WE MUST PUT HEARTBREAK BEHIND US AND MOVE ON - GREG
SUNDERLAND RCA STILL HAVE PLENTY TO PLAY FOR THIS SEASON AND CAPTAIN GREG SWANSBURY IS DETERMINED
Wearside’s wait for an FA Vase-winning side will go into another season after Sunderland RCA suffered a heart-breaking defeat against Northern League rivals West Auckland Town.
The two sides needed extra-time to be separated and they looked set to head to a replay at West’s Wanted Stadium in midweek.
But, in the very last seconds of the additional 30 minutes, former Vase winner Lewis Dodds sent the two-time finalists into the fifth round.
RCA captain Greg Swansbury summed up the mood at the club after the defeat, but challenged his players to make amends for their gutwrenching Vase exit.
“We are so disappointed that it was in the last minute,” said the centre-back.
“Both teams played well, and it was always going to take a sloppy goal like that.
“It was a tight game, but we have to put it behind us now and move on.
“We still have plenty to play for this season and we are determined to make amends.
“We can’t really dwell on it and we have to make up for the loss as soon as possible.”
Hebburn Town will join West Auckland in today’s draw for the last 16 of the competition.
The Hornets were a goal down to strike from Shepshed Dynamo striker Joe Pheasant as the tie headed towards half-time.
But a Michael Richardson volley and an instinctive finish from Luke Sullivan eventually saw off their Midland League opponents.
However, Newcastle Benfield’s hopes of a Wembley appearance were ended by North West Counties League club Northwich Victoria.
The Vics took advantage of some poor defending to take a three-goal lead into halftime thanks to strikes from Joel Brownhill, Harvey Whyte and Matthew Clarke.
Second-half goals from Mark Turnbull and Dennis Knight brought Benfield back into the tie, but they couldn’t find an equaliser to force the game into extra-time.
In Northern League Division One, Gary Pearson jumped off his sickbed to witness Ryhope CW come out on top in a seven-goal thriller at Shildon.
James Ellis and Michael Rae both scored twice as Pearson’s side took an impressive three points against a Shildon side that ended the game with nine men after Marc Ellison and Daniel Moore were both shown red cards.
Ryhope had taken the lead four times in the game, but were pegged back by strikes from Aidan Heywood, Billy Greulich-Smith and Railwaymen player-manager Moore.
Pearson admitted that he nearly missed the game with an illness, but was delighted to see his side claim a hardearned win.
“I wasn’t very well, and I nearly didn’t come to the game.
“All of the excitement, I think it’s made me worse.
“Taking the lead four times in a game, you’d expect to take something away.
“It’s done and dusted and we have the three points against a very good side.
“I think we wanted it more and we had more ideas, they were back to front with runners.
“We had our backs to the wall but we created and built up the play a long way better, especially in the first-half.”
Two sides in Division One’s top three produced a highquality affair at Belle View but leaders Consett and thirdplaced Bishop Auckland couldn’t break the deadlock, despite creating a number of good chances throughout a pulsating 90 minutes.
Second-placed Dunston UTS lost for the second consecutive game as a Olly Martin brace helped Whitley Bay to a 3-2 home win over Chris Swailes’ side.
The result also handed former Sunderland Ladies manager Mick Mulhern his first league win since taking over at the Hillheads helm.
North Shields continued their fine form as substitute Gary Day got the only goal of the game in their win at Ashington.
Stockton Town continued their push for a top-five place as two fine free-kicks from Max Craggs and single strikes from Chris Stockton, Max Craggs and Sonni Coleman eased the Anchors to a 5-1 win at Newton Aycliffe.
Guisborough Town came through their “must-win” home game against Penrith with ease.
Mark Robinson and Danny Earl both scored twice in a 5-0 win for the Priorymen.
Meanwhile, Durham City assistant manager Steve Durrant believes that injuries took their toll during his side’s 4-0 defeat at Northallerton Town in the Northern League Division Two.
Richie Walker and Damon Reeks both scored twice in each half to give the North Yorkshire outfit a comfortable win over the struggling Citizens.
Durrant paid tribute to young debutant Adam Thirlaway and insisted that City will improve once they are back at full-strength.
He said “We had a quarter of our squad missing with injuries, so it makes it difficult when you can’t put out your strongest team.
“That said, keeping things simple and making better decisions will change our fortunes.
“There was a great debut for Adam Thirlaway, who did himself proud coming in from the reserves and looked every part the first-team player.
“We hope to have numbers back against Redcar Athletic next weekend and we are hoping to bring in one or two more signings due to the amount of injuries we have that are long-term.”
leaders Billingham Town stretched their unbeaten run to 24 league games, although they were given a big scare by struggling Brandon United.
The two sides went into half-time on level-terms after a Jay Nicholson own goal was cancelled out by a strike from Brandon defender Ben Joyeaux.
Town striker Craig Hutchinson put his side back in front just before the hourmark, but they were left up against as goals from Niall Fingleton, Lee Blades and Joyeaux’s second of the day gave the visitors a two-goal lead as the game headed into the last five minutes.
Matthew Robinson gave Town some hope of mounting a comeback with a goal four minutes from time and an injury-time penalty from Hutchinson ensured that they preserved their unbeaten run in dramatic fashion.
A Kurtis Howes brace and goals from Paul Roddam and Ian Ward helped Thornaby continue their push for promotion with a 4-2 home win against out-of-form Washington.
Robbie Middlebrook and Kieran Brookfield found the target for the managerless Mechanics.
Kieran Megran and Joe Hailes were amongst the goals as Chester-le-Street Town maintained their topfour position with a 2-1 win at Esh Winning.
BillinghamSynthoniawon for the first time in five games as they came from behind to claim the points at Crook Town.
Former Stockton Town player Chris Dunwell gave
Action from Sunderland RCA’s game against West Auckland Town in the FA Vase.