turner, who earlier had had a penalty saved by RCA keeper Niki Lawson.

Congratulations to Murton on their win and we wish them the best for the next round.

Sunderland RCA 0 Penrith 3

Northern League

Saturday, 21 October 2006

More woe for RCA as we go down 3-0 to a strong Penrith side at Meadow Park on Saturday. A competitive game throughout but RCA were punished for defensive mistakes with three first half Penrith goals all from short range headers settling the game before half time.

The lads kept fighting and showed good spirit and were unlucky not to notch at least one consolation goal in the second half.

Norton and Stockton Ancients 4 Sunderland RCA 0

Northern League

Saturday, 28 October 2006

A late flurry of goals saw RCA slump to a harsh 4 0 defeat at Norton and Stockton Ancients. RCA were fully in the game for the great majority of the match with only a 30 minute goal for the Ancients dividing the teams going into the final 15 minutes. By this time RCA were going full out a three man strike force and paid the penalty for leaving gaps at the back as Norton broke and scored quickly.

Prudhoe Town 2 Sunderland RCA 0

Northern League

Tuesday, 31 October 2006

The first bitterly cold night of the season saw RCA at Prudhoe Town and again our luck was out. Goalless for 60 minutes, RCA were weakened by the loss of the inspirational Paul Moss after the hour with a suspected hamstring pull and conceded two goals in quick succession midway through the second half from a well taken free kick and a close range header. No further goals were forthcoming as Prudhoe coasted home.


Sunderland RCA 1 Stokesley 0

Northern League

Saturday, 4 November 2006

This was a good battling performance by Sunderland RCA, following in the vein of recent weeks, but this time with some reward. The game was very even. RCA had the bulk of the chances, with Karl Jarvis hitting the post in the first half and Jon Butler striking the bar early in the second.

RCA lost Ian "Flash" Matthews to a hamstring strain half way through the first half, allowing Willie Crew to take his place. A good spell of pressure late in the second half saw Jon Butler get his rewards for a very solid display with a close range header from a Karl Jarvis cross.

RCA played out time comfortably enough to record a precious win!

Sunderland RCA 1 Washington 3

Northern League

Saturday, 18 November 2006

SRCA played their best football of the season and it was no surprise that we took the lead through defender Simon Andrews, firing home after Washington were attempting to clear from a corner.

SRCA were creating numerous chances and the Washington keeper was at his best in saving efforts from Butler in particular.

Washington equalised on the stroke of half-time against the run of play and this gutted the home supporters.

Worse was to follow after the re-start when we conceded a penalty which was converted in the 48th minute. Unbelievably SRCA conceded in the 51 st minute.

Washington tightened ship and the game fell away.

Sunderland RCA 0 Marske United 2

Northern League

Tuesday, 21 November 2006

This was a very dour and physical game. 0-0 at half time, no goals looked on the cards tonight. Alas a deflected goal after 65 minutes saw SRCA chasing the game to salvage a point and then the sucker punch in the dying minutes.


Sunderland RCA 2 Crook Town 1

Northern League

Saturday, 2 December 2006

This was an excellent battling win for RCA in the Arngrove Northern League on Saturday, against a strong Crook side. Manager Steve Smith had his strongest squad for a while available and the lads gave a strong performance.

Jon Butler races through to score RCA's first goal

Two Jon Butler goals had RCA two up with half an hour to play but, as always fans weren't allowed to relax as Crook quickly got it back to 2-1. RCA held their nerve though and saw out the last half hour with few alarms.

Jon Butler beats the keeper to the ball to score RCA's second goal

Two wins out of the last four games puts a better complexion on the league table but everyone knows the same level of results will have to be maintained right through to May.

Guisborough Town 2 Sunderland RCA 4

Northern League

Saturday, 9 December 2006

After manager Steve Smith had named the first unchanged side in his 18 months with the club, it looked like another one of those days for RCA when an unfortunate defensive slip presented Guisborough Town with the lead inside the first two minutes on Saturday. RCA battled back well though and a superb Jon Butler lob leveled matters inside 15 minutes.

RCA had the best of the play in the remainder of the half, only to fall behind again to a breakaway goal in the fourth minute of first half injury time.

After the interval RCA pressed hard and Jon Butler got his second after 50 minutes.

More pressure through the half led to a Si Andrews goal after 75 minutes as the keeper fumbled his header.

The first league away win and first double of the season was sealed with an Anth Laidler penalty late in added time. Consecutive wins for the first time this season.

