There are probably around 10 Northern League teams I don’t watch each season. It’s never a thing based on choice; it’s just how the games fall. I’m always bound to watch every team in the second division, and I’ll watch around half (maybe a few more of the First Division teams). That leaves 10 or less I won’t watch each season. So, you would have thought I would have watched every team in the past two seasons. Ashington are an exception. I haven’t watched Ashington since early September 2017 when they hosted Easington in the FA Vase. Prior to that, it was early April 2015 when I watched them. North Shields, Newcastle Benfield, Guisborough Town, Whitley Bay, Penrith and Whickham are the only teams in the First Division I haven’t watched them season so far, and I possibly will still watch some of them before the season is over. Willington and Brandon United are the only teams in the Second Division so far, but I definitely will see both of them against Easington.
Sunderland RCA hit Ashington for five
Ten-man Sunderland RCA scored five goals in 17 second half minutes as they claimed a 5-1 win at home to Ashington on Wednesday night.
Ashington took the lead through Kieran Brannen in the 33rd minute, but five goals in less than 17 minutes at the start of the second half put Sunderland RCA firmly in control.
Mark Davison collected a brace for RCA, while Carl Lawson, Dylan Elliott, Nathan O’Neill were all also on the scoresheet.
Greg Swansbury was sent off late on for the hosts, but the three points had already been secured.
Upon kick-off, Sunderland RCA started well, and a deep cross in the sixth minute found Kyle Davis at the back post. He took aim with a first time side footed effort, but Adam McHugh got down quickly to save.
Callum Johnston then had an effort saved for Ashington, before another good Davis effort for RCA was saved by McHugh.
On the quarter of an hour mark, Davis was involved again. This time he looked to tee up a chance with a teasing ball across the face of goal, but no RCA men were able to get on the end of it when only a slight touch was needed.
With 20 minutes on the clock, David Luke fired over for the visitors with a dipping half volley, before Davison glanced O’Neill’s pinpoint cross wide at the other end.
In the 33rd minute, against the run of play, Ashington took the lead. The ball was worked to Brannen in the centre of the park and he dribbled through two RCA defenders before a confident finish found the net.
That proved to be that for the first half, and despite being second best, Ashington went into the break ahead.
However, just 75 seconds into the second half, Sunderland RCA equalised. A cross into the near post was spilled by McHugh, and former Sunderland man Lawson was quickest to react to bundle the ball into the net.
There was an immediate response from Ashington though. Promising build up play found Brennan, but his shot was saved.
However, still only in the 49th minute, RCA took the lead. Davison whipped an inviting cross into the penalty area to find Elliott, and his pinpoint glancing header picked out the far bottom corner.
And, another three minutes later, their lead was doubled. Davison was fouled on the edge of the penalty area and he dusted himself down to take responsibility. The former Washington man picked his spot and curled a lovely effort over the wall and into the near top corner.
RCA looked to have a fourth in the 58th minute when a powerful header found the corner, but it was ruled offside.
However, they would only have to wait a further minute to find a fourth goal. Ross McNab drilled a ball through the centre of the park and bypassed everyone. The Ashington defence stopped with the hope that it was going through to their ‘keeper, but O’Neill took full advantage by latching onto the ball and finishing well.
In the 62nd minute, RCA scored their fifth in less than 17 minutes. A low ball was drilled into the Ashington penalty area, and a lack of communication meant it wasn’t cleared. The ball fell kindly to Davison, and he was able to blast into an empty net.
With RCA now in full control, the game settled down.
Johnston had a good chance for the visitors in the 68th minute, but he could only shoot wide.
Following a quiet spell, RCA were reduced to 10 men as Swansbury was sent off for a strong challenge on Lewis Robson in the 76th minute. Robson couldn’t continue, and with Ashington having already used their three subs, both sides finished the game with 10 men.
Half chances came at both ends in the final 10 minutes, but no further goals were scored and Sunderland RCA claimed the three points.
Full-time: Sunderland RCA 5-1 Ashington
Next up for me is Easington Colliery vs Newcastle University on Saturday.
Sunderland RCA: Dean, Allen, McNab, Preston (Clayton Davis, 38′), Swansbury (c), Best, O’Neill (Moan, 83′), Lawson, Davison, Kyle Davis, Elliott (Leonard, 73′)
Unused subs: Ezard, Hennis
Ashington: McHugh, Gibson (Kalthoeber, 61′), Gaffney, Edwards, Coppen (c), Bramley, Luke, Ross (Biwer, 46′), Johnston, Brennan (Robson, 73′), Slater
Unused subs: Williamson, Scott
Admission: £6 adults, £4 concessions
Referee: Matthew East