Albion's eleven match unbeaten league run was firmly derailed by an impressive West Allotment side at Kingsley Park. The result ensured Albion's tenure at the top was a brief one as West take over at the summit of division 2.
MATCH REPORT BY BETH BAKER
On a misty August evening, Ryton and Crawcrook Albion took on West Allotment Celtic hoping to continue their winning streak after gaining all three points from each of their previous three matches. The home side’s lineup remained the same after their 6-0 victory over Chester-le-Street at the weekend. The travelling side had a good start to the season too winning two of their three games drawing only to their probable promotion rivals Redcar Athletic.
West Allotment kicked off but were put under early pressure from RACA. A free kick was awarded to the home team and, though Jack Cooper’s ball was well defended, it resulted in an early lead for the hosts as Gavin Dick hit it from twenty five yards, into the bottom left hand corner. West Allotment appeared to have put that goal behind them when, on 9 minutes, Shane Jones got the equaliser, finding space and angling it into the top left hand corner.
After this goal, both teams seemed to be fighting for possession as they both had good chances including one from Dean Walker which was well saved by Hansen. As a result of some scrappy play by RACA, the away team gave themselves a one goal lead as captain Walker shot past the keeper and into the back of the net. Just after the half hour mark, Jamie Dunn was booked for RACA after an accumulation of smaller fouls. In addition, Jones was shown a yellow card for West Allotment shortly after, for a high tackle which fortunately didn’t cause any harm.
West Allotment weren’t finished and with 7 minutes remaining in the first half, they doubled their lead making it 3-1 thanks to a shot from Matthew Hayton which went past Hansen and into the bottom corner. At the end of the first half, RACA still had work to do if they wanted to get any points from this match.
HT: RACA 1-3 WACFC
Both teams began the remaining 45 minutes equally competitively despite 2 goals separating them. Sam Norris replaced Jamie Dunn for Albion during the break and brought an early attack with his pace down the wing. The first real chance of the half came from Joe Shepherd however, as his glancing header was stopped by a fingertip save by Finley Hodgeson. David Hansen was given work to do too when a flying header from Walker was denied by the fingers of RACAs number 1.
At the other end of the field, Michael Scott prevented a chance from being created as he slid away a cross from Norris. RACA received an opportunity to cut the deficit after the referee spotted a West Allotment handball in the box and awarded a penalty. Callum Turnbull sent the keeper the wrong way to bring the scoreline to 3-2 on his 250th game for the club. However, shortly after, the home side conceded once more as Jones hammered in a left-footed rocket. At 4 - 2 both teams were still battling hard but the away side went on to score a 5th goal in a breakaway movement by Michael Baxter in the last minutes of the game.
The match ended 5-2, a result which didn’t quite reflect how competitive the game was. RACA battled hard but in the end the fluid passing of West Allotment meant they deserved their win.
FT RACA 2 WEST ALLOTMENT 5
REFEREE- MARK McMAHON