Sunderland RCA 2 Ryton 4

Northern League

Saturday, 16 December 2006

RCA forward Jon Butler calmly slots the ball past the Ryton keeper to open the scoring after
11 minutes

In an open, entertaining and hard fought match, Sunderland RCA went down 2 - 4 to a strong and well-organised Ryton side, ending their run of two wins.

Kicking down the Meadow Park slope, RCA were swiftly on the attack with Jon Butler chasing a good ball into the Ryton penalty area after five minutes. Ryton, through. were creating their own chances and fired over at the cemetery end.

On 11 minutes Jon Butler opened the scoring for RCA, beating a defender and then the goalkeeper to slot home. The remainder of the first half was incident packed. First, on 20 minutes, keeper Niki Lawson needed a long period of injury treatment after a nasty collision with an RCA defender. On 31 minutes, Jon Butler was one-one-one with the Ryton keeper, but his shot hit the post. On 37 minutes, Buts was through again, pushing the ball past a defender and beating him for pace, before hitting a good shot. On 39 minutes, Dean Fox hit a shot on target that was well saved. Then, from an RCA corner that was only half cleared, Job Butler had another, difficult, chance on goal.

RCA were soon to rue those missed chances, because on 41 minutes, Ryton equalised with Ross Atkinson firing home from close range, the defence having failed to clear from a corner. On 45 minutes Butler was in action again, chasing a ball through, but it broke badly for him and the keeper collected.

In the second half Ryton nearly scored from the kick off and gained corners to put RCA under pressure. Then came two killer goals in two minutes, on 62 and 64 minutes, from Ryton's Ludlow and Bulford.

Captain Paul Moss pulled a goal back on 68 minutes, following a Karl Jarvis cross, after his corner was only cleared back to him. It looked as through RCA could still get something out of this game, but as the match went on Ryton were showing strongly.

On 75 minutes, manager Steve Smith made a double-substitution bring on Gareth Hill and new signing Gary Anderson for Dean Fox and Adam Monkouse. On 82 minutes, Hill's shot beat the keeper, but also, narrowly the far post.

Substitute Gareth Hill breaks through in the Ryton penalty area

On 85 minutes, Bulford scored his second and Ryton's fourth goal, following a poor clearance.

Sunderland RCA 2 South Shields 0

Northern League

Tuesday, 26 December 2006

A great result for RCA as a battling performance saw us over turn league leaders South Shields at home on Boxing day morning.

Shields pushed us hard all game, but RCA are showing real grit and determination now and we weathered the storm before a Dean Fox cracker in the 44th minute gave us the half time lead.

It was the same story in the second half. Shields had most of the play, but RCA defended stoutly, with teenage goalkeeper Nick Lawson outstanding, before a cool finish on the break from Danny Haley settled the points.

Anth Laidler was sent off for two bookings with 25 minutes to go, so it was an even more creditable result, which puts RCA back in touch with the league and looking forward to 2007 with renewed optimism.


Seaham Red Star 2 Sunderland RCA 1

Northern League

Saturday, 6 January 2007

Sunderland RCA lost a tight game against Seaham Red Star by a 2 -1 score line on Saturday. The game saw a rare outing as stand in manager by old stalwart Graham Defty, in the absence of Steve Smith and Karl Langley. Two changes were made, with "Flash" Matthews coming in for Danny Haley, and Marcel Lundy being restored to the heart of the defence.

Red Star pushed hard from the off, with the pace of John Toft causing problems, and both of their goals came in the first half from near post flick ons from corners. RCA equalised the first through Anth Laidler, but could find no answer once Red Star got their noses in front again. In the second half RCA pushed hard and had chances, but Seaham held on for the narrow win.

Sunderland RCA 2 Prudhoe Town 0

Northern League

Saturday, 13 January 2007

Off the bottom at last!

A battling performance, in atrocious conditions, saw RCA to a 2 - 0 win over Prudhoe Town on Saturday. The fifth win in our last nine matches saw our recovery over the past six weeks lift us off the bottom of the table for the first time in four months.

Despite being without several players RCA worked hard throughout and fully deserved their win. Two Dean Fox goals, one in each half, were reward for another excellent display from the front man, and both he and his strike partner Jon Butler could have added others in the second half.

Special mention also for the second Gary Anderson who had an super game on his full debut in midfield.

Sunderland RCA 3 Brandon United 1

Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Sunderland RCA played Brandon in the Ernest Armstrong Cup last night in what was the first of three meetings between the sides before the end of the season.

Both teams were at less than full strength, but RCA came out on top in an entertaining match.

