Northern League: Guisborough's late show rocks Sunderland RCA in dramatic Meadow Park clash
Sunderland RCA were in with a very good chance of victory on Saturday.
But they conceded twice in the last couple of minutes to Guisborough Town in a dramatic First Division game at Meadow Park.
Thibault Charmey beat goalkeeper Neal Bussey with an early strike, but, almost immediately, James Cassidy chested the ball into the net at the back post for the equaliser.
By the 26th minute, Martin Swales’ men were in front, thanks to Liam McBryde’s strike. At this stage the Wearsiders were threatening, but, when they conceded a free-kick, Peter Bulmer delivered a tremendous effort which gave Bussey little chance of saving.
Thereafter, RCA more than held their own and, going into the final stages, had the opportunity to take all three points.
However, their hopes wilted when they allowed Thomas Bligh to strike and, with virtually the last kick of the game, Kyran Clark completed Guisborough’s 4-2 win.
Seaham Red Star made a winning start to their league programme, ending comfortable 3-0 winners against hosts Washington at the Nissan sports complex.
Tom Price was the architect of the opening goal on 65 minutes and David Paul made no mistake at the back post.
Robbie Bird doubled the lead after being set free by Lee Kerr and it was all over for the Mechanics as Bird netted again with a clinical finish into the corner of the net.
After being hit for six by champions Shildon in their opening fixture, Chester-le-Street’s defence tightened up immeasurably at home to North Shields. But they still ended as the losers, with Curtis Coppen’s 65th-minute header the only goal.
Much-fancied Shildon lead the table following two games. After scoring six times in their opening fixture, they bagged three at home to Ashington, with Lewis Wing, Billy Greulich Smith and Paul Connor the marksmen.
Ex-Sunderland favourite Julio Arca was among the goals as South Shields claimed a point at Consett.
Although Gavin Cogdon cancelled out Jake Stafford’s early strike, the Steelmen were quickly back in front through Michael Sweet and, when Luke Sullivan made it three, the Mariners had a fight on their hands.
Arca converted a penalty to lift Shields and, in added time, Jon Shaw made the final score 3-3.
Shields assistant boss Lee Picton said: “I’m still really disappointed with the first-half performance and the goals we conceded after the work we did during the week, but we asked the lads to simply show a bit more character, heart and determination in the second half.
“We showed that. We hit the post twice, but, on the flip-side, we could have been more than 3-1 down in the first half, so it’s swings and roundabouts.”
Jarrow Roofing grabbed a 90th-minute equaliser against Dunston UTS with James Fairley’s direct free-kick.
Paul Chow had given them the lead, but Dunston rallied to go 2-1 up through Malcolm Morien’s brace before Fairley’s last-gasp strike.