Sunderland RCA 4-0 Tadcaster Albion (FA Vase)
By Jay Taylor
Taddy’s Road to Wembley Comes to an End after Former Harrogate Town Striker Nets a Hat-Trick
The Brewers have crashed out of the FA Vase in the Third Round to the hands of Northern League side Sunderland RCA.
After the Meadow Park pitch passed a second inspection at 4:30pm, this was followed by torrential rain from 7:00pm onwards which meant that the pitch soon became difficult to play on. The home side took a 1-0 lead into the half-time break after Colin Larkin’s brilliant strike from 17 yards out.
The tie soon slipped away from Taddy in the second half as Colin Larkin hit a quick-fire double to make it a hat-trick for the former Harrogate Town man; his second was a low drive into the bottom corner and his third was an extremely dubious penalty decision which he converted emphatically.
RCA added a fourth in the final minute as Michael Charlton got in on the action with a tap-in at the near post.
After the original fixture on Saturday was postponed, it seemed like it was 50/50 whether the tie would go ahead on Tuesday night or not. A pitch inspection was planned for 3:00pm; this was passed however, a further inspection at 4:30pm was scheduled due to the incoming rain which this was then finally passed to play on at 4:40pm.
Manager Billy Miller made just the one change to the side that beat Worksop Town in Round 2 of the FA Vase as Josh Greening came back into the starting line-up in place of Josh Barrett.
It was a miserable night in Ryhope; the rain was bucketing down, the fog was descending but it certainly didn’t faze the home side as they flew out of the blocks. A cute first-time flick from Colin Larkin set Stephen Callen in behind Taddy’s defence and he somehow squeezed a cross past Gary Stevens and Gregg Anderson had to head over the bar.
Tadcaster had their first sight of goal three minutes into the match as Jason Mycoe curled a ball over the top of the defence to Josh Greening who had broken the offside trap, Greening then controlled and delivered towards Jimmy Beadle who awkwardly adjusted his body position and hooked over the crossbar.
The Brewers carved out another half decent chance four minutes later as Dan Clayton’s lofted free-kick was headed agonizingly over by Gregg Anderson.
RCA were growing in the game as the half went on and they deservedly opened the scoring on 18 minutes. The goal started with Liam Ormsby surging through midfield and evading two suspect tackles before a brilliant one by Liam Hatch set the home side on their way. The ball was then brought to a halt by the referee Lucy Oliver giving Reece Nobel the chance to drive into Taddy’s half. Nobel arrowed a through ball in behind to Colin Larkin who retrieved the ball in an inside left position, cut back inside and fired into the far corner from just inside the penalty area, a brilliant strike.
The Brewers were struggling to cause Sunderland any real problems going forward as chances came few and far between to say the least. In the 21st minute Jordan Armstrong’s high lofted ball was chested down by Beadle but Josh Greening snatched at the shot and pulled it well wide of the mark.
The home side thought they were about to double their lead five minutes later, a diagonal cross was pinged from RCA’s left wing which dropped in behind Dan Clayton and into the path of Larkin who’s control took him into the six yard box but Gary Stevens did well to block the goal bound shot. The save only went as far as two red shirts 8 yards out waiting to tap in but it appeared to strike the hand of Kevin Gordon in the process. Even if the handball was not given, Stevens then made another incredible point blank save to deny Larkin once more.
Sunderland RCA were in control of the tie and if it wasn’t for Gary Stevens in the Tadcaster goal it could have been more. A curled cross around the penalty area from the left rolled kindly to the onrushing midfielder Gordon who put in a cross come shot which Stevens palmed away. The save bobbled out to Stephen Callen who looked destined to score but the attacker’s shot was brilliantly saved by the Tadcaster number one.
Half-Time: Sunderland RCA 1-0 Tadcaster
The Brewers had the chance to regroup at the break and go over their game plan once again but unfortunately Taddy got off to the worst possible start. Former Harrogate Town man Colin Larkin received the ball on the edge of the box in space and fired into the bottom corner with his weaker left foot.
Trailing 2-0, it was absolutely essential that Taddy got the next goal and they had a good chance to get back in the tie from the unlikely source of Matt Heath. Josh Greening reversed a ball into the danger area where Matt Heath waited however the defender wasn’t able to generate enough power in the shot making it easy for Jordan Harkess to hold.
Just 10 minutes into the second half and Sunderland had the golden opportunity to all but seal their place in Round 4 of the FA Vase as Lucy Oliver awarded the home side a penalty kick. Michael Charlton approached Gregg Anderson one v one, he jinked right then nippily jinked back left and went to ground, it looked like an extremely harsh decision as Charlton appeared to go down without any contact. Colin Larkin stepped up and put daylight between the two sides as his stuttered run up was followed up by confident stroke into the bottom left corner.
RCA were looking incredibly strong and were thoroughly deserved of the 3-0 score line and Callen came close to making it four after half volleying over the target.
The Brewers were trying to get back into the game and create opportunities however it just wasn’t happening and clearly wasn’t Taddy’s night as Jason Mycoe volleyed into the arms of Harkess from 30 yards.
The tie was all but over at this point and you could feel it around Meadow Park, but that certainly didn’t stop the travelling Taddy Army who were absolutely superb once again, none stop singing and chanting even when 3-0 down, the fans really are a credit to this great club.
Sunderland were showing no signs of relenting as they should have made it goal number four in the 67th minute as Callen got past Clayton and crossed low to the unmarked Luke Richardson who somehow fired over the bar from just 8 yards.
Gary Stevens was called into action once again as he came rushing off his line to terrifically stop RCA in their tracks.
Taddy Substitute Carl Stewart had a chance to reduce the deficit as time was rapidly running out but his snap shot was again well held by Jordan Harkess who had a faultless game between the sticks.
Sunderland RCA then put a gloss on their deserved win over Tadcaster as Michael Charlton couldn’t miss from 6 yards out and the Northern League side progress to Round 4 of the FA Vase after a thoroughly deserved victory, we wish RCA the best of luck in the competition and for the rest of the season.
That’s the FA Vase run over for another season but now we can fully focus on the league and the quest for promotion.
Full-Time: Sunderland RCA 4-0 Tadcaster Albion
Team: Stevens, Armstrong, Clayton, Heath, Anderson, Ormsby, Baker (Stewart 76), Mycoe (Thompson 83), Greening, Black (Barrett 63), Beadle ©