The first friendly of the season saw new manager Steve Riley’s much changed team head up to play Durham Corinthians at New Ferens Park.
Injuries and work commitments meant that Pinder, Marrs, Burlace and Dorward were unavailable.
RCA lined up as follows:
Sunderland RCA: Ball, Lawrence, Thompson, Allen, Errington, Croft, Hawkins (c), Carr, Johnson, Annan-Colquohoun, Milburn.
Subs from: Davison, Best, Wilson (GK), Fairley, Lennox, Richardson, Partridge and Bell.
The game started with RCA controlling the pace of the game with some slick passing but were let down in by the final ball. They had a great chance in the tenth minute when a direct pass from Allen found Johnson in space on the edge of the penalty area but under pressure he scuffed the ball wide.
Slightly against the run of play the Corinthians took the lead. Allen stumbled on the ball which allowed a Corinthians forward the easy task of slotting past Ball.
There were few chances in a the remainder of the half with the best falling to Colquohoun after Milburn had beaten a number of defenders before playing in the forward but the home keeper was quickly off his line to smother the danger.
Half time saw the introduction of Wilson, Best and Davison.
The changes made a slight improvement with RCA winning a succession of corners, but they were unable to capitalize on them.
Unfortunately, Davison limped off ten minutes into the half with a recurrence of a calf problem picked up in training and he was replaced by Fairley.
Further changes saw the introduction of youngsters, Lennox, Richardson, Partridge and Bell.
For all their possession it was not until the 89th minute that RCA breached the stoic defending of the Corinthians, when Best took a quick free kick to Milburn, who broke past the last defender, rounded the keeper and slotted the ball into the empty net.
This was the first of seven preseason friendlies and it looked like a competitive match which will have improved the match fitness of the players involved. The next match is away to Brandon on Tuesday. 7.00pm kickoff.