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Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom
I am a Northern League supporter without a club to favour and double as a sometime genealogist who has researched his family tree back to the early 1600's, compiling a file of individual relatives totalling just over 3,000 names. I have been happily married to Maureen for 48 years. We have 1 son, 3 daughters, 14 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren, and absolutely no money!

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Sunderland Ryhope C.A. 1-2 Marske United

Meadow Park, Ryhope, Sunderland.
FA Vase 1st. Round Proper.

Being the new owner of a concessionary bus pass, I have chosen a fixture which is in easy reach of my home, using public transport. Meadow Park entails a 5 minutes' walk, a 20 minutes' bus ride, followed by another 5 minutes' walk. I was very tempted to take in either Esh Winning v Scarborough Athletic or Guisborough Town v Ryton in the same competition, but, I have vowed to reduce my expenditure and use my pass, so the choice was narrowed down to this fixture or Sunderland Nissan v Morpeth Town, also in the Vase. As I didn't want to be the "only" person in the ground (Nissan and Morpeth have very few supporters!) Meadow Park took the vote.


The Marske United supporters were determined to make a day of it! They were transported to Ryhope on a bus subsidised by CarCraft of Marske and had an enjoyable pre-match meal and drinks at The Village Tavern before coming on to Meadow Park. By then they were in fine voice, occupying one half of the Ray Baines Stand.




Marske United supporters in full voice
(Photograph courtesy of Moss Holtby, Marske United's awarding-winning programme editor)

Marske began the game kicking down bank with the wind and heavy rain at their backs. They took the game straight to RCA and made it obvious that nothing less than a victory would be good enough. After 28 minutes their many attacks at last paid off when a free kick was awarded on the left corner of the penalty area and Andy Swalwell sent his left foot shot past Craig Shields. Marske striker Craig Skelton later claimed that he got a touch on the ball before it went into the net, but I was at the other end of the pitch and can't comment - cue the Dubious Goals Panel! 0-1
Four minutes later, former RCA left winger Jonathan Newton carried the ball in from the left, along the byeline, beating a couple of RCA defenders before sending the ball across the front of goal, where, as yet untouched, it found Derek Bradley who only needed to side foot it into the goal. 0-2
At half-time, RCA manager Neil Hixon sent on midfielder Gary Shields to replace right-back Patrick Little and Shields soon began to form an understanding with one of my long-time favourite players - Steven (Buddy) Halliday, formerly of Hartlepool United, Carlisle United, Durham City, Sunderland Nissan and Seaham Red Star - in a 3-5-2 formation. Marske's well organised defence easily dealt with anything which was thrown at them, though. However, with about six minutes left, Buddy sent a ball forward down the right from the halfway line which Gary Shields did well to prevent going for a goal kick; he beat one player before sending in a very good cross which Andy Jennings won at the near post to head in. 1-2
A couple more attacks from RCA were beaten out and Marske were worthy winners.

Teams:
Sunderland Ryhope CA: Craig Shields, Patrick Little (Gary Shields), Glen Moan, Richard Flynn, Neil Moan, Mark McLeod (Dean Goodwin), Lee Owens, Steven Halliday, Andrew Jennings, David Tait, David Lee. Unused substitutes: Paul Sammons, Andrew Middleton, Jon Minniss.

Marske United: Brendan Ledgeway, Andrew Raw, Stephen Gamble, Andrew Swalwell, Michael Waller, Mark Taylor, Derek Bradley, Steve Cochrane, Glen Wesson, Craig Skelton, Jonathan Newton (Simon Kasonali). Unused substitutes: Benn Thompson, Anthony Roberts, Jonathan Peirson, Shane Erkine.

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