Sunderland RCA manager Neil Hixon has wheeled and dealed on the transfer front in recent weeks, but he couldn’t conjure up a victory in last night’s Ebac Northern League game against Bedlington Terriers at Meadow Park, writes Malcolm Pratt.
The visitors moved into fourth position when Anthony Shandran headed in the only goal after 11 minutes.
Debutant goalkeeper, young Neil Bussey did well to tip onto the crossbar a good effort from Paul Brayson and when the ball rebounded, Shandran was first to pounce on the loose ball.
Bedlington had the better of the first half, but although RCA saw more of the ball during the second period, they huffed and puffed and rarely troubled the visitors defence.
South Shields remain rooted to the bottom of the table and have now conceded 67 times, the highest number of all the 24 sides, after leaking four goals to Marske United at Filtrona Park.
Jordon Hugill was an early marksman, beaten goalkeeper Tom Courtney and from then on it was all downhill for the Mariners as further goals came from David Onions, John Alexander and Hugill.
Newcastle Benfield bossed the first half at Dunston UTS with Gary Ormston and Ian Graham outstanding, but paid the penalty for failing to take their chances.
UTS improved after Dale Burrell broke the deadlock on the hour mark, Michael Dixon sealed a 2-0 win.
Birtley Town went out of the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup when Thornaby snatched a late winner from Gary Mitchell, who blasted the ball into the net giving goalkeeper Andrew Hunter no chance.
Scott Oliver’s side had opened the scoring with a splendid effort from Dan Smith and it took a penalty, converted by Mitchell, to get Thornaby back into the game.
Hebburn Town progressed in the Brooks Mileson Memorial Cup as they edged out Whitehaven 4-3.
Fortunes ebbed and flowed throughout a pulsating 90 minutes with Tony Stephenson’s hat-trick the feature. Stuart Nicholson also netted for the South Tynesiders with Matt Tyman (2) and Kevin Connolly replying.
Whitley Bay also reached the next stage when goals from Ash Davis, Lee Paul Scroggins and Brian Smith saw off the challenge by Consett, for whom Michael Mackay scored the best goal of the four, his delicate lob from distance beat Kyle Hayes.
Spennymoor Town’s FA Carlsberg Vase tie with Billingham Synthonia was again postponed. The players warmed up before the referee deemed the pitch unplayable and another attempt will be made on Saturday.