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Sunderland RCA 4 Ryhope CW 1

Submitted by Rob Jones on Sunday, 29 December 2019
Saturday, 28 December 2019
Northern League 1

Goal scorer Mark Davison on the attack during the second half of the match.

More photos from the match are here.

Sunderland RCA welcomed local rivals Ryhope CW to Sunderland LGV Park for the last match of 2019 for yet another Ryhope Derby, the fifth this season.

Injuries continue to blight RCA with the latest news that Stephen Callen is likely to miss the remainder if the season with ankle ligaments damage.

The RCA management team made a tactical change for this match in an effort to win the mid-field battle which, in previous encounters between the two teams, had been largely dominated by Hotchkiss and Co. Sacrificing two wide players for a more compact central midfield playing a 4-3-1-2 formation.

There were number of changes from the last match played against Northallerton Town with Dorward, Lilley, Hennis, Ramshaw, Callen and Leonard replaced by Allen, Swansbury, Elliott, Davison, K Davis and making his debut for RCA Tom Best on Work Experience from Hull City.

The teams lined up as follows:

SRCA:  Dean, Allen, McNab, Preston, Swansbury ©, Best, Elliott, O’Neill, Davison, K Davis Lawson Subs: Lilley, Ezard, Leonard, Dorward, Moan.

Ryhope CW: Winter, Braithwaite, Walker, Riding ©, Lay, Trewick, Weirs, Hotchkiss, Rae, Bird, Judson, Subs: Harkess, Wallace, Vincent, Ellis, Jones.

RCW kicked off with the advantage of the wind and the slope but the first chance of the game fell to the home side when McNab broke down the left before crossing to the far post where Lawson got to the ball first but his header was easily saved by Winter.

With two minutes gone RCW were awarded a freekick on the right hand side of the penalty area, Hotchkiss whipped in a terrific kick which was headed goalward by Riding but Dean was in the right place to make the save.

The visitors were applying the early pressure in the game and RCA were forced to defend on their own 18 yard line, a long range effort from Judson in the 7th minute was the culmination of some good passing between Hotchkiss and Bird.

RCW’s next attack came when Braithwaite intercepted a cross field pass and raced down the right wing, his cross into the box bounced off Best and behind for a corner, this was taken short by Weirs to Bird and his cross was headed away by Swansbury for another corner which was easily cleared by Allen at the front post.

In the 18th minute RCA took the lead, K Davis won the ball in the centre circle before playing the ball to Best, he quickly played the ball to inside to Davis who returned the ball into space for Best and the Hull City Academy loanee curled an exquisite shot beyond the reach of Winter and into the far corner of the net.

Almost immediately RCW went on the attack and again it was Hotchkiss who was at the centre of the move, drawing a foul from McNab before sending in another of his trademark whipped freekicks, this time Dean was alert and gathered the ball before the RCW forwards could get a touch.

The visitors continued to pour forward but they were found wanting in the final third and were reduced to long range efforts which never really troubled the RCA defence.

At the other end it was much the same when RCA did threaten the final ball into the box was poor and easily dealt with by the RCW defence.

The game as expected became bogged down in the midfield with both teams restricted to long range efforts, the best of these fell to Hotchkiss who curled a shot inches over the bar with Dean scrambling to cover the shot.

The final throws of a dogged first half saw Hotchkiss, who else, fire in a freekick straight down the throat of Dean.

The opening spell of the second half saw RCA pushing forward to try and increase their lead K Davis and Davison, who had been largely anonymous in the first half, combined with Davison setting up K Davis to shoot but Winter was able to make the save.

In the 58th minute RCW were awarded a penalty when the ball bounced awkwardly in front of Elliott and struck his hand. Hotchkiss stepped up and smashed the ball past Dean.

RCA looked to get back into the game and Allen picked up a pass from K Davis on the right before crossing to the far post where Lawson, in acres of space, sent his volley wide of the target.

With 70 minutes gone RCA introduced Leonard into the game and his first contribution was to win a corner on the right, the corner was partially cleared by Riding but fell to Best whose shot was blocked and rebounded to Davis who played it out to Elliott, his cross was headed away for another corner.

Elliott took the corner and inexplicably Lay used his hand to deflect the ball away and the referee awarded a penalty to RCA. Elliott took the penalty sending Winter the wrong way and restoring RCA’s lead.

RCW responded with a quick attack, Bird moving forward before pasing to Walker, his shot ricocheted of a RCA defender and away for a corner which Preston cleared up field.

Leonard provided the killer moment in the game when he controlled a long pass out of defence, raced past his marker into the box before picking out the surging run of Davison who side-footed the ball into the net from close range.

In the 89th minute Leonard again slipped past two defenders but Winter was quickly off his line to make the save at the feet of Leonard.

Deep into stoppage time Leonard was given another bite of the cherry when the ball was played through to him by Moan and this time the youngster rounded the keeper and slotted home to make it 4-1 to the home team.

The score-line flattered RCA but in the end they probably shaded the closing stages of the game and scored the goals when the opportunities presented themselves.

Next up is North Shields Away on 4th January 2020 kick off 3.00pm.