After a hard fought game at Meadow Park Last Saturday which ended 0-0 and resulted in a return FA Cup replay fixture at Ryhope Recreation Park, This means that both teams got another crack at the whip to gain progression into the next round of the compitition.
Welfare’s preparations going into the replay against RCA may have been rather challenging as they suffered a few injuries to some key players which changed the formation and required players to fill different position. Historically, The Ryhope Derby has always been a well fought encounter with RCA usually coming out the victor. The beginning of this game started as normal service resumes from the tie at Meadow Park with both sides playing very high lines with the majority of play in the first 15 minutes getting dominated in the midfield. Much like a usual local derby clash they’re was some strong periods of possession for both sides along with strong tackles and aggressive collisions.
It took around 24 minutes for the first clear chance to be created by Colliery Welfare with a very convincing change up of play down the right flank with a great conversion freekick from Luke Proctor that was met on the head by Christopher Wallace and directed a strong save from RCA. A few minor chances happened in the period with welfare hitting the post after 31 minutes with Jon Winter coming close but both teams where still having high flocks of possession and keeping the battle present in the midfield. 34 minutes in brought a very clear opportunity for Sunderland RCA with a strong break of play and directing the play down the right that forced James Winter into a vital save down to his right.
This was very much the story for the last period of the first half with Sunderland RCA turning up the heat and trying to get the goal advantage going into the break, this was all brought to the save of James Winter who looked very strong through the whole game saving the teams a significant amount of times during the duration of the tie. Both teams go in for half time with the score at 0-0 and everything still to play for!
The second half starts with the same pace with Sunderland RCA playing a more directive line and trying to catch Welfare on the break. The first 10 minutes of the second half seen RCA dominate periods with Winter, again having to make strong saves to keep Ryhope in the game. After 53 minutes, the inevitable happened and Sunderland RCA took the lead with Stephen Callan collecting the ball on the edge of the RCW box and takes a strong direct shot that finally breaks James Winter, It was 0-1 to RCA.
At this stage, RCA looked like they where gaining some control of the game with Welfare making some changes in the midfield in ambition of searching for that equaliser to get the game even again. Gary Pearce brought on two influential players in James Ellis and Jack Devlin to try and grind out the victory and offer some clear and definitive chances. It took until the 72nd minute for Welfare to have a clear chance that fell to the feet of Micky Rae for his chance to be saved on the line. Welfare kept working hard and trying to grind out something from the game as it always looked visible they could convert a chance in this game and after 81 minutes with time not being on the side of either teams, Welfare gained the highly anticipated equaliser from a heavy series of ball watching from the RCA defence which seen the rare name of Chris Trewick head home to give Welfare the boost they needed and make it 1-1 .
This put the game at stalemate again with the feeling that Welfare could perform that underdog second half FA Cup comeback that all football fans are used too! This all started to become very true when Ellis was brought down in the box on the 85th minute with Welfare awarded a lifeline in terms of a penalty and a chance to put some daylight between them and RCA. The penalty was taken James Ellis, who you could put your mortgage on to convert for Colliery welfare! The penelty was taken in a different style from James than usual and was put over the bar which was a huge chance lost for Welfare and kept the game at 1-1.
After that huge miss for Welfare and the constant pressing of both teams but both sides equally looking strong at the back and defecting play well it looked like this game would need extra time and penalties to find a winner. On pretty much the last kick of the game on the 90th RCA had a long ball forward which the Welfare defence underestimated the bounce of the ball which give a clear last minute opportunity for Sunderland RCA to convert and gain the win which they did and Callan gained his second of the night for RCA putting past the very strong James Winter after a one on one situation. This was very hard for Welfare to take but overall the story of the game was loads of missed opportunities for Welfare and the strongest outfit on the night gained entry into the next round.
Onwards and upwards for the season, Its only early days- plenty to be excited by!
Full Time Score: Colliery Welfare 1 – 2 Sunderland RCA