04 Oct 2020 in Match Reports
A drenched afternoon turned even more grim as RACA gave away the lead twice to succumb to a 4-2 battering at the hands of West Allotment Celtic...
Albion blew the lead twice at a miserable Kingsley Park as they capitulated against a rampant West Allotment Celtic side.
Scott Gunn gave RACA the lead before Jacob Forster equalised just before the break. Lee Richardson restored the home side’s advantage in the second-half only for goals from Matthew Hayton, Liam Beeston and Shane Jones to hand Albion a crushing defeat.
Bad weather plagued the game and with two fixtures in the division falling victim to the rain it was a surprise that this one was given the go-ahead - but that doesn’t take anything away from the performance of an on-form Celtic side.
RACA started the better of the two sides and had an early appeal for a penalty waved away by the referee when Louis Anderson was brought down in the area.
Most of the early pressure came from Albion and they got their reward on 19 minutes when Scott Gunn glanced a beautifully weighted header into the bottom corner.
The Celtic backline was caught napping when Tyler Davis put Anderson in through on goal - beating the offside trap. His effort was saved but the forward managed to float a deft cross back into the danger area for Gunn, who did the rest to bag his second goal in as many games.
Michael Stephenson almost doubled the RACA advantage moments later with another header from six yards out but his effort was parried away to safety by Ross Logan.
This was Albion’s best spell of the match as Celtic began to settle half an hour in and never really looked back.
Josh Graham did well to deny Michael Baxter’s drilled effort but those in attendance could sense that the tide of the match was turning with an equaliser looking just around the corner - and it was.
Celtic right-back Ryan Higgins broke down the flank and put it on a plate for his team-mate Forster, who tucked away a simple finish to bring the scoreline back to level terms.
Baxter and Thompson hit the bar for West Allotment, with the former proving to be a thorn in RACA’s side all afternoon down the right-hand side.
The most humourous highlight of the afternoon came when Lee Richardson inspired a touch of Diego Maradona to handle the ball into the net from Harry Outterside’s corner. Everybody in the ground knew what part of his body the ball hit but he protested the decision anyways and was lucky to escape without a card.
Gilberto Chapim forced a quality save from Graham after the break as the conditions started to get worse at Kingsley Park. The weather in Crawcrook was hardly a surprise but what was about to happen in the game was as Albion regained the lead against the run of play.
Davis whipped a cross into the box from a dead ball out wide and goalkeeper Logan could only spill it into the path of Richardson, who this time used his foot to stab home from close range and give RACA an unlikely lead.
Despite falling a goal behind, the balance of the match was still in the visitor's favour and the setback didn’t deter them from their relentless pursuit on the Albion goal.
The second equaliser didn’t take long when substitute Hayton capitalised on a catalogue of errors in defence to pounce home from close range.
He turned provider for the third shortly after, teeing off Beeston to score one of the easiest goals of his career.
Celtic’s rout was completed when Jones spotted Graham miles off his line. Having not long come off the bench, he attempted an audacious chip from 30-yards and scored the pick of the bunch to complete his side’s deserved victory.
For the fifth game in a row, Albion took the lead but failed to win the game - which must concern Bullock as much as any RACA fan out there.
Five of our last six fixtures have ended in defeat, making the clashes with Easington and Durham next week huge in terms of the potential dynamic of Albion’s season.
Starting XI: Graham, Joyeux, Moody, Stephenson, Shepherd, R Graham, Davis, Outterside, Gunn, Anderson, Richardson
RACA Fans Man of the Match: Scott Gunn