Brandon started the game knocking the ball around nicely and took the lead after 20 minutes with a well worked goal. RCA equalised a few minutes later when Jon Butler capitalised on a mix up in the Brandon defence to score from a tight angle.

The games was 1-1 at half time, but the second half saw RCA get on top playing down the hill. Dean Fox scored a superb 30 yarder from a free kick after 70 minutes and ten minutes from time captain Paul Moss was in to net the rebound as a Karl Jarvis free kick from long range came back from the cross bar.

Sunderland RCA 0 Spennymoor Town 2

Northern League

Saturday, 20 January 2007

A decent crowd, including the usual fanatics from Spennymoor, turned out in atrocious conditions for the game.

Spennymoor had the advantage of the slope and the wind in the first half and pressed solidly. They were rewarded half way through the half with a well taken goal and that remained the situation until the break. With the conditions now in their favour SRCA pressed very hard for the first 20 minutes of the second half and looked likely to get something for their efforts.

Spennymoor held fast though and once they had doubled their lead with a break away after 70 minutes they were able to play out time with few alarms.


Thornaby 2 Sunderland RCA 3

Northern League

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

A John Butler hat trick inside 50 minutes blitzed Thornaby, as RCA continued their good recent form. It could have been worse for the home side, as a solid defensive display provided a platform for Butler and fellow strike partner Dean Fox to cause havoc with strong running and excellent hold up play.

As RCA cruised through the final minutes, two penalty decisions in the last three minutes gave the score line a false gloss, with Thornaby back in the contest, if only for a short while.

A good win, further progress up the table and games coming thick and fast - bring it on!

Match photos

Esh Winning 1 Sunderland RCA 0

Northern League

Saturday, 24 February 2007

It was a very disappointing day at Esh Winning on Saturday. After the great midweek win at Thornaby expectations of another good result were high as we tackled bottom of the table rivals Esh. But it was not to be as injuries and absences deprived us of players and a heavy pitch took its toll.

Esh are much improved as well and deservedly won out in an always interesting and tight game with a single goal on the hour, ironically just after RCA had their best spell of the game. 11 league games to go and after this setback we need to focus again on pushing as far up the table as possible.

Match photos


Sunderland RCA 0 Hebburn Town 1

Northern League

Saturday, 3 March 2007

Sunderland RCA slumped to a second consecutive 1 0 defeat in the Arngrove Northern League against a determied Hebburn Town sided.

Luck was right out for us as we struck the uprights and bar no fewer than five times during the match.

RCA started at 100 miles an hour and threatened to overwhelm Hebburn in the first quarter, one tremendous effort from Dean Fox thundering off the bar, but decent goalkeeping and the thickness of the framework kept us out, and the scores somehow level until the break.

To be fair Hebburn played a much stronger hand in the second period, but the majority of chances fell to RCA again, with the woodwork, goal line clearances, solid keeping and plain bad luck frustrating us time and time again. Inevitably Hebburn took the lead after 65 minutes from a free kick which came back off keeper Niki Lawson, and try as we did, we could not find the leveler.

Match photos

Sunderland RCA 0 Guisborough Town 1

Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Great disappointment as RCA's last chance of silverware vanished on Tuesday night, courtesy of a lack lustre display in a 1 0 home defeat to Guisborough Town in the quarter final of the Ernest Armstrong Cup.

In a scrappy game, the North Yorkshiremen scored the only goal by way of a first half own goal, which summed the game up. This was our third 1 - 0 defeat in a row, but by far the worst performance in recent weeks.

10 league games left to get back to some real form and push up the table, and a big effort will be needed as we are not safe yet!

Penrith 1 Sunderland RCA 1

Northern League

Saturday, 10 March 2007

After the very disappointing display midweek against Guisborough the lads put in a vastly improved performance away to Penrith on Saturday, and were desperately unlucky not to come away with all three points. Despite the long trip RCA turned up at Penrith in good time, and with a good turn out of players and officials, reflecting well on the club, but with Marcel Lundy and Danny Haley noticeable absentees through injury and work commitments, although the unexpected return of Stu Dixon was a bonus.

RCA started strongly and could have scored in the first minute as a Jon Butler effort was cleared off the line. The lads continued to press and got their reward when we took the lead in the 30th minute as Andy "Scally" Allen capitalised on a weak clearance by the keeper to bring the ball under instant control and lob into an empty net from 30 yards. By half time the lead should have been more than one, and the pressure continued into the second half as Penrith struggled to get out of their half. When it looked as if one would be enough a 75th minute Penrith breakaway left goalkeeper Nick Lawson stranded on the edge of his box as a Penrith cross was unluckily turned into his own net by Si Andrews, who otherwise was RCA man of the match with a powerful display in defence.

