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Ryhope CW 1 Sunderland RCA 1

Submitted by Rob Jones on Sunday, 8 December 2019
Saturday, 7 December 2019
Northern League 1
Stephen Callen

Stephen Callen, who scored RCA's equaliser, attacks late in the match.

Please click here for more photos from the match.

The RCA management team was forced into making two changes to the team who played in the mid-week defeat to Stockton Town, into the starting eleven came Lilley and Callen replacing the injured Swansbury and Davison. 

This was the fourth local derby between the two teams this season with both teams winning one, the other being a draw, so a close match was expected.

The teams lined up as follows:

Ryhope CW: Harkess, Woods, Weirs, Walker, Jones, Trewick ©, Wallace, Hotchkiss, Rae, Skidmore, Bird. Subs: Winter, Ellis, Robson, Vincent.

SRCA:  Dean, Davis, Allen, Preston ©, Lilley, Elliott, Dorward, Hodgson, Callen, Hennis, Leonard. Subs: O’Neill, Ezard, Moan, Lawson, Croft.

The opening minutes of the game saw both teams looking to go on the offensive. Callen broke free in the opening minute, but his shot was deflected off Walker and into the waiting arms of Harkess. A minute later Elliott produced a curling shot which went wide while at the other end Bird dribbled his way into the RCA box before testing Dean with the ball squirming under his body before being cleared.

RCA were awarded a free kick on the right which was taken by C Davis. His cross into the box was headed away by Jones, but fell to Preston on the edge of the box, he drilled in a low shot which went wide of the target.

In the 10th minute Hennis picked up a loose ball and he found Leonard on the edge of the box, he took the ball forward a few paces before smashing a shot into the body of Trewick and Woods was on hand to clear.

As the game settled it was the home team who looked to take the initiative and after Hennis had fired over the bar for RCA the ball was played out to Skidmore on the left and his delicate curling shot was inches away from giving the home team the lead.

RCW continued to assert pressure on the RCA defence with Hotchkiss instrumental in most of their attacking play.

In the 25th minute the “Colliers” took the lead when Hotchkiss picked up the ball in midfield played a 1-2 with Rae before chesting it down and firing in a long range volley which Dean managed to tip onto the underside of the bar but the ball dropped down and hit the RCA keeper. Whether the ball had crossed the line before it hit Dean was debatable but Hotchkiss claimed the goal.

The home side went looking to increase their lead and Rae was close with a shot from the edge of the box which Dean did well to save.

A well worked move between Hotchkiss and Skidmore released Wallace who curled in a shot which went narrowly wide of the goal.

As the game entered the final five mionutes of the half a great through ball from Allen was picked up by Elliott who drifted past two defenders before smashing a shot toward goal and only a reaction save from Harkess stopped RCA from equalizing.

In keeping with the way the first half had been played the ball switched to the other end and Bird got on the end of a long clearance from Weirs but fired his shot straight at Dean.

Hodgson, who had picked up a rib injury toward the end of the first half was replaced at half time by O’Neill as RCA switched to a 4-4-2 formation.

RCA went on the offensive from the off and in their first attack of the second half O’Neill headed a Callen cross into the net only for the referee to rule it out.

A minute later and Elliott intercepted a pass and laid the ball into the path of Leonard who made a diagonal run across the edge of the box before shooting over the bar.

The game became a bit feisty and erupted when Wallace was dismissed for a second bookable offence.  Their followed a number of cautions in quick succession as the derby eventually livened up.

When the game settled down again RCA tried to make the extra man count by stretching the play while RCW tried to contain them.

Callen almost equalised when he picked up the ball from an O’Neill header, slipped past his marker and fired in a shot which flew wide of the upright.

In the 71st minute RCA were reduced to ten men when C Davis was dismissed for his second bookable offence within the space of two minutes.  

With both teams reduced to 10 men the game became a bit scrappy and neither team looked likely to take control.

However as the game entered its final ten minutes a long ball forward by Hennis was brilliantly controlled by Callen with his back to goal he swiveled round and drifted past his marker before unleashing a a stunning shot into the bottom corner of the net giving Harkess no chance.

In the final minutes of the game both Bird and Robson broke quickly, but fired shots across the face of the visitors goal without troubling Dean.

RCA responded with two quick attacks of their own when O’Neill played the ball forward to Lawson but he fired over the bar and finally Elliott fired in a thunderbolt of a shot from 30 yards out which flew narrowly wide.

Everything about this game was even, a player from each side dismissed for two bookable offences, an equal amount of chances created by both team and a goal apiece as Derby's go pretty run of the mill.

Next up we are away to Spennymoor Town in the Durham Challenge Cup on Tuesday, 10 December 7.45pm kick off.