Manager Martin Swales was delighted that his men responded to a half-time ‘telling off’ to run out 4-1 winners against Ryhope CW in Saturday’s Division One derby.
RCA were out of the blocks first at Meadow Park and took a third-minute lead, through Nathan O’Neill, against his former club.
He slammed home from 10 yards after Michael Charlton’s turn and shot was kept out by visiting keeper Jonny Ball.
Ryhope, looking to extend their perfect start to the season, gradually eased their way back into the game and equalised on 18 minutes through Joe Melvin, who earlier had an effort blocked by determined defender Adam McGuinness.
Melvin showed great awareness to capitalise on hesitation between keeper Neal Bussey and defender Luke Page to steal the ball and clip the ball over the home goalie and into an unguarded net.
RCA responded to Swales’ words at the interval and they dominated the second half.
Summer signing Dylan Elliott put them back in front on the hour mark, driving home a fine effort from 16 yards after a great link-up with Stephen Callen.
Ball made a good save to deny Clayton Davis and O’Neill hit a cracking effort against the Ryhope post before two goals in the final 10 minutes sealed the points.
James Cassidy made a surging run down the flank and set up Luke Page to finish clinically on 81 minutes, then livewire Elliott notched his second, from the penalty spot, after a foul on Craig Hodgson.
RCA were awarded another penalty in the dying moments, when Cassidy was felled by Ball, but the keeper – who had got close to Elliott’s first spot-kick – saved as Elliott fired to the same corner, denying the impressive youngster a hat-trick.
RCA manager Swales said; “Although I am delighted with the win, we were poor in the first half.
“The lads received a bit of a ‘telling off’ at half-time and they responded well in the second period.
“I told them to keep passing the ball and be patient and they were rewarded with three second-half goals.”
RCA face a tough task at Consett today (1pm kick-off), while Ryhope CW are back in action tomorrow, at home to Jarrow Roofing (7.30pm).
Washington were trounced 6-0 at Ashington and have only collected two points from their first five games.
They were undone by a Callum Johnston hat-trick (3, 51 and 73 minutes), plus goals from Tony Stephenson, Damien Stevens and Ben Harmison.
It gets no easier, with a home match against Seaham Red Star tomorrow (7.45pm).
Red Star went down 2-1 to new leaders Shildon on Saturday.
The Railwaymen have won five and drawn one of their first six games.
After a goalless first half, Shildon took the lead through David Reynard two minutes after the break and he doubled the lead on 65 minutes.
Five minutes later, Craig Lynch reduced the arrears, but the visitors held on, thanks to an excellent late save from Nick Liversedge, denying Lee Hetherington.
Consett are up to seventh, after a comfortable 3-0 win at newly promoted Billingham Synthonia, who are yet to claim a point from their first five games.
However, it took until the 67th minute for the Steelmen to make the breakthrough, with Michael Sweet heading home from close range.
Michael Mackay made it 2-0 seven minutes later, firing home from close range, then Sweet made the game safe 10 minutes from time.
West Auckland are third, despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Team Northumbria.
An own goal gave the hosts a first-minute lead, but they had Anthony Bell sent off on 68 minutes and the visitors capitalised in stoppage time, levelling with a goal from sub Lewis Shorrock.
Peter Glen-Ravenhill notched for Whitley Bay, but they lost 2-1 at Dunston UTS, for whom Mark Fitzpatrick struck twice.
Jarrow Roofing were no match for Morpeth Town, who ran out 4-0 victors.
Liam Henderson grabbed a first-half hat-trick for the visitors before Wayne Phillips rounded off the win.
Matthew Pennal’s double helped Newton Aycliffe beat Penrith 3-0.
Troubled Bishop Auckland lost again, 4-2 to Guisborough, despite efforts from Andrew Johnson and Ben Trotter. Jack Connor and Steven Roberts hit braces for the Priorymen.
North Shields saw off newly-promoted Stockton Town 4-1, with Lee Mason and Dean Holmes both striking twice.