Connor Slack looks for a consolation goal late in the match.
More photos from the match are here.
RCA entertained Dunston in The FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round Replay at The “LGV Stadium”. After Saturday’s 0-0 draw the tie had to be settled tonight.
Problems in team selection for RCA focused mainly on the two winger’s, Callen was off on his honeymoon while Leonard picked up a knock on Saturday and was unavailable. Into the team came Clayton Davis and Michael Charlton.
The teams lined up as follows:
SRCA: Dean, Allen, Moan, Swansbury ©, McNab, K Davis, C Davis, D Elliott, Davison, O’Neill, Charlton. Subs: Slack, Ezard,Dorward, Green, Croft, Lilley, Hodgson.
Dunston: Dryden, Marrs, Halliday ©, Pearson, Capewell, Hall, Wright, Page, Scott, Heslop, Brooks. Subs: C Elliott, Harrison, Lowther, Thear, Grant-Soulsby.
The match kicked off with RCA electing to defend against the slope and Dunston took advantage from the kick off with a series of attacks down both flanks as they tested the RCA defence out.
An early indication of the visitors’ intentions came when Wright picked up a ball from Pearson, skipped past Moan before sending in a wicked cross which saw Scott take advantage of a mix up in the RCA defence but lob the ball over the bar.
Another attack in the 10th minute, again down the right saw RCA concede a corner. The ball was swung into the box and headed away by Swansbury but it fell to the unmarked Page who deftly lifted the ball over the advancing defenders to Wright who made no mistake in firing the ball across Dean and into the far corner of the net 1-0 to Dunston in the 11th minute.
From the kick off RCA went on the attack C Davis picking up Elliott’s pass but the winger, instead of playing the ball out wide to Allen elected to cut inside and was dispossessed by Halliday who played the ball to Pearson his forward ball found Scott inside the RCA penalty area and he made no mistake to double Dunston’s lead.
It was all Dunston at this point, their persistent right wing attacks were putting Moan under a lot of pressure and they almost increased their lead in the 15th minute when Page found Wright on the right wing and he played the ball to Heslop whose first time shot fizzed past the post.
The relief was short lived, as a minute later a disastrous cross field pass by Elliott was intercepted and played forward to Scott who was clinical in his finish to make it 3-0 and only 17 minutes played.
The introduction of both Pearson and Wright into the starting line-up for Dunston was paying dividends big style for the Dunston management team. The Northern Premier team was in almost total command of this tie as RCA seemed powerless to do anything to stop them.
In their defence RCA did respond through Allen who won the ball from Brooks before sending it forward to Davis, his cross into the box was met by O’Neill but he could only steer the ball into the hands of Dryden.
On the half hour mark a break forward by Charlton took him past the Dunston defence, his pull back found O’Neill on the edge of the box but he was fouled. Elliott took the freekick and found Swansbury but his header looped harmlessly over the bar, but the last few minutes were a lot better from RCA.
The home side continued to press forward looking to get a foothold on the game and it looked likely that the next goal would be the deciding factor in how the game would go.
Unfortunately it fell to Dunston to finish the half on the up, another forward ball from Halliday found Page who played it on to the lively Wright he then slid the ball into the path of Scott who had a simple tap in to complete his hat-trick.
RCA made a change at half time taking off Moan and replacing him with Connor and re-jigging the defence moving Allen to left back and C Davis to right back.
Dunston started the second half as they started the first and were quickly on the attack forcing a succession of corners and it took some desperate defending by the RCA rearguard to prevent any further goals by the visitors.
However, in the 55th minute another Dunston attack saw the ball played into the RCA penalty area where Scott was fouled and a penalty awarded. Scott hit the ball straight down the middle to make it 5-0 and took his tally on the night to four.
Game over and Dunston looked to control the game while RCA continued to probe looking to get something out of the game.
It wasn’t until the 80th minute that the Dunston defence came under real pressure as they tired, a good ball out to K Davis by Elliott and he beat his marker to the ball before powering in a shot which flew narrowly over the bar.
A minute later and Marrs was forced into a last ditch tackle on Davison and conceded a freekick on the edge of the box, Elliott took it and Capewell was forced to head away for a corner under pressure from Swansbury. The resulting corner was headed on by Swansbury and punched clear by Dryden but only as far as Elliott but his shot was blocked by Capewell.
RCA’s best chance of a consolation goal came in the 85th minute when Elliot played the ball forward to Davison who deftly clipped the ball to Slack but the youngster snatched at the opportunity and sent the ball wide of the upright and the game ended a few minutes later.
This was really a classy display of attacking fast paced football from a well drilled Dunston side which entertained over 250 supporters on the night.
RCA to their credit never gave up fighting and battling but unfortunately the injury crisis that has blighted us for the last few weeks finally caught up with the team. We pick ourselves up and get ready for the game on Saturday against Bishop Auckland.