Penrith got a lift from the goal and the last 15 minutes was end to end and included some narrow escapes for the RCA goal, notably a brilliant goal line block by Anth Laidler. A point was what we had to settle for, all three would have been fairer, but the display will have given manager Steve Smith heart for the vital last few games ahead.

Brandon United 1 Sunderland RCA 0

Northern League

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

A tight and scrappy game at Brandon, settled by a single goal for the home team late on in the second half. We didn't play well but could and should have got something from the game.

It seems like our goals have dried up at present, we need to get back on the scoring trail sooner rather than later as we move into the end of the season.

Match photos

Sunderland RCA 0 Norton and Stockton Ancients 3

Northern League

Saturday, 17 March 2007

RCA lined up with a severely depleted squad, with Marcel Lundy taking the captain’s armband in the absence of Paul Moss, who was carrying a hamstring injury from the Brandon match.

It was bad start: a Norton cross from the left was side footed past Niki Lawson.

On seven minutes good play from Willie Crew gained RCA a free kick 30 yards out, which was taken by Dean Fox. The ball broke to Jon Butler whose strong shot was blocked by the keeper.

While the opening 10 minutes had been mostly Norton’s, the next period was much better for RCA. A good Dean Fox effort on 13 minutes went just over the bar. On 14 minutes a foul on Jon Butler led to a free kick on the edge of the box. Gary Anderson swung the ball in and it was headed over the bar by a Norton defender. The resulting corner was headed clear for a throw in.

On 17 minutes Jon Butler was tremendously unlucky as his goal-bound header was palmed away by the Norton keeper.

On 20 minutes dean Fox picked up a yellow card, which seemed harsh.

On 24 minutes Marcel Lundy ran across to clear when it looked as though the Norton winger had broken clear on the left.

On 25 minutes there was a flurry of RCA corners. From the first, Jon Butler heaed against the post and the ball was then cleared for another corner. From this one a powerful Dean Fox shot was palmed away for another RCA corner. Unfortunately no one connected with delivery, which sailed across the goal and out.

On 29 minutes Niki Lawson saw some action as he palmed a goal-bound header around the post and collected the subsequent corner kick.

The game was swinging from end to end and on 30 minutes Andy Middleton swung in a free kick, which a Norton defender headed out for a corner under pressure from Jon Butler. On 31 minutes RCA won yet another corner, but he delivery was just too high for Jon Butler who could not head the ball down.

A clever nod on from Willie Crew on 37 minutes created a half chance for Jon Butler whose shot was blocked. Norton cleared the ensuing corner. A minute later, RCA had yet another corner, but could not convert. On 42 minutes Willie Crew clipped wide from a difficult chance.

Half time: RCA were wondering how they could create so much pressure and so many chances, but not score!

The second half began as badly as the first for RCA. A very harsh penalty was awarded against Andy Allen for handball and Norton converted.

On 50 minutes RCA gained a free kick, but the Norton wall did its job.

On 57 minutes Norton were clear on goal and the shot from the left skimmed the post as the forward tried to go inside Niki. On 60 minutes there was another chance for Norton, but it went over the bar. A minute later Niki comfortably saved a Norton free kick conceded by Scott Hembrough.

On 63 minutes Willie Crew knocked the ball through to Scott Hembrough, whose snap shot was saved by the keeper. Two minutes later, Scott tried a long shot, which went just wide of the post.

A Norton handball on the edge of the D on 75 minutes led to a Dean Fox effort, which went just over the bar. Two minutes later the action was at the other end as Niki made a good save from a Norton forward who was clear through on goal.

On 83 minutes Jon Butler had a shot saved.

As RCA pressed they were taking risks at the back and on 85 minutes Norton’s Tyson Masters beat the off-side trap to go through one-on-one with Niki Lawson and rounded him to go on to roll the ball into the unguarded net.

RCA did not give up and on 89 minutes Scott Hembrough produced a promising situation for RCA, but his pass to Jon Butler was short and the ball was cleared by Norton.

Stokesley 5 Sunderland RCA 2

Northern League

Saturday, 24 March 2007

A below par performance at Stokesley, with an injury hit team, both before and during the match, failing to defend with the quality we have been showing for the past few weeks. After 30 minutes with the team 3 0 down and both Paul Moss and Stu Dixon injured, things looked very bleak indeed. Amazingly though we pulled ourselves together a bit and a great effort by Jon Butler followed by an opportunist goal by Willie Crew got us right back in the match at the break.

