08 Dec 2019 in Match Reports
WEST ALLOTMENT CELTIC 1 RACA 0
Albion narrowly lost at Division 2 leaders West Allotment in their third head to head of the season & as a result drop out of the top three in the table for the first time since the opening day of the season.
Still smarting from Wednesday's defeat at Willington, Albion travelled to free scoring table toppers West Allotment hoping to end the mini league blip in form. While Ryton had already played a 1-1 draw at Druid Park in the League Cup earlier in the season, Celtic had averaged six goals in their last four games so the RACA defence were expecting to be in for a busy afternoon. As it happens it was the visitors who were to enjoy the lion's share of chances in the first half, early shots from Jamie Dunn & Gavin Dick in the 8th & 9th minutes stated their intention but they were easy saves for West's keeper Finlay Hodgson. Ryton had a sudden setback when Dick was sin-binned shortly after his effort on goal, but it didn't seem to affect the men in yellow and blue too much & indeed during the enforced period with ten men, Dunn burst through the centre, leaving his marker trailing in his wake, but could only sky his effort. This was followed by a brief purple patch from the hosts with Bruno Mendes-Correia finishing a sustained period of Celtic pressure with a tame shot on 18 minutes, while Matthew Hayton shot narrowly wide a minute later. In a hectic few minutes, Albion were back on the attack with Scott Jasper finding himself with the ball up front but isolated, so his only option was to try to lob Hodgson as green & white shirts closed in on him, but he could only clear the bar. Jasper was in the thick of it on 21minutes when Harry Outterside's cross was headed by the RACA captain, but it was straight at Finlay. Even the Albion defenders were getting in on the act with Joe Shepherd meeting Dick's cross but his goalbound shot was deflected for a corner. West Allotment did finish the half on the up with Hayton and Abubaker Salim combining in the 37th minute, the former drilling a low drive across the Ryton box with Albion keeper Josh Graham pleased to see it zip past his left hand post. The last chance of the half fell to the hosts when they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box in the 41st minute. Shane Donaghey took the kick & thankfully for Albion no-one in the West forward line could quite make contact with the ball & the sides went into the interval all square
HT WEST ALLOTMENT CELTIC 0 RACA 0
The second half saw a complete change of impetus with West full of pep and Albion looking leaden footed. Salim & Shane Jones combined repeatedly for Allotment but they looked to have left their shooting boots in the changing room as both were guilty of firing high and wide. However Salim got his head onto a cross from the ever dangerous Mikel Thompson on 74 minutes & he squeezed the ball through a gap in the defenders on the line to put his side 1-0 up. From nowhere, Ryton found themselves in with the chance of a leveller a minute later from an unlikely source as Jack Moody burst forward into the Allotment box but he fired his shot straight at Hodgson. The home side were still calling the shots & Mendes-Correia had a chance to but the result beyond doubt on 76 minutes but he too put his shot wide. Ryton then made a treble substitution & the fresh legs seemed to rejuvenate the visitors. A smart team move involving amongst others, two of the recently introduced players, James Thompson & Sam Norris saw the latter almost make the perfect cameo with a shot that curled just over the crossbar. There would be one more chance for a leveller in the 88th minute as a Thompson cross resulted in a scramble in the box which after a stint of leg pinball finally was cleared & a relieved West Allotment held on to an eighth straight league win.
While this was Albion's third league defeat in a row, optimists can point to an impressive defensive performance that restricted the league's top scorers to predominantly shots from distance.
FT WEST ALLOTMENT CELTIC 1 RACA 0
REFEREE- EVAN CULLING