Northern League: Keeper Finch the inspiration as Sunderland RCA claim fine win at Penrith

Sunderland RCA scorer Luke Page
Sunderland RCA scorer Luke Page

Sunderland RCA rose to ninth place in the Ebac Northern League First Division after an excellent 2-1 victory at Penrith last night.

Keeper Keith Finch produced an outstanding display to inspire Martin Swales’ men, after the Cumbrians took a 19th-minute lead when the keeper spilled a shot and Martyn Coleman pounced to score from close range.

RCA levelled matters on 33 minutes, when a cross from Luke Page found Nathan O’Neill, who finished well past goalkeeper Stuart Dixon.

Two minutes later, RCA went ahead, Page ending his surging run with an excellent finish from the edge of the box.

Finch made an excellent one-handed save to deny Coleman a leveller just before the break.

The game was delayed in the second half as the referee had to leave the field of play and an ambulance was called, and a substitute linesman had to be found.

When the match got going again, keeper Finch ensured the win for RCA with two magnificent saves, denying dangerman Coleman and Andrew Murray-Jones, clawing away the latter’s goal-bound header.

Leaders Morpeth Town went 18 points clear again, after a 3-1 defeat of seventh-top visitors Stockton Town.

Sean Taylor’s brilliant shot into the corner of the net had Morpeth ahead on 24 minutes, and Mark Davidson added a second from close range just before the hour mark.

Max Craggs powered home a 65th-minute header to rouse Stockton, but Curtis Coppen hit the hosts’ decisive third goal, following good work by Ben Sayer.

Bishop Auckland progressed to the quarter-finals of the Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup, pipping Guisborough Town 3-2 with a last-gasp winner.

Steven Roberts ran clear to beat keeper Gareth Young, at the second attempt as Guisborough struck first, but Bishops equalised on 60 minutes when Michael Hoganson’s free-kick went straight into the net, with keeper Shaw missing the ball.

The Priorymen regained the lead on 71 minutes, through Louis Goldsac, but Andrew Johnson made it 2-2 on 88 minutes and then, six minutes into stoppage time, he fired home a dramatic winner.