Ryton & Crawcrook Albion v Stockton Town FC
Manager Michael Dunwell fielded a much changed side in this League Cup group match, injuries and unavailability meant he could get some match fitness into guys who haven’t seen much action recently.
The Anchors probably did enough to have won the game but several missed chances, early on especially, encouraged RACA to defend with their lives and a couple of defensive lapses were enough for the resilient RACA to earn themselves victory and a big scalp.
The Anchors started brightly and Jimmy Ward linked well with Bulmer, Wards low cross found Cieran Jackson 6 yards out but he missed his shot and the ball ran to Mikey Roberts who couldn't sneak it past keeper Graham.
Roberts then stole the ball off Turnbull just inside the RACA half and he raced towards goal, the RACA skipper just getting back to nick it off Roberts toe as he pulled the trigger
As Stockton continued to dominate possession their best chance fell to Roberts whose diving header from only a couple of yards out was blocked on the line by a lone defender after Peter Bulmers header was tipped onto the bar by Graham and the rebound fell to the Stockton striker
RACA took the lead in the 34th minute, after forcing a couple of corners, Liam BARKER was unmarked at the far post and his looped header beat Roberts to make it 1-0 HT
Josh Graham in the RACA goal continued to frustrate the Anchors in the second half denying Roberts again after neat play with Woodhouse and Jackson and then making a good save low down to his left from Sub Kev Hayes shot.
The pressure continued as RACA sat very deep, Stockton worked the ball across the pitch and Lewis Kings cross was met by Roberts again but his touch wasn't enough to beat Graham and he collected easily. Fred Woodhouse's turn next and he to collected a loose ball inside the box but his shot wasn't clean and Graham saved with his legs as his defence surrounded the goal line to prevent a follow up
Predictably, after all the efforts on goal a slight lack of concentration by the Anchors defence from a quick throw in and Ramsey played in sub Dan BLEWITT and with just the keeper to beat he showed the Stockton players how to do it and sealed the victory for the RACA boys FT 2-0
Hardly the giantkilling act but a great result for the Second division outfit. Fair play to Ryton they executed their game plan perfectly, aided and abetted by a slightly below par display by the Anchors, although still having enough opportunities to win comfortably. Hopefully a lesson learnt and hopefully a little blip in a very promising start to the season. Disappointing defeat for the Anchors in this League Cup Group C game, meaning they will now have to take at least 4 points from their last 2 matches to qualify. No excuses despite the changes, and RACA deserved to win for taking their chances when presented to them
Onto another toughie, away to Guisborough this weekend and fingers crossed some of the injuries will have cleared up by then and there will be a full squad to pick from.