The first 20 minutes of the second half was our best spell of the game, and several good efforts could have brought reward. Sadly it was not to be as Stokesley broke well and added two more before time. Six games to go and a real show of determination needed by everybody connected with the club. Post mortems can wait until May, right now we need everyone pulling together to pick up some vital points, come on!!!

Sunderland RCA 0 Thornaby 0

Northern League

Saturday, 31 March 2007

Yet another game where our failure to take chances has cost us points.

We more than matched Thornaby throughout the game, hitting the bar and bringing an excellent save from the keeper within the first ten minutes, but couldn't hit the back of the net, and it always looked as if the game might end goalless, and so it proved.

Even more frustrating in the second half as chances went begging throughout. John Butler pulled wide when through on goal, and Andy Allen shot straight at the keeper when he looked sure to score.

Thornaby had their own moments, but we were the better side and should have won.

Overall a good solid performance with good effort and determination, without that vital spark which seems to have left us at the tail end of the season. Five big games to go, starting at Whickham on Tuesday night.

Match photos


Whickham 1 Sunderland RCA 2

Northern League

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Sunderland RCA made absolutely sure of their ANL status with a hard worked for win at Whickham. well on top in the first half we were unlucky to go in level as a superb 30 yard goal from Whickham with just about their only effort of the half, cancelled out our opener from Willie Crew, RCA's only reward from numerous well worked chances. the second half was a different story as Whickham had most of the play, only to fall behind to Wilie Crew's second after 80 minutes. Willie was denied his hat trick as a penalty was given to RCA in the dying seconds after an excellent Andy Allen run was ended with a foul, moments after Willie had been substituted. Sub Anth Laidler, with his first touch, predictably had his effort well saved, but SRCA held on for the win.

Sunderland RCA 2 Brandon 1

Northern League

Saturday, 14 April 2007

RCA began their last home game of the season kicking off down the slope. Manager Steve Smith had adopted a 3 – 5 – 2 formation, with Andy Middelton and Ian Mathews as right and left wingbacks.

Within two minutes a left wing attack led to Si Andrews passing to John Butler in a promising position, but he was flagged offside – it looked like a very tight call. RCA were back quickly though as Si Andrews broke through and ran into the box before hitting a shot across the keeper to open RCA’s account.

On nine minutes, Si Andrews was in action again, heading goalwards from a free kick, bit it proved to soft to bother the keeper.

On 20 minutes, very nice work on the right led to Si hooking the ball into the net, but the whistle had already gone for handball.

On 27 minutes Ian – Flash – Matthews took a corner and John Butler headed over.

On 31 minutes and Andy Middleton diagonal ball was taken down by Flash but his cross shot went wide.

On 60 minutes a Brandon ball into the box was not defended and Andrew Johnson had a free header, which he looped over Niki Lawson in the RCA goal for the equalizer.

Si Andrews restored RCA’s lead within five minutes, as he connected with a right wing cross to beat the keeper from 15 yards.

On 75 minutes there was an apparently bad injury to RCA keeper Niki Lawson who went down from a challenge in obvious pain from his left ankle. Following a long period of treatment from Pop, Niki was helped off and Si Andrews pulled on the goalkeeper’s jersey.

And that was the end of RCA’s home campaign for 2006/07. It was nice to see Mr Ray Baines at the match and good that he was treated to a win.

Washington 1 Sunderland RCA 0

Northern League

Saturday, 7 April

Another 1 0 defeat for RCA, the fifth in recent weeks, and harder to bear as the only goal came in the last 10 minutes, just as it looked like we would earn a deserved point and dent Washington's promotion hopes.

A depleted squad saw manager Steve Smith name himself on the bench, but a battling performance on a bumpy pitch nearly saw us home. In a game of few chances forwards found it hard going on both sides, with defences well on top throughout before Washington capitalised on an error to seal the win.

Marske United 2 Sunderland RCA 1

Northern League

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

The game began at a lively pace and both sides were adopting a physical approach, but RCA started comfortably the better side. Si Andrews worked tirelessly up front winning headers and holding up well, allowing Scotty and Flash to support and make us a three as often as possible.

Paul Hartley sat centrally and held his shape well allowing Any Allen and Karl Jarvis to get on the ball and after 10 minutes we started to dominate the game. Si had two great headed chances which he put over the bar, and in Marske's only attack of any note in the first half, the stand in kepper Steve Smith pulled off a full length save low to his left. The back four dominated their attack and Phil Hall was outstanding throughout.

