Sunderland RCA 5-1 Guisborough Town
|27/10/2020||19:45||Northern League Division 1||2020/21||129||Callum Martin|
KO 29 43 62 62 63 67 75 FT
For the first 15 minutes of this away game at Sunderland RCA, Guisborough Town looked distinctly the better side and could have been 2-0 up by the time the home side took the lead in the 17th minute.
First, Guisborough skipper Callum Martin burst through on goal only to see his shot blocked away for a corner in the seventh minute.
Then just three minutes later Guisborough won a penalty when an RCA defender handled in the area. Up stepped the mostly reliable spot kick taker Mark Robinson but he blasted the ball well over the bar.
In the 14th minute an impressive-looking Guisborough almost got some reward for their enterprising and encouraging start but young Under-18s debutant Matthew Garbutt – not to be confused with his older namesake and Guisborough defender/midfielder Matthew Garbutt – scuffed his shot into the RCA side-netting when in a great position.
Guisborough’s frustration at failing to make what would have been a deserved early break-through was increased massively as RCA took a slightly fortunate lead in the 17th minute.
First Sunderland centre-forward Nathan O’Neill saw a thunderbolt of a shot cannon back off the Guisborough bar and with the danger not fully cleared Ryan Leonard shot through a ruck of players to beat the unsighted Guisborough ‘keeper Aaron Steavens and RCA had a 1-0 lead completely against the run of play.
Then just seven minutes later RCA doubled their lead to 2-0 when winger Stephen Callen hit a pinpoint cross for Nathan O’Neill to head home easily.
The two goals in quick succession seemed to knock the confidence out of a fragile-looking Guisborough team but conversely they inspired RCA to double their lead again as Callen shot inside the left hand post from the edge of the area in the 32nd minute for 3-0.
Then in the 40th minute Dylan Elliot shot home into the far corner of the net and RCA had sprinted into a 4-0 lead over a shell-shocked Guisborough side by half-time.
Ten minutes after the restart RCA increased their lead to 5-0 with a lovely looping shot into the far right hand corner by James Fairley from the edge of the penalty area.
In the 63rd minute Guisborough substitute Christian Selby, who had come on for the luckless and once again injured Brandon Holdsworth two minutes before half-time, was given a straight red card for a robust tackle which only looked to merit a yellow card at least.
To their credit, the 10-man Guisborough side refused to capitulate completely and pulled a consolation goal back in the 75th minute when good work from Jimmy Ward, celebrating his birthday, set up another Guisborough substitute Steve Roberts to fire home with only the RCA ‘keeper to beat.
So, playing half of the second half with only 10 men, a much improved Guisborough actually drew 1-1 in the second 45 minutes but really the damage had been done in the first half when the Priorymen conceded four goals despite their bright start to the game.
Guisborough’s stand-in Manager Gary Wood brought himself on as a second half sub in the 62nd minute and he helped steady the ship with a typical display of strong leadership and encouragement to his players.
Guisborough goalkeeper Aaron Steavens deserves special praise after pulling off a string of five or six fine saves throughout the match to spare his side a much heavier defeat.
Guisborough’s next match is against Runcorn Town in the FA Vase this coming Saturday, 31 October at the KGV Stadium (KO 3pm).
Match Report Author: Bill Perfitt
Photos: Dan Clark