Posts Tagged ‘Sunderland RCA’

Ashington v Sunderland RCA, Tuesday 16th August 2022, 7.30pm

August 27, 2022

The Northern League season is well underway now and with Ashington having won their opening four games to top the table I thought I’d head through the Tyne Tunnel to take in their fixture with Sunderland RCA. It was eight quid admission to the Woodhorn Lane ground with another pound-fifty for a programme.

There’s a large covered seated stand down one side, with a smaller one opposite. A burger van was parked behind one of the goals and as I hadn’t eaten before I set off, I paid it a visit. Chips were still fifteen minutes from being ready, so I settled for a cheeseburger. I was a little surprised to be charged fifty pence extra for adding onions to it, but I suppose it means that those who don’t like onions don’t have to subsidise those of us that do. Maybe they should apply the same logic to ketchup. Or sugar in tea.

Ashington were in a white shirt with a black V, whilst mid-table RCA were in blue. The visitors took the lead early on with a finish that I missed as I was making my way up the steps into the main stand. Ashington had most of the play in the remainder of the first half, but lacked patience in the final third and often just pumped the ball aimlessly into the box.

I went into the clubhouse at half-time, to get a coke and a warm. The temperature outside was colder than I’d expected, and I should have worn an additional layer or two. I stayed there for the remainder of the game, watching through the windows and by careful positioning also keeping an eye on the Rangers v PSV match on the television via the reflection in the glass that appeared to float above the real game.

Ashington pressed forward throughout the second half and with around ten minutes remaining the body language of some of the home players suggested that they felt it wasn’t to be their day. However, a cutback cross from the right was swept home to level and then in the third minute of added time a ball in from the left was met with a downward header that gave the keeper no chance and clinched three points that had looked well out of reach.

Five wins from five for Ashington strengthened their position at the top of the table.

Sunderland RCA v Stockton Town, Saturday 4th September 2021, 3pm

September 16, 2021

After attending matches in the Extra Preliminary and Preliminary rounds of the FA Cup I thought I’d keep my streak going with a game in the First Qualifying Round. There were a few options but I took the opportunity to see Stockton Town for the first time this season in their tie with Sunderland RCA at the Meadow Lane ground in Ryhope.

The ground wasn’t the easiest to find. We could see it from all sides but it took a while to locate the entrance. Once parked up we headed into town for something to eat. The Guide Post pub looked promising but weren’t doing food and so in the end we had to settle for fish and chips from Ryhope Fisheries next door.

With rain in the air, we returned to the ground a good half an hour before kick off to try and get a seat under cover. It was six quid each admission with another pound for the programme. A decent attendance looked to be on the cards and the bar area was already busy as we made our way towards the main stand. There were flags from Stockton and plenty of Teesside accents.

We spent the first half in the main stand with the beagle tucked between my legs. He’s generally fine sitting quietly at a game but every now and then he perks up when he smells food. Bit like me really. Stockton took an early lead through a Kev Hayes free-kick and with Mikey Roberts adding a second mid-way through the half.

At that stage it looked as if Stockton, who are one division higher than RCA, were on for an easy win, but the hosts pulled one back on the half-hour and then equalized a few minutes later. They could even have taken the lead just before half-time but were denied by a decent save from the keeper. It was quite a turnaround.

With the prospect of rain diminishing we watched the second half from behind the goal. Stockton were getting on top again but struggled to make the extra possession count. Former Boro player Jonathan Franks was having a decent game. He’s someone that I’ve kept an eye on throughout his career, mainly because he went to school with my kids. I saw his Premier League appearance in the relegation game at West Ham and Jen and I saw him at Hampden in the League Cup semi-final victory over Celtic a few years ago. More recently I’ve watched out for his team’s results in Iceland and it’s good to see him back where he started.

With around twenty minutes to go Stockton regained the lead with another goal from Hayes. There were still chances going begging at the other end though and I wasn’t convinced that Stockton would see the game out. For one thing they had a few players carrying a bit of weight. It’s not unusual to see the odd player at this level with a bit of a belly on them but Stockton had at least three. Mind you, a few of the Sunderland lads looked as if they could do with a decent dinner so perhaps these things even out.

With play stopped for some reason we had a chat with the lady lino about dogs and football. She mentioned that in one game she had been reffing it had been a nightmare getting a stray dog off the pitch. There were at least six dogs at this game so it’s not surprising really that you get the odd one that gets up to mischief.

With time running out Stockton clinched the game with a fourth goal to see themselves through to the Second Qualifying Round and only three more wins from a potential tie against a League One or Two club.