Taylor Richardson in action for RCA late in the match.
'A Life of Pie', the Northern League Blog is here.
Connor Lamb's match report is here.
RCA travelled the short distance up the Bank to play Ryhope CW in the second local derby of the season, RCA having won the first 1-0 in a close encounter in the opening game of the season when a Mark Davison strike was the difference between the two sides.
The management team was forced to make one change to the team who won on Saturday with Max Allen replacing Jonathon Carr who was unavailable.
The teams lined up as follows:
Sunderland RCA: Marrs, Allen, Charlton, Swansbury ©, Errington, Jakab, Hennis, Guy, Davison, Annang-Colquhoun, M Weirs. Subs: Richardson, Winn, Lawrence, Herdman, Lennox
Ryhope CW: Winter, Morris, Gordon, Trewick ©, Garside, Lay, Braithwaite, J Weirs, Taylor, Davis, Ellis. Subs: Bird, Harkess, Wade, Wallace, Southern.
With no other football in the area there was a good crowd of 234 in attendance for the start of the match. RCA took advantage of the strong wind which was blowing straight down the pitch.
There was little in the way of good football played in the opening stages of the match as the players adjusted to the conditions, both teams were quick to close the opposition down and this made for a scrappy game with little in the way of quality.
With six minutes gone Guy intercepted the ball midway in the RCW half before playing it into the channel for M Weirs to run onto but Winter, in the RCW goal, spotted the danger and reacted quickly to collect the ball ahead of the RCA forward.
As the game progressed it was RCA who were understandably, given the conditions, doing most of the attacking and RCW were forced to defend.
The visitor’s opened the scoring in the 16 minute. Annang-Colquhoun won a corner on the left which was taken by M Weirs, his cross looked to be handled by an RCW defender before falling to Davison at the far post and the RCA striker lashed the ball into the net. The angle of the netting was such that the ball rebounded straight out but both the Referee and the Assistant indicated a goal had been scored which subsequent videos showed them to be correct.
Within a minute RCA were back on the attack, this time Annang-Colquhoun battled his way through a series of tackles before played the ball to M Weirs who curled a shot inches over the bar.
The home side was restricted to counter attacking but were continually finding themselves offside as the visitors well drilled defence moved forward.
In the 28 minute RCW finally pushed RCA back and Allen was forced to concede a corner when stopping the progress of Ellis on the left. Ellis took the corner and it was met with a powerful header from Lay but he could only direct it wide of the post.
Marrs had to be quick to react when a back pass from Swansbury looked to be falling to Taylor but the RCA keeper booted the ball clear in the nick of time.
Back at the other end and a surging run by Charlton saw him receive a return pass from Weirs before stabbing the ball wide of the upright.
A hard fought, if somewhat dour, first half ended with RCA deservedly leading 1-0.
The second half started with the home team on the front foot and whereas they had only one corner in the first half they had three in the space of two minutes at the start of this half. The first of them taken by Ellis was partially cleared but fell to Braithwaite whose shot was deflected by Hennis for the second corner which was headed behind by Allen and the third was cleared by Errington.
Once again the game became a scrappy affair with both teams cancelling each other out, closing down quickly and stopping any real attacking momentum.
RCW were seeing a lot more of the ball in the opponents half in this second period but were finding it hard to cause problems in the final third.
A long ball out of defence by Garside was picked up on the right by J Weirs; he cut inside and was allowed to drift past two defenders before shooing wide of the target.
On the hour mark Hennis won the ball in midfield and played it forward to Annang-Colquhoun, he cleverly squared the ball to Guy who decided to have a pop at goal but the ball bobbled and his shot flew well over the bar.
Good play in the centre of the park by Trewick and Braithwaite and the ball was eventually played out to Davis on the right, he drilled in a low cross which flashed across the face of the goal and was deflected out for a corner, a real let off for the visitors.
What little goalmouth action there was seemed to come from set pieces, in the 70 minute another Ellis corner was headed over the bar by Lay.
Within minutes a free kick by Ellis was played forward to substitute Southern who hit a terrific dipping long range effort which Marrs did exceptionally well to tip over the bar. Ellis took the corner to the near post and the ball was deflected high into the air, J Weirs stabbed the loose ball toward goal but Charlton blocked it, the rebound fell to Garside who looked to have scored but Errington hooked the ball clear.
The tension was mounting in both camps as RCW looked for an equaliser while RCA were defending superbly. It’s fair to say that the home team had the impetus at this point with their best spell of the match.
A break by Trewick saw his cross into the box headed wide by Ellis before the same player picked up a loose ball 20 yards out and fired in a shot which produced another good save by Marrs.
In the 80 minute RCA were awarded a freekick on the right when Annang-Colquhoun was fouled by Lay, Charlton played the ball low to the near post where Annang-Colquhoun flicked the ball toward goal but it hit Winn and out for a goalkick.
RCA, against the general run of play in the second half, extended their lead in the 85 minute when a high ball forward from Swansbury was chested down by Winn on the edge of the box and the RCA forward turned and struck a dipping shot which bounced in front of Winter and spun into the net.
The game seemed to pick up for the final five minutes with RCW pushing forward and leaving gaps in their defence for RCA to exploit and they almost made it 3 – 0 two minutes into injury when a ball from Charlton was picked up by Richardson, he outpaced the RCW defence before firing a shot toward the far corner of the net but Winter was able to palm the ball out for a corner.
Into the sixth minute of injury time and RCW were awarded a free kick 25 yards out Ellis elected to take it curling a lovely shot toward the top corner of the net but Marrs was not going to relinquish his clean sheet pulling off an exceptional save to tip the ball over the bar.
The was not an “EL Classico” by any stretch of the imagination but it was a hard fought match between two equally talented teams who showed a lot of respect for each other. The windy conditions made it difficult for good football to be played.
At the end of the day another three points and another clean sheet, that’s 13 this season in all competitions which is a pretty phenomenal statistic.
Next up we play Whickham away on Saturday, 5 February 2022: kick off 3.00pm.