RCA made the long trip to Guisborough Town on a overcast evening which threatened rain but didn’t deliver any.
There were a number of players unavailable for this match and the management team were forced to make three changes to the starting eleven, in came Lawrence, Thompson and Fairley to replace Allen (injured), Carr (unavailable) and Johnson (slight injury).
The teams lined up as follows:
Guisborough Town: Dean, Redman, Bell, Dillon, Ord, Hood, Bartliff, Green, Johnson, Rowe, Plant. Subs: Waites, Watts, Webster, Smithyson, Roberts.
Sunderland RCA: Marrs, Lawrence, Thompson, Jakab, Errington, Coghlan, Hennis, Hawkins ©, Fairley, Davison, Annang-Colquhoun: Subs: Johnson, Croft, Richardson, Lennox, Ball.
Guisborough took the game to RCA from the off and the visitors were forced to defend in numbers to stop the flow of attacks by the home team.
In the fourth minute a cross field ball from Bartliff was picked up by Plant and his cross was headed over the bar by Johnson.
RCA should have taken the lead four minutes later when a good run by Fairley was stopped by a rash challenge inside the box and the referee awarded a penalty, Coghlan elected to take the penalty but hooked it wide of the post.
Within minutes Marrs was called into action at the other end producing a terrific save to deny Plant after a fast break by Rowe had set him up.
RCA were looking a little more composed but were making life difficult for themselves with a number of misplaced passes which gave the home team possession too easily.
Guisborough’s pressure forced RCA to concede a number of corners but they were able to defend them well with both Errington and Jakab heading clear from successive dead ball situations.
An RCA free kick on the right was taken by Coghlan to Fairley who held the ball up before releasing to the overlapping Coghlan but his shot flew across the face of the goal and wide of the far post.
On the half hour Guisborough had a good chance when Plant picked up a pass from Redman cut inside Thompson but his shot was deflected wide of the target. Plant looked to be limping after this effort and was replaced by Watts.
The home team were awarded a penalty in the 33 minute when a poor pass resulted in a quick attack and although Jakab appeared to get a foot to the ball he was adjudged to have made contact with the attacking player in the process. L Johnson stepped up and smashed the ball into the net to make it 1-0.
RCA responded well moving forward looking for an early equaliser with Annang-Colquhoun forcing a corner on the right, Fairley floated the corner to the far post where Errington managed the get his header on target but Dean saved easily.
Ex-RCA keeper Dean can count himself very fortunate to remain on the pitch minutes later when he raced out of his box to make a very rash and high challenge on Annang-Colquhoun as the RCA forward looked to break past the last defender.
As the half came to a close a ball into the box from Hennis was picked up by Lawrence who elected to send in a low cross rather than shooting and the ball evaded both Davison and Fairley and flew wide of the target.
The second half started much the same as the first with the home team not allowing RCA to settle on the ball and pressing forward quickly.
In the 50 minute a long ball forward from Dillon found Johnson an the edge of the box and he cleverly turned and fired in a low shot which went narrowly wide of the upright.
RCA responded with a fast break Annang-Colquhoun racing down the right delivered the ball inside to Fairley who in turn laid the ball to Thompson but his curling effort was straight at Dean.
The home team doubled the lead in the 66 minute, a break down the right by Green saw him cross into the box where L Johnson, under pressure from two defenders was able to stab the ball home from close range.
Richardson came on to replace Annang-Colquhoun and was immediately in the thick of the action receiving a ball from Thompson he ran at the home defence before releasing the ball to Thompson who pulled it back to Fairley who curled in a wicked shot which Dean saved magnificently tipping round the post. However the flag was up for offside.
The game slowly fizzled out as a contest although RCA were unlucky not to get a consolation goal in injury time when a flick in by Davison was latched onto by Richardson who proceeded to chip the ball over the head of Dean but the ball bounced agonisingly wide of the far post.
After the euphoria of the opening day win this was a back down to earth result which proved that the game at this level is about fine margins, Penalty miss, Penalty scored, poor decision making in the final third by RCA good decision making in the final third by Guisborough.
Next up for RCA is the small matter of an FA Cup tie against Bishop Auckland on Saturday, 7 August 2021. Kick Off 3.00pm