10 Oct 2021 in Match Reports
Albion and Horden went toe-to-toe to put on a superb advert for the Northern League in this enthralling encounter at Kingsley Park...
RACA 3-2 Horden
A tenacious 10-man Albion dug deep for almost half an hour to claim a vital three points in the Northern League.
Dan Gladstone’s error gave Horden the lead after two minutes before Dillon Blake’s instant equalizer brought Albion level. Scott Bamborough’s free-kick fired the hosts in front but a second own goal made it honours even at the break.
Rhys McLeod bagged a free-kick of his own to nudge RACA ahead as they hung on to secure a crucial victory.
Albion played their first competitive fixture on home soil since September 22, but went into this clash full of confidence after dishing out a 4-0 pasting to Bedlington last week.
The game had drama from the offset as a ball over the top saw Barney Dobinson bare down on Gladstone’s goal. Lee Waugh recovered well but, somehow, a comical error saw a ricochet that resulted in Gladstone passing the ball into his own net.
RACA clawed back immediately when McLeod found space on the left flank. The winger cut a simple pass across The Marras’ six-yard box to give Blake a simple finish.
McLeod went close not long after when Daniel Kent put him through on goal. Myles Hubbard managed to get back in the nick of time to block the youngster’s shot.
An open game saw both teams through caution to the win early on and Horden nearly went back in front when Dobinson burst down the left flank. He picked out Marc Moon with a cross but his header was comfortably saved by Gladstone.
Konner Lamb - who was Albion’s biggest threat out wide in the first half - had a decent opportunity when he skipped past John Bowes, but the resulting shot was blasted high and wide from 20-yards.
The half-hour mark saw the hosts take the lead when Kieran Campbell clumsily brought down Mcleod in a threatening position.
Bambrough stepped up and curled the dead ball into the corner to put RACA in front.
The lead didn’t last long as a stroke of misfortune saw Albion concede a second own goal of the game.
John Bowes arrowed a shot towards goal that took an unfortunate deflection off Waugh and cannoned into the net.
The referee blew his whistle to bring a frantic but exciting first half to a close, with everybody in attendance getting more than their money’s worth.
McLeod made sure the second half followed the same pattern, as two minutes after the restart he smashed in a free-kick of his own to send Kingsley Park into raptures.
Albion began to look in control, with McLeod and Lamb terrorising the Horden full-backs from out wide.
The Marras remained dangerous, however, and forced Gladstone into a wonder save to deny Maskell from a header.
Everything changed on 66 minutes when skipper Callum Turnbull fouled opposition captain Bowes near the corner flag.
A poor tackle was followed by the Albion man picking Bowes up and aggressively throwing him to the ground, giving the referee no choice but to brandish a red card.
RACA had to dig deep.
They did so well for a 15 minute period as they suppressed Horden’s attack, and almost created some counter-attacking opportunities of their own with Joe Thompson.
However, the final 10 minutes were nail-biting as the visitors began to mount an offensive towards the Albion goal.
Maskell almost became the hero when he spun on the half-volley 20-yards from goal and blasted a shot inches wide of the post.
Campbell should have scored when he found room on the left-hand side of the box. Everyone expected a certain goal but Gladstone was there again to deny the equaliser.
Every Albion player worked tirelessly to see out the game, with euphoric cheers coming from the home crowd when the game finally came to a close.
On the whole, RACA were good value for the victory. They played some neat stuff and were the better side when the game was 11 v 11, with the lads showcasing their resilience while down to ten men.
Two own goals, two free-kick goals, a red card and even a little bit of rain. Yesterday was a superb advert for the Northern League, with everyone getting good value for their fiver and both sides doing themselves justice.
Starting XI: Gladstone, Symons, Laws, Waugh, Turnbull, Bamborough, Pickford, Blake, McLeod, Lamb, Kent
RACA Fans’ Man of the Match: Rhys McLeod