RCA storm back for important win

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FOLLOWING a heavy defeat at the weekend, Sunderland RCA bounced back in last night’s EBAC Northern League First Division game against South Shields at Filtrona Park where they had to erase a two-goal deficit.

The Mariners, bottom of the table, made a dream start when they struck twice in the opening 12 minutes.

Stephen Graham produced a clinical finish from 30 yards on four minutes and soon afterwards, a long ball from Chris Feasey was latched onto by Tony Coe, and he also beat goalkeeper Neil Bussey.

An own goal by Chris Renshaw after 32 minutes brought the Wearsiders back into the game and just before the interval Nathan Monson struck at the second attempt after keeper James Winter had saved his first effort.

Neil Hixon’s side went in front for the first time just after the hour mark as Aristote Guerin Lokonga tapped into the goal following a goalmouth scramble.

Ten minutes later, he again netted from close-range after a corner by Elliott Cutts caused problems for the home defenders.

The two teams immediately above RCA both unexpectedly won, which means the Wearsiders have moved just one place up the table.

Bishop Auckland, who scored five times at the weekend, were favourites at Consett but the Steelmen twice came from behind to win.

A shot by Keiran Megran was deflected into the net by Stephen Tobin but within a couple of minutes, the Steelmen levelled as Luke Sullivan’s drive went in off the post.

Early in the second period, Bishops regained the advantage courtesy of Kyle Swankey before two goals in a minute turned the tables in Consett’s favour.

Sullivan’s deep cross was headed in by Matthew Slocombe and immediately a good effort from Calvin Smith was deflected past Consett’s goalkeeper Chris Elliott, who was left stranded.

At this stage, it was anyone’s game and Consett clinched all three points with Smith following up a rebound for his second goal of the night.

Celtic Nation also upset the form book on their visit to West Auckland Town. Stephen Archibald scored the only goal when he was sent clear to fire past West goalkeeper Chris Mullen from the edge of the penalty box.

Whitley Bay took advantage of West Auckland and Bishop Auckland both losing, to move into third place behind leaders Darlington 1883 and Spennymoor Town.

Second-from-bottom Norton and Stockton Ancients held out until the 67th minute when Brad Brooking’s shot from 18 yards took a slight deflection on its way into the net.

Chris Fawcett added a second goal 12 minutes later and in added time, Paul Chow made it three.

An early strike by Hebburn Town’s Paul Gardniner was cancelled out by Peter Watling but Team Northumbria went behind a second time with Stuart Nicholson’s splendid effort.

On 69 minutes though Hebburn were dealt a blow with the dismissal of Lee Harrison and Team took advantage to claim a point with Phil Lumsden’s late equaliser.

Fourth-from-bottom Billingham Town had goalkeeper Danny Molyneux to thank against Shildon. He saved a first-half penalty taken by Sam Garvie after he had been brought down by Richard Gaston and the game ended goalless.

In Division Two, Tow Law Town and Northallerton Town shared the points. Peter Bulmer and Adam Emson twice had the visitors in front but on both occasions, Mattie Scott levelled for the Lawyers.