We continued to control possession with Karl Jarvis back to his best with the ball and were very unlucky to come in all square. The second half started as the first ended and we took the lead after a great run into the box by Andy Allen, who was found by Jarvis, and brought down for a penalty. Jarvis stepped up and slotted to his left, sending the keeper the wrong way for a deserved 1-0 lead.

Marske then made a double subsitution and went with three-up front. Still we kept possession well and the defence remained stubbornly resolute.

As the game approached the final 15 mins Marske were throwing all into attack and we hit them on the break with a great move which resulted in a great chance from eight yards which Si Andrews just fired too high.
On 78 minutes Marske were awarded a disputed free kick ten yards outside the box. The three man wall jumped to defend it. The referee judged Andy Allen had blocked via a hand and gave another freekick right on the edge of the box. This resulted in Marske's number 6 firing hard and low into the bottom left hand corner. From the kick off we gave the ball away and from a long cross into the box, Laidler unluckily found the top corner of his own net to give Marske their second goal in a minute.

Heads could have dropped, but the exact opposite happened and in the last five mins we pressed with lots of balls into the box but could not quite find the equaliser. So 90 mins for all involved to feel massively proud of their efforts and but for a bad minute the result would have produced what the boys deserved. An absolute credit to the club from 1 - 12. Well done and thanks boys!

Crook Town 2 Sunderland RCA 3

Northern League

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Sunderland RCA rounded off their season with a solid victory away at Crook Town.

The 3 2 margin makes it look closer than it really was, as RCA played most of the football and had gone into a well deserved 2 0 lead by the hour mark, and looked likely to cruise home. Andy Allen gave RCA the lead with a excellent header from a quality Jon Butler cross after half an hour, and that was enough for the half time lead. A great Flash Matthews break and cross on the hour was finished by Karl Jarvis with aplomb, with others queueing up for the goal.

The referee got himself in on the act when he inexplicably refused a cast iron penalty as second half sub Andy Middleton worked his way into the box and, as always seems to happen, Crook went down the other end and scored with a good finish past manager Steve Smith, who again found himself between the posts, as regular keeper Niki Lawson watched on crutches from the sidelines. Steve "The Cat" then endeared himself to the Crook fans as he slowed play with his astute use of the laws of the game, before Si Andrews restored the two goal advantage after 75 minutes. A last minute Crook goal put a gloss on proceedings for them but there was no dispute who were the better side, and two wins and an unlucky defeat in the last week of the season should put the club in good heart for next year.

The committee, staff and players are committed to fighting at the other end of the table next time around, and the squad have shown enough to make that a realistic target.

Sunday Team

Sunderland RCA 6 Steels SC 1

Sunderland Sunday League

Sunday, 20 August 2006

The Sunderland RCA Sunday team began their season in the Sunderland Sunday League Premier Division missing a number of players and facing a tough game against Steels SC. In the circumstances the 6-1 victory achieved was more than pleasing and bodes well for the coming season. A very well taken Paul Tunstall hat trick saw RCA cruise to an excellent win.

Sunderland RCA 0 Myers FC 4

Sunderland Sunday League

Wednesday, 23 August 2006

The RCA Sunday team has had mixed fortunes in their first two games with an excellent 6-1 victory being followed with a disappointing 4-0 defeat against newly promoted Myers FC in mid week. Some excuses with player unavailability but the Myers game only underlined what a tough and competitive league the Premier Division of the Sunderland Sunday League is. We hope it will prove an excellent testing ground for young and up and coming players.

Sunderland RCA 4 Red House WMC FC 3

Sunderland Sunday League

Sunday, 17 September 2006

The RCA Sunday team won an entertaining Sunderland Sunday League Premier Division encounter with Red House WMC. The clash saw Red House manager Karl Langley, also assistant manager of the RCA Northern League outfit on Saturdays, up against wily old foxes Owen Haley and Colin Wilson. RCA took an early lead and led 4-1 at half time with goals from Keith Gray, Ian Thompson and a brace from Jimmy Oliver. Red House fought back well and two goals late in the half saw a tense finish before RCA held on to win 4-3.

Sunderland RCA 7 Bishop Middleham Cross 3

Durham County Sunday Cup

Sunday, 3 September 2006

RCA's Sunday team progressed in the first preliminary round of the County Sunday Cup with a comfortable 7 - 3 victory over Bishop Middleham Cross Keys FC. An Andy Wilson five timer was the highlight against a strong Bishop side who kept the game alive for a very long time. The first target for the team in the County Cup is to win three more games and make it to the second round proper, thus earning exemption from the preliminaries next year.

