RCA made the short trip to face table topping Hebburn Town in this Ebac Northern League encounter.
The match sees the return of Robbie Dean, Craig Hodgson and Jonathon Carr to the starting eleven.
The teams lined up as follows:
Hebburn Town: Foden, Groves, Lough, Spence, Storey ©, Carson, Armstrong, Martin, Donaghy, Scott, Mason. Subs: Potter, Richardson, Taylor, Purewal, Mullen.
Sunderland RCA: Dean, Forster, Callaghan, Preston, Swansbury ©, Hodgson, Best, Elliott, Davison, Callen, Carr.
Subs: Leonard, Marrs, Dorward, Errington, Bell.
The teams took to the pitch on an overcast day; the overnight rain had made the pitch very heavy which didn’t bode well for entertaining football.
Hebburn started well and soon took control of the game with their slick passing and movement while RCA were resolute in their defending making it difficult for the home team.
The early pressure saw long range efforts by Armstrong and Martin drift wide of the target.
A good reverse pass from Donaghy set Armstrong up from the edge of the box but his shot was turned round the post by Dean.
With just over 10 minutes gone a quickly taken corner was picked up by Groves who fired in a ferocious shot which Carr headed off the line to safety.
While Hebburn were in almost total control it was RCA who created the best chance of the game so far when Carr raced onto an Elliott through ball before crossing to Callen unmarked in the area but his shot struck Carson and went out for a corner
Hebburn responded with a spell of possession which saw over 6 players involved with the ball then being played through the middle by Martin to Armstrong who laid it into the path of Lough but he blazed his shot over the bar.
Carr was finding some space on the right, having picked up a pass from Best he whipped in a vicious cross which was inches in front of the outstretched foot of Callen who had he connected would surely have scored.
A minute later and Callaghan, for the first time in the match ventured forward with a surging run before hitting a low shot which ricocheted off a defender for a corner.
This slight turnaround in fortunes didn’t last long as Hebburn poured forward again. A corner from the right was met by the unmarked Storey but his header was well saved by Dean.
Within a minute they were back on the attack, this time in was Scott who posed the danger as he broke into the box but hooked his shot wide.
Then a good ball to the edge of the penalty area by Lough found Scott, he in turned moved the ball wide to Mason but the ball bobbled past his foot and he totally mis-cued when in a fantastic position.
The half ended with a quick breakaway by Carr who cut the ball inside to Elliott but his shot was easily saved by Foden. Half Time 0-0.
Hebburn started the second half as they finished the first and Dean was called upon early on to make a save from Scott when he slipped his marker to fire in a low shot.
RCA’s first chance of the half came when Best picked out the run of Callen who drifted past the full back, raced to the bye-line before cutting the ball back but Foden managed to cut the ball out before it reached the onrushing Davison.
Hebburn continued to have the majority of possession without really creating any further chances but it was against the run of play that RCA took the lead, Callen again made space down the left, got to the bye line before firing in a cross which Foden could only parry into the path of Carr who trundled the ball into the net.
While Hebburn were still reeling from this blow Best chanced his arm from 35 yards out but Foden managed to adjust his positioning in time to make the save.
It didn’t take long for the home team to recover their composure and with it came the equaliser, a through ball by Richardson was not dealt with by the RCA defence and the ball eventually found its way to Scott and he duly dispatched the ball into the net at the near post.
Shortly after it was 2-1 as RCA’s nemesis Scott again picked up a through ball into the box from Storey and again slotted home past the helpless Dean.
RCA almost got it back to 2-2 when an Elliott corner to the far post was headed inches wide by Forster.
With the game drifting to its conclusion Hebburn increased their lead when Richardson clipped a through ball from Storey round the RCA defence before smashing the ball home.
RCA set up a grand stand finish when substitutes Dorward and Leonard combined to force a penalty, Dorward slipping the ball forward to Leonard who was brought down by Foden. Elliott stepped up to smash the ball into the net.
The game ended 3-2 and this in all honesty was a better overall performance than the one on Wednesday.
However Hebburn did dominate for long periods of this game and unfortunately when Preston and Callen were unable to continue through injury we were unable to match Hebburn when they brought on their substitutes in particular Richardson.
There were plenty of positives from this game but at the moment it is little lapses in concentration or lady luck not shining on us which is costing us big style.
It will get better we just need to stick with it and eventually results will follow.