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Sunderland RCA 2 Seaham Red Star 4

Submitted by Rob Jones on Sunday, 1 March 2020
Saturday, 29 February 2020
Northern League 1

Kyle Davis in action for RCA during the second half of the match.

For more photos from the match please click here.

Sunderland RCA having won their last match against Newcastle Benfield made only one change for the match against near neighbours Seaham Red Star, bringing in K Davis for Allen.

Thomas Best re-signed on a work experience programme and Nathan O’Neill returned from holiday were on the bench alongside Moan, Slack and Allen.

The teams lined up as follows:

SRCA: Dean, Green, C Davis, Hodgson, Swansbury ©, Hennis, R Leonard, Elliott, Davison, K Davis, Lawson. Subs: Best, O’Neill, Moan, Allen, Slack.

SRS: Bannon, Hailes, Weldon, Henderson, Myers, Gillesphey, McRoberts, Gardiner, Wilson, Robinson ©, Coulson. Subs: Tumilty, Waite, Dart.

RCA kicked off attacking into a strong head wind and it was Red Star who posed the early threat attacking down the slope, McRoberts started a good move down the right playing the ball out to Hailes and his cross was caught by the wind and Dean had to make a save at the foot of the post.

The wind was becoming the main problem facing both teams, RCA were finding it difficult to get out of their own half and Seaham Red Star found the ball running away from them.

In the 9th minute a well worked move between Gardiner and McRoberts saw the latter’s shot deflected onto the post and away for a corner. The pressure was mounting on the RCA defence as first Swansbury and then Hodgson had to deal with crosses from the left wing.

A quick break by C Davis on the right gave Seaham Red Star their first scare, he picked up a through ball and fired in a cross which eluded everyone, Lawson prevented the ball from going out for a throw in and played the ball to Elliott, he passed the ball to R Leonard who skipped past two defenders before firing a shot goal ward but Myers blocked and cleared the danger.

Another foray down the right by Seaham Red Star involving Hailes and Gardiner had RCA scrambling to clear their lines when the cross came in and the ball fell to Wilson whose shot was deflected into the air by Hodgson and Dean was able to make a comfortable save.  

The inevitable breakthrough came in the 18th minute when a flowing move saw the visitors move the ball quickly across the pitch with McRoberts playing a one two with Robinson before laying the ball off for WILSON who curled in a delightful shot which struck the inside of the post and nestled in the net.

It was almost 2 – 0 a few minutes later when Weldon played the ball forward to Robinson and he sent in a dipping shot which require a superb save from Dean at full stretch to tip over the bar.

There followed more pressure from the visitors with Coulson the next to try his luck from distance his curling effort sailing past Dean before striking the inside of the post and rebounding to safety. A minute later and Weldon played the ball to Coulson and he struck another long range effort through a host of players but Dean was able to make another terrific save.

RCA eventually seemed to realize that if they passed the ball on the floor, rather than launching it in the air, they would get some relief from the Star’s constant pressure. Their first shot on target came when they were awarded a penalty when Lawson dribbled his way into the box before being up-ended. Elliott stepped up to take the spot kick but his effort was brilliantly saved by Bannon.

A few minutes later and K Davis set up Lawson on the edge of the box but his curling effort went inches wide of the upright.

As the half entered the final few minutes RCA were starting the threaten, R Leonard on the right cut inside before squaring the ball to Elliott who drilled his shot wide of the target.

A freekick on the left was floated to the back post by Coulson onto the head of Wilson but his header from a few yards out was saved by Dean.

Having made so many saves to keep the hosts in the game in was ironic that a simple back pass from C DAVIS bobbled over Dean’s foot and trickled into an empty net giving Seaham Red Star a 2 – 0 half time lead.

RCA came out with all guns blazing at the start of the second half but it was Seaham Red Star who had the first chance, with RCA over committing in attack the ball was won by Myers and hooked forward where Wilson ran straight through on goal but he blasted his shot straight at Dean.

Two minutes later and Hennis played a ball out to C Davis on the right wing, he squared the ball to K Davis who crossed into the box but the ball was deflected away from Lawson for a corner.

The corner was well defended and Gillesphey was able to send the ball up field to McRoberts and his shot was blocked by Hodgson at the expense of a corner at the other end.

Dean turned defence into attack when he sent a beautifully weighted kick into the path of K Davis who flicked it on to R Leonard, he cut inside but his shot was blocked for a corner by Myers.

A similar move five minutes later piled more pressure on the visitor’s defence, this time Dean's pass was controlled by Lawson and his cross into the box found K Davis but he volleyed over the bar from a very good position.

RCA eventually wore down their opponents and in the 65th minute an Elliott, in swinging, corner was on partially cleared and SWANSBURY was on hand to fire the ball into the roof of the net.

Four minutes later and it was all square when an intricate passing move saw Best play the ball to Elliott who laid it off to K Davis it was switched back to Best who played it to LAWSON and he curled a lovely shot into the top corner of the net.

Seaham Red Star regained the lead in the 75th minute when a long ball out of defence found GARDINER midway inside the RCA half; he dribbled his way into the penalty area before unleashing a low drive into the bottom corner.

The frantic pace of the game and the high wind started to take its toll and the game slowed dramatically.

RCA, looking to get back into the game, brought on O’Neill who almost set up Davison with his first touch of the ball but his shot was blocked and cleared by Weldon.

In the final minutes of the game RCA were reduced to 10 men when Davison was dismissed for something he said to the referee and their task became even more difficult two minutes later when C Davis was sin binned for dissent.

Down to nine men and still looking for an equaliser they were hit by a decisive counter attack and substitute DART took full advantage of the lack of RCA defenders to settle the game with a well placed shot past Dean.

Seaham Red Star deserved this win while RCA can reflect on another bad day at the office where a missed penalty, a fluke goal, and numerous mistakes at the back contributed to this defeat.

Having got back into the game we went Gung-Ho all out attack and forgot that we needed to defend as well. If it wasn’t for Dean pulling off a string of class saves this defeat could have been a lot worse.