Preston and Eaglescliffe 0 Sunderland RCA 2

County Cup

Sunday, 1 October 2006

The RCA Sunday 11 have had contrasting fortunes in the past two weeks. A week ago a severely depleted team lost 8-1 against the Golden Fleece in a Sunderland Sunday league fixture, but Sunday gone was a different story as a stronger line up, though still missing a few players, enjoyed a County Cup victory away against Preston and Eaglescliffe.

RCA won 2-0 comfortably enough against their big and powerful opponents with two first half goals, the first an opportunist header from Steve Proudlock and the second a classic own goal by an embarrassed defender attempting to clear a corner.

The Teessiders had their chances but RCA saw the game out to progress to the Third qualifying round of the prestigious County competition.

Sunderland RCA 3 Hall Farm FC 0

Sunderland Sunday League - Barry Wilson Trophy

Sunday, 29 October

The RCA Sunday team showed good fighting sprit to ease past a plucky Hall Farm outfit in the Barry Wilson trophy. Two goals from centre forward Ian Thompson were the highlight as RCA won 3 0 after a goal less first half

Sunderland RCA 2 Barnes FC 3

Sunderland Sunday League

Sunday, 12 November 2006

Sunderland RCA Sunday team gave a much improved showing when they played Barnes FC in a Sunderland Sunday League Premier Division fixture.

After last week's horror show in the 8 - 1 cup defeat to Grindon Broadway, the lads showed much better shape and discipline, but still lost narrowly 3 - 2 to a solid Barnes team.

Two superb goals from Keith Gray and Ian Thompson were not enough to win the match, but given the team was again very depleted by injuries and suspensions the overall performance was good.

Sunderland RCA 1 Golden Fleece 5

Sunderland Sunday League

Sunday, 3 December 2006

On Sunday, a depleted RCA Sunday squad fought hard but went down 5-1 against the Golden Fleece. Injuries, transfers and some players lack of motivation now the cold mornings are here means that what was looking a strong squad a couple of months ago is now looking decidedly thin.

Joint managers Colin Wilson and Owen Haley are on the lookout for new players and have signed several in the last couple of weeks but more are still needed.

Under 18s

The Under 18s in 2006-07


Reports for the Under 18s in the 2006-07 season

Sunderland RCA 5 Washington Dunlop 3

Durham County Under 18s Saturday Pre Season Tournament - Semi-Final

Wednesday, 9 August 2006

In a game slightly spoiled with the wind - yes the football season is upon us - Sunderland RCA with the wind at their backs piled the pressure on from the off. Two early SRCA corners were cleared frantically by the Dunlop defenders.

It was no surprise that our lads opened the scoring in the 20th minute from a twelve yard strike from Neil Errington.

After 25 minutes the lead was increased when a move involving six SRCA players was converted by left back Ross Turnbull, who started and finished the move with a crisp shot just inside the 18 yard box.

It was all the red and white lads now when after some excellent footwork by Lewis Collinson he hit a 30 yard pile driver against the Dunlop bar - the keeper was helpless and Kyle Baker stole in to convert the rebound.

Dunlop responded well and converted a reply just before half-time.

Half time score 3-1

RCA had to dig deep with the wind hard in their faces, but fortunately stole away and scored a breakaway goal through Adam Maggiore.

Dunlop responded magnificently clawing two goals back for a grand stand finale in the last 10 minutes. However our lads sealed the game in the 88th minute with a conversion by Lewis Collinson who had a very good game.

Final score 5 -3

RCA will play Brandon or Darlington Spraire in the final at Chester le Street on Saturday 12th August 2.00pm

It's just a pity the first team commence their season the same day - as this could be the first historic day in the Sunderland RCA history.

Sunderland RCA 4 Darlington Spraire Lads 2

Durham County Under 18s Saturday Pre Season Tournament - Final

Saturday, 12 August 2006

Sunderland RCA Under 18s with their trophy from the Durham County Pre Season Tournament.
Manager Andrew Harrison, front row, first left.

The Under 18s give a magnificent performance on Saturday against a strong Darlington side.

SRCA certainly deserved their victory and in extra time proved comfortably winners.

The team spirit was excellent and we seem to have blended a crop of players from the three-strong Russell Foster Sunday teams (St Joseph's, Boldon Colts and Redby) into one well turned out unit. Much praise needs to go to Harry for the persistence in achieving this.

SRCA had two very early chances to go one up however a combination of good goal keeping and sometimes a little over play resulted in the tie remaining level for the first 15 minutes.

