Synners kill off battling RCA in stoppage time

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SUNDERLAND RCA were in with a chance of claiming at least a point from last night’s Ebac Northern League First Division game before Billingham Synthonia sealed victory with a second goal deep into stoppage time, writes MALCOLM PRATT.

The Wearsiders made an encouraging start and Jamie Clarke forced a good save from home goalkeeper Tim Griffiths.

Shortly afterwards, RCA keeper Jonathan Ball turned a Nathan Porritt shot around the post. But, on 33 minutes, ex-Middlesbrough starlet Porritt was the provider for Joel Callander to fire in a rebound.

RCA striker Aristote Guerin Lakonga forced a tremendous save from Griffiths and later fired just off target.

With the game four minutes into added time, RCA’s hopes were ended as debutant Paul Johnson, signed from Horden CW, squared the ball to Callum Hassan, who scored his first goal for the Teessiders.

In Division Two, Birtley Town took top-four hosts Darlington RA to the wire before losing 2-1.

Dale Elgie drove in from the edge of the penalty area after just six minutes for RA’s opener, and five minutes into the second period Louis Whensley beat Birtley keeper Andrew Mallinson from 20 yards.

With 17 minutes left, Stephen Graham volleyed out of home keeper Matt Calvert’s reach to halve the deficit, but, despite pressing in the later stages, Scott Oliver’s side were unable to produce an equaliser.

The remaining games were all postponed, as was the entire Wearside League programme.

H Tonight, Washington are scheduled to play West Allotment Celtic at Nissan in the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup quarter-final. Manager Richie Latimer reports that neither Michael Latimer nor Mark Patterson can play and it is unlikely that Matthew Wade will have recovered from injury in time to play.