We welcomed Ryton and Crawcrook Albion to the Sunderland LGV Park for our first home friendly of the season.
Injuries and work commitments meant that seven players were unavailable for selection.
The teams lined up as follows:
Sunderland RCA: Ball, Allen, Carling, Errington, Dorward, Hawkins, Coghlan, Best,Davison, Annan-Colquohoun, Milburn: Subs from: Wilson, Lennox, Richardson, Partridge and Trialist.
Ryton and Crawcrook Albion: Gladstone, Below, Brown, Laws, Turnbull, Dodsworth, Davis, Johnson, Thompson, McLeod, Jasper
The teams took to the field on a lovely calm evening, ideal conditions for playing football
RACA took advantage of the slope in the first half and didn’t take long to settle into the game.
In the seventh minute Thompson opened the scoring slotting passed Ball in the RCA goal after Coghlan had been dispossessed 25 yards out to give the visitors the lead.
RCA responded and were ahead after 18 minutes with two quick fire goals Annang-Colquhoun on 16 minutes curled in a sublime shot from 20 yards out and this was followed two minutes later with a well taken goal from Dorward smashing home a long range effort to make it 2-1.
The goals kept coming with RACA equalising almost immediately when Johnson latched onto a cross to steer past Ball. 20 minutes gone and it was 2-2.
This remained the score until half time.
The second half kicked off and after a number of substitution were made by both teams the game settled down again.
The visitors took the lead again in the 57th minute when they were awarded a penalty and Turnbull slotted the ball into the net sending the RCA keeper the wrong way.
The home team picked up the pace of the game on the introduction of Taylor and in the 73rd minute Milburn smashed in an unstoppable shot from 18 yards out which Gladstone had no chance of saving to make the score 3-3.
A minute later and RCA took the lead when Richardson burst through the RACA defence before drilling the ball into the net.
While the visitors continued to try for an equaliser RCA defended their lead and held on for their first win of the pre-season and remain unbeaten.
More minutes on the pitch for the players and this was a good test of their resilience in coming back twice from going behind. Cut out the defensive errors and we know we can score goals. We also seemed lethargic in passing the ball especially in the first half slowing the game down to a walking pace gave the opposition time to recover their shape.
Second half improved and the ball was moved forward quicker.
Ryton and Crawcrook Albion look to be a very decent second division side, they worked hard and played some good football at times. They will only improve the more matches they play.
Next up is a home game against Billingham Synthonia on Saturday, 17 July kick off 3.00pm. Admission £2.00.