Albion got back on track by edging this nailbiter with a sublime goal from Scott Jasper .
Match Report by Beth Baker
It was a bright and breezy summer afternoon on which Ryton and Crawcrook Albion took on Crook Town, hoping to bounce back from their 5-2 defeat to West Allotment Celtic earlier in the week. Crook Town travelled today on the back of three wins in a row which meant not only were they unbeaten this season, but they had yet to concede a goal either. There were three changes to RACAs starting lineup with Tyler Davis, Sam Norris and Mason Stephenson starting in place of David Below, Gavin Dick and Philip Hodges.
Crook Town kicked off and, two minutes in, RACA received a free kick which Jack Cooper hit straight into the arms of keeper Phil Pentony. At the other end of the field, Tom Gavin took a free kick which soared way over the bar. Crook Town were invading the Ryton and Crawcrook penalty area and a corner had to be scrambled away by a frantic RACA defence. It was end to end play and a quick break by the home team almost gave them the lead when Pentony scrambled across the face of goal to prevent conceding.
There were chances for Crook Town too as a corner from Hume was glanced away by the head of Jamie Dunn. RACA received a disputed free kick soon after and it was taken by Cooper who found the head of Callum Turnbull who drove it past the keeper. 1-0 up but the hosts struggled to dominate play and shortly after the goal, Lee Hume’s free kick ricocheted off the RACA wall and fell straight to Callum Johnston who hammered it into a grateful Hansen’s hands.
After this let off for the home side, Cooper doubled their lead with a well aimed volley in the 23rd minute. RACA still didn’t look completely convincing and, after a period of attacking play by the visitors, Chris Dickinson shot past the keeper to get a goal back. Crook Town had more chances as the half went on and Jake Petitjean shot just wide of the right hand post with a long range effort before a chance from a corner was volleyed over the bar. RACA battled hard to survive some late sustained pressure by the travelling side but the half ended 2-1 and Crook Town had work to do if they wanted continue their winning streak.
HT RACA 2-1 CROOK TOWN
The players returned to the pitch and RACA began the second half well but Crook Town soon put the pressure on, Jordan Fielding having the first shot of the half which sailed over the bar. At the other end of the field, RACA had strong claims for a penalty but they were dismissed by the referee and, while they were still protesting, Dickinson chipped Hansen with a sublime turn and shot to make the scoreline level. The away side began to gain confidence and the RACA defence were left scrambling away the strong shots that came towards them. David Hansen made a great save to prevent Dickinson getting his hat trick.
RACA had their first real spell of attacking play since the break 17 minutes in and, after a Crook Town substitution, the home team had a corner which Cooper sent just wide of the far post. After successive corners for the away eleven, RACA broke upfield and a cross from Stephenson was met by a spectacular overhead kick by captain Scott Jasper which gave Pentony no chance and the home side had their lead back.
Despite two long range efforts from Crook Town which went narrowly wide, RACA held on to secure three points. It was a well contested match but in the end, the team who took their opportunities best got the result. Jasper’s incredible match winning goal will be talked about at Kingsley Park for years to come.
FT RACA 3 CROOK TOWN 2
REFEREE MARK BELL