17 Oct 2021 in Match Reports
it was easy work for Albion in County Durham as they cruised to an emphatic victory on a ground they suffered at this time last year...
Esh Winning 0-4 RACA
Albion’s stunning first-half performance was enough to sweep Esh Winning away and extend their winning run in the Northern League to three games.
Goals from Oliver Symons, Konner Lamb, Dillon Blake and Lee Waugh gave the visitors a comfortable half-time advantage, with Esh being kept at arm's length in the second to record a resounding victory on away soil.
David Below was the sole survivor of the Albion side that lost 1-0 up Waterhouses last season, as a new-look squad looked to continue their promotion charge.
Dan Iredale's men dominated possession from the offset, but were struggling to break down an Esh backline that was camped deep inside their own half.
On 28 minutes, the first clear-cut chance of the game resulted in the deadlock being broken when Symons beat the offside trap to go racing through on goal.
The Albion fullback got his head up and whipped a shot into the bottom corner to give his side a well-deserved lead.
The floodgates had opened, and Lamb doubled the advantage moments later when he too beat the goalkeeper from a one-on-one situation.
It got bad bad to worse for the hosts when Lamb was fouled inside the area for a stonewall penalty.
Blake stepped up and Charlie Lamb saved the first attempt but couldn’t prevent the Albion midfielder from burying the rebouncing, with the men in black-and-blue now in complete control.
RACA were not finished there as Waugh got in on the act to bag his second goal in as many games for the club.
Rhys McLeod’s initial corner had been cleared straight back to him, with the Esh backline protesting that the ball had gone out of play.
The linesman disagreed, however, with the defence caught napping to concede a lackadaisical second as Waugh buried a free header home from close range.
The dominance continued; Albion felt they should have had a second penalty on the stroke of half-time when McLeod was brought down by Alex Goundry.
If the scoreline was level, the referee would have probably pointed to the spot but he saved the defender’s blushes by waving away the protests.
The second half was a lot more passive, with RACA happy to knock the ball about and force their opposition to start asking questions, rather than seek more goals themselves.
Scott Bamborough and Shaun Pickford were pivotal, as the Albion engine room dictated exactly how the second half panned out.
Dillon Blake was forced off on the hour mark after a freak collision saw him smash into the pitchside barrier.
He was replaced by Dan Ord, but that was about as eventful as the half got as the away side coasted to an easy victory.
RACA showed two sides to their game yesterday afternoon; a relentless, masterful execution in the first half put Esh to the sword and out of sight, with some shrewd game management killing the fixture off and making sure the three points travelled North.
This was a poor Esh side, who never tested the Albion goal once throughout the game and looked devoid of ideas in the final third.
Attention turns to Wednesday night’s cup tie with Sunderland West End, as Iredale and his men put their league venture on hold on their return to Kingsley Park.
Starting XI - Gladstone, Brown, Laws, Waugh, Symons, Bamborough, Pickford, Blake, McLeod, Thompson, Kent
RACA Fans’ Man of the Match: Scott Bamborough