Washington started their 2017/18 League season with a short trip to Sunderland RCA. The home team have had a flying start to the season progressing in the Emirates FA Cup, beating Garforth Town 3-1 and then a 2-1 victory to Penrith in the League
It has not been such an easy start for Washington. The Mechanics have only played one competitive match so far and were knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup last after a 3-0 home defeat by tonight’s opponents Dunston UTS. Their scheduled midweek fixture against Whitley Bay was postponed due to Whitley Bay’s FA Cup replay with Seaham Red Star.
Washington were able to welcome back to the starting line-up former RCA defender Andrew Brown. Along with a start for Adam Shanks.
RCA were forcing things early on. Good saves from keeper Gladstone kept Washington in the game. After 5 minutes Brown committed a foul in the area and the referee awarded RCA a penalty. Larkin stepped up and was superbly matched by Gladstone turning the ball onto the post and out for a corner. Washington’s first attack came in the form of a Shanks shot blocked by the RCA defence. That was between two further saves from Gladstone, one an attempted lob. But it didn’t last. Washington conceding a free kick on the left, the free kick couldn’t be safely cleared and RCT took advantage scoring from close range. However, Washington were not giving up and finished the first half strong with good play and a further shot from Shanks.
Early second half shots from RCA couldn’t amount to anything and on the 55th minute Sunderland RCA were reduced to 10 men. Noble reacted to a foul by Pickard and his reaction earned him an early shower. It only took Washington two minutes to make their advantage count. Another former RCA player Gary Shaw picked up on a stray pass from the home team and superbly ran through the midfield to score for Washington. 10 man RCA rallied and kept in the game till the 80th minute when Washington sub Jewson rattled the crossbar from 25 yards. But it wasn’t to be and the match ended honours even.
Here is what Washington Manager James Clark had to say after the game
“I thought that we started sloppy and at this level we can’t do that. Fortunately Dan Gladstone made a wonderful penalty save and others to keep us in the game. Despite coming in 1-0 down we felt we had grown into the game, changed the shape slightly and came out in the second half and started to get our rhythm and a real foothold in the game. I thought we scored a very good goal and should have gone on to win the game with Jordan Jewson’s shot and Ross Gardener freekick and particularly when they went down to ten men. But credit to RCA they stayed composed and continued to press when they could. A solid point away from home is something to build on and we go into Tuesdays game with more to prove against Dunston.”
|12/08/2017||3:00 pm||Northern League Division 1||2017/18|
|22 Beechbrooke, Sunderland SR2 0RJ, UK|