18 Sep 2020 in Match Reports
Esh Winning handed us our second defeat of the campaign with a deserved 1-0 win at Waterhouses...
Esh Winning 1-0 RACA
Channon North bagged a late winner to sink a resilient 10-man Albion at the WIndowPlusRoofs Arena.
The target man’s 88th minute strike to notch home from a well-worked McMahon free-kick gave the Stags a well deserved win on home soil.
It was backs to the wall stuff for Albion for the final 25 minutes as defender Michael Stephenson was dismissed for a clumsy last-man challenge on Jay McLean.
Bullock made six changes from the side that beat Tow Law 3-1 at the weekend as he freshened things up with Hansen, Liam Anderson, Stephenson, R Graham, Backhouse and Blewitt all starting.
After an uneventful start to the game things sprung to life on 13 minutes when North had a goal ruled out off a McMahon set-piece for offside - much to the frustration of the home crowd.
Esh started to take control of the match but RACA proved they could still be dangerous when Graham pierced their backline to feed in Louis Anderson. The striker, bouncing after notching his first goal at the weekend, saw his effort blocked by a last-ditch tackle to register the visitors first shot of the game.
The home side should have taken the lead but for the heroics of David Hansen, who pulled off two top saves to deny Nathan Burrell twice from almost identical free-kicks.
Both stops were one for the camera roll and Hansen was at it again moments later, tipping a bullet effort over his near post to keep RACA in the game.
Former RACA defender Matthew Soulsby should have broken the deadlock when his free header whistled inches wide of the post just before the break. As the referee blew his whistle Albion would certainly be the happier of the two sides to go into half-time with the score still level.
The second-half followed a similar pattern, with Albion pinned back and looking to hit Esh on the break when they could with Anderson the focal point upfront.
Bullock introduced Gav Dick for Backhouse on the hour mark and as the game looked as though it was hurtling towards a drab 0-0 draw - the turning point took place.
North chested down the ball on the halfway line for a team-mate who pinged a lofted ball over the top of the RACA backline.
A footrace between McLean and Stephenson followed with the Albion defender clumsily bringing his man down as he bore down on goal. As he was the last man and didn’t attempt to play the ball, the referee had no options but to show him a straight red card.
It was a shame for Stephenson, who had looked pretty solid in his first start of the campaign up until then and had been one of the main reasons that the scoreline was still 0-0.
From then on, it was a case of whether Esh could beat the clock as a winning goal looked inevitable - with the home side starting to pile the pressure on Hansen’s goal.
Matt Law carried out a rare attack late on for RACA when his jinking run down the left got his side in a dangerous position. His attempts to pull a pass across to Anderson were blocked but it showed that both sides were still capable of snatching all three points.
Some resilient defending from the Albion gave the travelling faithful some belief that they could nick a point but the 88th minute goal at the death proved to be the crucial hammer blow.
McMahon delivered a peach of an in-swinger from a left flank set-piece that was nodded towards the Albion goal. Boakes managed to head it back into the area before the ball went out of play into the path of North, who buried home from close range.
It was a deserved win for the Stags on the night as RACA prepare to dust themselves down and go again in the FA Vase against Ashington - less than 48 hours after last night’s fixture.
Starting XI: Hansen, Below, Liam Anderson, Turnbull, Stephenson, Backhouse, Law, R Graham, Louis Anderson, Blewitt, Sherrard
RACA Fans Man of the Match - David Hansen