Darlington were always dangerous on the break with a couple of lively forwards being well supported by a combative midfield and it was against the run of play when they took the lead through a defensive splitting pass which was coolly dispatched by the Darlo number 9.

SRCA upped their game and Lloyd Conlin powered through the midfield and drove an unstoppable equaliser minutes after our going one down.

Half time score: 1 – 1

The game was evenly balanced and could go either way with Darlo having a strong wind at their backs. Rob Thompson and Anth Maggiore needed to be organised and strong to combat the long high balls into the SRCA penalty area and comfortably dealt with these on most occasions.

SRCA gave a sloppy free kick away on the edge of the box, some 15 minutes into the second half, and the resultant low cross evaded everyone and sneaked into the corner of the net. SRCA battled hard and it looked like the Darlo lads would hang on for victory when the energetic and physical ‘Leon’ headed a cross from Nicky Bell into the Darlo goal.

From then on it was one-way traffic and although the winning goals did not come until extra time there was only going to be one winner. Chris Curtis and man of the match Lewis Collinson sealed the first trophy of the season for the impressive Sunderland side. Lets hope there is more to follow. Well done Harry and the lads!

Sacriston 0 Sunderland RCA 5

Durham County Lomax Training Services Under 18 League

Saturday, 19 August 2006

The Under 18’s started things rolling on Saturday morning by following up their winning of the Durham County pre season tournament with a comprehensive 5-0 win over a gutsy and competitive Sacriston team in their first league outing of the season in the Durham County Lomax Training Services under 18 league. A Chris Curtis hat trick was the highlight of a very encouraging display by the RCA youngsters.

Washington Dunlop 3 Sunderland RCA 2

Under 18s

Wednesday, 23 August 2006

RCA Under 18's great start to the season came to a halt with a 3-2 defeat away to Washington Dunlop on Monday night. Harry experimented with his side a little and the game started with a sloppy early goal from Washington. RCA came back strongly, dominated the first half and went in 2-1 up courtesy of two well worked goals. The second half started in similar fashion, but a Washington breakaway saw them equalise against the run of play and go on to take the points with a late goal. A wake up call for the under 18's, who we are sure will react well in future matches. They take on Chester le Street here at Meadow Park on Wednesday evening (7:00 PM KO). Come along and see how our youngsters are developing.

Sunderland RCA 3 Chester-le-Street 2

Wednesday, 30 August 2006

RCA Under 18's are back to winning ways. After being 2 down, they staged a great come back to beat Chester-le-Street 3 - 2 at Meadow Park.

Sunderland RCA 3 New Hartley 1

Durham County Under 18 League

Saturday, 2 September 2006

Will the result stand?

There was unwanted drama at Meadow Park on Saturday as RCA Under 18s took on rivals New Hartley in a Durham County Under 18 League encounter. Well into the second half, and with RCA finally getting on top of a resilient New Hartley team, referee Peter Fletcher was taken ill and the game had to be abandoned as he was taken off to hospital. Peter is diabetic and his blood sugar level had fallen steeply during the game. Luckily he quickly recovered after treatment and was able to travel home later in the day. RCA were leading 3-1 at the time, but it will be up to the FA after reading the referee's report to decide whether the game has to be replayed or the result stands. Either way the most important thing is that the situation ended with all well.

Sunderland RCA 7 South Moor 1

Saturday, 9 September 2006

RCA under 18s won 7-1 in their home game with South Moor earlier in the day. A Chris Curtis hat trick was the highlight, backed up by a Dean McKeown brace and efforts from Andrew Hall and Nathan Dodd. The Under 18s are going well and the games are well worth watching, usually 11.00 kick offs on Saturday mornings, with free admission and the club house open for refreshments. See the fixtures on the notice board at the ground or on the web site (shortly!)

Army Juniors 2 Sunderland RCA 9

Saturday, 16 September 2006

RCA Under 18s used a free weekend to go to Catterick to play an army juniors eleven. RCA were always in charge of a young army side and won 9 - 2 in an enjoyable work out for the lads. We will be reciprocating the forces hospitality later in the year.

New Hartley 1 Sunderland RCA 6

Saturday, 3 February 2007

After their successful trip to Scotland Sunderland RCA Under 18s returned to Durham County Lomax Training Services League action on Saturday with a crushing 6 -1 victory away to New Hartley in deepest Northumberland.

A Michael Chapman hat trick was the highlight of a very impressive performance, ably supported by strikes from Andrew Hall, Lewis Collinson and Dave Baker. The Under 18s still have nearly everything to play for this season and seem well up for it!