03 Aug 2019 in Match Reports
RACA 3 NEWCASTLE UNIVERSITY 1
The 2019-20 season for Albion started with a home match against last season's Northern Alliance runners up Newcastle University. The pre-season had been a success but all around Kingsley Park knew that a poor performance & result today could blow away the tide of optimism for the current campaign. Tony handed debuts to James Thompson and Joe Shepherd in an otherwise relatively familiar line up to the starting XI of last season. With the visitors missing a string of first teamers hopes were high at getting off to a winning start & extending the unbeaten league run to nine games. And what a start it was as RACA took barely a minute to open the scoring as Callum Turnbull headed home a Jack Cooper corner via a defender's shoulder to give Ryton a dream start to the new season. The University had a decent chance to draw level in the 6th minute when former Zambian U20 international Niza Chulufya burst through the centre of the RACA defence only to be dispossessed by Shepherd as he was about to launch his shot. Then on 10 minutes Lee Scott came close for the Uni from an awkward angle, his low shot beating everyone but also the post as it went just wide of the target. A minute later & it was Albion's turn to come close as Sam Norris curled a free kick just the wrong side of the woodwork. Norris was in the thick of it on 24 minutes when he crafted a powerful shot towards the Uni goal but it was straight into the midriff of keeper Shaun Backhouse who gathered the ball safely. Four minutes later & a Jamie Dunn cross come shot had Backhouse back-pedalling as the ball landed on top of the net to the relief of the visiting stopper. The keeper was to play a key role in Ryton extending the advantage in the 31st minute as he brought down Albion captain Scott Jasper in the box unfairly & referee Dan Ranson awarded the home side a penalty. Unfortunately this was the end of Jasper's involvement in the game as he hobbled off sporting a large lump on his left thigh, while Backhouse received the game's first caution. Turnbull stepped up to take the spot kick & with his usual coolness despatched the spot kick to make it 2-0.
HT RACA 2 NEWCASTLE UNIVERSITY 0
Jasper's replacement, Jack Warriner, also making his debut proper could have wrapped up the game just after the interval but he just lost his usual composure at the wrong time & the opportunity was lost after doing all the hard work. As it was it was the University who were to get right back into the game as former Ashington man Lee Scott nodded home from a corner on 55 minutes. Albion seemed to get the jitters & the University, sensing this began to look increasingly dangerous. A move in the 69th minute saw Robbie Christie accept a great ball that saw him through on goal, but his touch let him down, allowing David Hansen in the RACA goal to close him down sufficiently to block his shot. Just as it was looking like a rearguard action for the remainder of the game, Ryton restored the two goal advantage on 70 minutes & the complexion of the game changed again as there was breathing space again. Tyler Davis had made a jinking run in the centre of the pitch before laying the ball wide to Norris whose cross was dinked on by Warriner & on to Dunn who headed home to make it 3-1. The Uni weren't done with though & Bailey Hunter brought a decent save out of Hansen on 72 minutes, while substitute Yacob Derradji grazed the top of the Ryton bar in the 84th minute. Albion held firm though & collected maximum points against potentially tricky opponents who will be a decent outfit once they get to full strength again. For RACA, the unbeaten run goes on.
FT RACA 3 NEWCASTLE UNIVERSITY 1
REFEREE- DAN RANSON