Sunderland West End



First Team

Sat 21 Dec 2019 | Northern League Div 2 | Away


Nissan Sports Complex




David Fittes



A Sam Norris hat-trick helps Albion move back into third place

Albion cruised to a comfortable victory over Sunderland West End in the first competitive fixture between the clubs at a venue that has usually ended in defeat, The Nissan Sports Complex, West End's temporary home.

With all but two second division fixtures wiped out with the rain, Ryton knew that a point or better would put them back in the top three but on a very heavy pitch and with a paper thin squad available this was by no means guaranteed.

Albion's injury worry was to get worse as Gavin Dick kicked the sole of an opponents boot in clearing the ball leaving him in some discomfort & despite soldiering on he was finally replaced by Dan Ord, his injury expected to keep him out for 6-8 weeks. Meanwhile on the pitch the early stages were otherwise of little note until Jack Cooper forced a save from West End's Neil Bussey on 12 minutes with a low shot from the left flank. Three minutes later a Cooper corner was met by an unmarked Adam Dobson, but his header went over the bar as gradually the visitors began to dominate the game. Cooper came close to opening his account on 25 minutes with a rasping shot that struck the Sunderland post, & with Bussey clearly struggling with an injury picked up minutes earlier, it looked a matter of time before the breakthrough came through. On 27 minutes a fine team move from the Albion culminated with Scott Jasper bringing another save out of Bussey with a low drive, but the West End captain had no answer a minute later when Sam Norris took aim from 25 yards and drilled in a shot that went under Bussey and rippled the net. This did seem to spark the home side into life as they enjoyed their best spell of the game forcing Albion keeper Josh Graham to push away a low cross ball from a corner. RACA were a tad fortunate on 32 minutes when a rare defensive lapse in concentration left Sunderland's Josh Winthop in acres of space & he received the ball & advanced towards Graham in splendid isolation only to be thwarted by the linesman's raised flag. But the lion's share of goalmouth action was at the opposite end as Norris almost doubled his tally on 40 minutes when he stabbed a ball towards the goal from close range only for Adam Drysdale to get enough of himself in the way to deflect the ball on to the post. Norris was to wait only three minutes to nab his brace following a Ryton break in which he coolly lobbed Bussey to make it 2-0. Barely had the cheers of the Ryton fans subsided when Jasper made it 3-0 following a solo run through the West End defence to send Albion in to half time with a healthy advantage.


The second half continued in the same manner with Ryton by far the more dangerous of the two sides. Norris came close to his first RACA hat-trick on 58 minutes firing over the bar from the right wing before Cooper pulled off another pearler from distance on 71 minutes to put the result beyond any doubt. To Sunderland's credit they huffed and puffed away when they could have downed tools but on the day lacked a cutting edge up front, the nearest they came to troubling Josh Graham was a header from a corner that went a yard over the bar. Matty Slee was brought on as a Ryton substitute to replace Harry Outterside for only his second appearance of the season & he rewarded his manager within two minutes by making it 5-0 on 80 minutes. However the cherry on the icing on the festive cake came in the 86th minute when RACA were awarded a penalty for a trip & Norris was given the opportunity to get his third goal of the afternoon which he duly did from the spot to wrap up a fine Christmas showing from the Albion. This was jointly RACA's biggest win of the season equalling the 6-0 victory over Chester-le-Street at Moor Park back in August, but of even more significance was it being David Below's 250th appearance for the club





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