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Hebburn Town 3 Sunderland RCA 0

Submitted by Rob Jones on Monday, 4 November 2019
Saturday, 2 November 2019
The Buildbase FA Vase

Mark Davison has a first half shot blocked.

For more photos from the match please click here.

RCA travelled to the Energy Check Sports Ground for the second time in a fortnight to play Ebac Northern League leaders Hebburn Town in the Second Round of the FA Vase.

Forced changes meant that Leonard (Work Experience) and Allen were unavailable while Croft was preferred to Elliott who was still feeling the effects of a virus. Into the side came Clayton Davis and Sam Lilley.

The teams lined up as follows:

HEBBURN TOWN: Jennison, Groves, Lough, Spence, Carson, Donaghy, Robson, Taylor, Armstrong, Richardson, Dibb-Fuller.

SRCA:  Dean, Lilley, McNab, Preston, Swansbury ©, Hodgson, C Davis, O’Neill, Davison, Callen, Croft. Subs: Elliott, Ezard, Moan, Gray, Allen.

Hebburn were quickly into their stride from the kick off with Richardson sending in a wicked cross from the right which Dibb-Fuller put wide of the upright.

RCA responded well to the early pressure and forced a corner when a through ball from Croft was met by C Davis who crossed into the box where Lough sliced the ball out.

The home side almost took the lead on eight minutes when a cross from Richardson found Robson inside the area, his initial shot was blocked by Dean and the follow up was cleared off the line by McNab.

RCA should have broken the deadlock two minutes later when Callen outpaced his marker before crossing the ball into the six yard area where O’Neill beat the keeper to the ball but somehow managed to clip it over the bar.

A quick free kick taken by Spence released Richardson who found Groves at the far post, but Swansbury was able to block the shot and Dean picked up the loose ball.

In the 22nd minute Robson should have opened the scoring for Hebburn when he was sent through on goal by Spence, but McNab somehow got back to clear the danger.

Hebburn did have the ball in the net from the resulting corner but the referee rightly ruled it out for a push.

With half an hour gone a spell of RCA pressure saw a poor back pass charged down by Callen. The ball spun away from goal but Callen was able to retrieve it before trying to pull the ball back to Davison but a combination of Jennison and Lough managed to clear the ball off the line.

An uncharacteristic poor ball from Swansbury was picked up by Spence who played a through ball to Armstrong who looked to be fouled by the onrushing Dean and the referee produced a red card for the RCA keeper.

Ezard took the place of Dean in goal as Croft was withdrawn.

During the half time interval Preston was replaced by Elliott as RCA reshuffled their defence.

The home team dominated the early stages of the second half as expected with a man advantage, but RCA dug deep and when the defence was breached Ezard proved to be in good form making a number of great saves.

Spence created an opening for Armstrong but Ezard made a superb save and managed to turn the rebound shot round the post.

Hebburn had the ball in the net in the 47th minute but Armstrong was adjudged to be in an offside position when the initial shot was saved by Ezard.

RCA's first chance of the second half came after an hour when Lilley crossed to the far post where Callen managed to steer his header back towards Davison but it was inches in front of him and the danger passed.

The “Hornets” created a chance of their own a minute later when a cross from Spence was met on the full by Armstrong but Ezard again produced a magnificent save and Swansbury cleared the ball upfield.

It was almost all one way traffic. Spence, again the instigator of the next attack, made a 25 yard run before hitting a 20 yard drive which Ezard managed to tip over the bar.

In the 75th minute Hebburn broke through Richardson and his cross found Spence who headed home to give Hebburn the lead.

In the 80th minute RCA had a big shout for a penalty when Swansbury appeared to be pulled back inside the box, but the referee waved play on and the game quickly shifted to the other end of the pitch where Richardson was on hand to connect with a Martin cross to steer home into the bottom corner.

Hebburn put the game beyond any doubt in the 87th minute when Armstrong slid in to turn home a Dibb-Fuller cross from close range.

The sending off obviously had a massive effect on the game as did the penalty appeal; both big shouts which fell in favour of the home team.

Good luck to Hebburn in the next round, they are a very good side who could go all the way in this competition. It's just a pity that two strong Northern League teams got drawn together today.