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Redcar Athletic 1 Sunderland RCA 2

Submitted by Rob Jones on Sunday, 24 April 2022
Saturday, 23 April 2022
Northern League 1

A long journey south for the RCA faithful to play Redcar Athletic at their BM Bi-Fold ground. This was our first visit to the newly promoted Steelmen’s ground and a very impressive set up it is too and very friendly people.

The hosts have had a reasonably good first season, but RCA would be looking reverse the 4-3 defeat suffered at the hands of the “Steelmen” back in October last year.

The RCA management team was forced to make one change to the team who beat West Auckland Town last week with the injured Ben Errington unable to play due to a knee problem sustained in that match. He was replaced by Callum Patton with a slightly reshuffled back line.

The teams lined up as follows:

Redcar Athletic: Bean, McGuckin, Farrington, Woodhouse ©, Krakue, Brown, Clarkson, Young, Martin, Rivis, Walker. Subs: Jackson, Williams, Mitchell, Eglington.

Sunderland RCA: Marrs, Allen, Charlton, Jakob, Hawkins ©, Lawrence, Hennis, Patton, Davison, Annang-Colquhoun, Carr. Subs:  Johnson, Richardson, Mitchell, Bell, Herdman.

The hosts took the initiative from the start with a number of lightening quick raids down the left, Walker picked up a good ball from Young before playing the ball inside to Rivis who hit a low drive which Marrs could only parry away and Walker picked up the loose ball forcing the RCA keeper into another point blank reaction save.

RCA’s first attack saw Allen intercept a through ball before playing the ball to Davison who returned the ball to Allen but his through ball was over-hit and Bean was able to save easily.

The “Steelmen" continued their attacks down the left with Walker picking up a long clearance by Krakue, controlling it first time before dribbling into the RCA penalty area but scuffed his shot wide of the target.

The visitors looked to get back into the game and almost opened up the Redcar rearguard when Annang-Colquhoun broke through three tackles before laying the ball into the path of Patton on the edge of the box but his hurried shot lacked power and Bean was able to again save easily.

Walker was continuing to cause problems on the left for RCA and in the 23rd minute he was picked out by Rivis with a clever reverse pass, Marrs managed to block the initial shot of Walker and reacted quickly to smother the ball as Walker followed up in an attempt to bundle the ball over the line.

In the 29th minute the home team took the lead when Clarkson played an exquisite ball into the path of Walker who for the third time found himself one on one with the RCA keeper but this time he slotted the ball past Marrs and into the bottom corner of the net.

It was no more that he deserved after almost single handedly dominating the first 30 minutes.

RCA responded well to going behind and almost equalised two minutes later when a ball forward by Lawrence was picked up by Davison inside the penalty area, the RCA striker turned and hit a shot beyond Bean in the Redcar goal but Browne was on hand to clear off the line.

The visitors were at last coming to life. Charlton and Carr combined down the left to open up the Redcar defence before Carr crossed into the box where Davison managed to get a head to the ball but it drifted wide of the post.

Charlton almost scored a freak goal as he chased dawn a back pass to Bean, the Redcar keeper’s clearance hitting Charlton but rebounded kindly for the number one and he was able to recover the ball.

As the game drifted towards half time Walker again threatened on the left but this time his curling effort from 25 yards out was always going over the bar.

Inside the final minute of the half and RCA equalised with a stunning move. A free kick by Charlton was met by Davison under pressure his header was partially cleared but Jakab was on hand to pick up the loose ball, after withstanding a challenge he was able to play the ball to Patton who played a reverse pass to Hennis, he back-heeled the ball to Carr who swivelled on the edge of the box before firing an unstoppable shot into the top left hand corner of the net to record his first goal of the season.

If the home team started well in the first half, RCA out gunned them at the start of the second, as they mounted attack after attack in the opening minutes.

In the second minute of the half RCA were awarded a corner on the right, Charlton took the kick aiming for the near post where Patton flicked the ball into the danger area but Bean was able to collect ahead of Davison.

Within a minute and a through ball from Hennis was picked up by Davison who fired in a low shot which was blocked by Brown, the rebound fell to Patton who smashed his shot into the body of Krakue and McGuckin cleared up field.

RCA continued attacking, a cross field ball from Jakab found Charlton on the left in acres of space and the RCA defender took full advantage advancing down the wing before sending in a wicked cross to the far post where Farrington headed behind for a corner.

Charlton took the corner kick curling in a wicked cross which Bean didn’t collect cleanly and the ball dropped at the feet of Annang-Colquhoun who stabbed the ball home from close range for his thirteenth goal of the season.

The Steelmen looked to get back into the game but it looked like the RCA defence had worked out a plan against Walker and their attacking threat was not as potent as in the first half.

A good ball forward by McGuckin picked out Martin who played a quick one-two with Rivis but Hawkins read the intension of Martin and intercepted the final ball into the box.

Both teams made substitutions on the hour mark and RCA’s Johnson almost made an immediate impact latching onto a long ball over the top he fired across the goal and just wide of the upright.

Next to have a go for RCA was Annang-Colquhoun a good ball from Hennis split the Redcar defence and fell to Davison who squared the ball to Annang-Colquhoun but he struck the ball wide.

The home team still looked dangerous on the counter attack and almost equalised when a lovely ball from Woodhouse fell to Walker and he hit a first time drive towards goal but Marrs was able to get down smartly palming the ball away for a corner.

With 15 minutes remaining RCA strikers were guilty of two glaring mis-hits, firstly Hennis played the ball to Richardson who played the ball into the box to Davison who was unmarked but the normally reliable striker totally mishit his shot with only the keeper to beat.

A minute later and the roles were reversed as Davison picked up the ball on the right wing cut inside and played the ball into the area for Richardson who also got his legs tangled up and mishit his shot and the ball was cleared by Woodhouse.

The home team mounted a late charge in an effort to get an equaliser but it was too little too late and the RCA defence held strong.

The best chance actually fell to RCA when substitute Mitchell played the ball out to Charlton who crossed the ball in to Johnson but he scooped his shot wide and the game ended with a victory to the visitors 1-2.

Another good result for the lads to add to last week’s win against West Auckland Town we finish the season with two wins and end up in 9th place in the league.

Given that this was a transitional season with a new management team and a new set of players I think that we have done very well to finish so high up the league hats off to Steve, Dan and Rhys.

If we can keep this team together and we can continue to add quality youngsters to the squad who knows what next season will bring, but for now we have attained our objective for this season of staying in the EBAC Northern League Div I.  

As well as the “on pitch” team there is also the “off pitch” team of Dave, Graham, George and Norman without whom we would not have a pitch to play on.

We are also very grateful for the contributions made by all of our generous sponsors but in particular to the “Alexandra Steakhouse”, “Brown & Hood, “Haskel”, “Sunderland LGV”, “KitchenMagic” and “Ian Swansbury”.

We look forward to seeing you all again next season.