04 Sep 2019 in Match Reports
RACA 1 BIRTLEY TOWN 1 (4-3 on penalties)
Albion produced their least impressive display of the season in what was a disappointing cup tie but ultimately got through this tight affair on penalties
Following a heavy downpour & a stiffening breeze the E Armstrong tie had a distinct autumnal feel to it as Albion hosted a Birtley Town side smarting from their heavy Vase defeat to Jarrow on Saturday. The opening period was quite scrappy & it was the visitors, sporting an eye-catching South American style away strip, who were marginally the better side. Ryton were dealt a blow on 17 minutes when Adam Dobson had to retire from the field of play with a shoulder injury to be replaced by Liam Anderson. A minute later & Birtley had the games first half chance when John Sherlock hit the outside of the post from a tight angle although RACA's debutant keeper Phil Holgate had the goal covered. The home side's first sniff of a goal came in the 24th minute when Anderson played a lovely ball to Scott Jasper who, spotting former Albion keeper John Mordey off his line, tried an ambitious lob from almost the half way line, but the ball drifted high and wide of the goal. Sherlock tried his luck lobbing Holgate in the 42nd minute but he too put too much lift on it. Just as it looked like a forgettable half was coming to a goalless conclusion, Albion's Jack Cooper fed the ball to Harry Outterside who fired home his first goal for Albion deep into stoppage time to put the hosts ahead at the interval.
HT RACA 1 BIRTLEY TOWN 0
The second half began in a similar manner as the first as neither side were able to dominate in the blustery conditions. It took until the 65th minute for any real goalmouth action to manifest & it was Town's Anthony Smith who jumped highest to get his head on a cross but once again the ball sailed over the bar. The 70th minute saw the best move of the game as the visitors broke smartly with the ball ending up at John Martin's feet but his low shot went wide of Holgate's goal. On 77 minutes a decisive clearance from Ryton's Callum Turnbull found Sam Norris out on the right wing & his cross fizzed across the six yard box but there was no-one forward enough to apply the finishing touch. In what was a mini purple patch for the hosts, a minute later Cooper saw his shot take the slightest of deflections to spin out for a corner which came to nought. Albion conjured up one final nice move involving Mason Stephenson & Outterside, the ball ending up with Tyler Davis who shot narrowly wide. Then deep into stoppage time as many of the spectators were making their way to the exits, Birtley launched one last attack with a shot brilliantly saved by Holgate but the loose ball fell to the feet of Town's Simon Hay who slotted home from close range to bring the game to a penalty shoot out.
With the penalties at 3-3 from four each, (Stephenson, Norris & Turnbull all scoring for RACA) Gavin Dick slotted home to make it 4-3 putting the pressure on Birtley whose fifth penalty crashed off the bar to send Ryton through to an away tie with Heaton Stannington.
FT RACA 1 BIRTLEY TOWN 1 (RACA win 4-3 on penalties)
REFEREE- KIRK FREETH
Not a great game in truth & it could have gone either way but the fans were treat to the first penalty shoot out at Kingsley park since beating Tow Law on the way to the final of this competition in the 17/18 season.
RACA- Holgate, Stephenson, Dobson (Anderson 17), Turnbull, Barker, Dick, Outterside, Davis, Jasper, Cooper, Dunn (Norris 65) Unused Subs- Below, Ord, Shepherd