Monday, 19 December 2016

17th December 2016 - Sunderland RCA (a)

As a fan of most things from our Gallic neighbours across the Channel, I was delighted with Nash's signing of ex Paris youth player Thibault Charmey from those great players in the international transfer market: Guisborough Town. There was no way I was going to miss his debut: I could practically smell pain chocolat followed by a fricadelle sandwhich americain (sausage sandwich and chips). Complete with the Bay Tricolore I was grateful to fellow Bell-Ender (without a bell now, sadly), Claire for the lift to Sunderland. The Kinnon joined us on a very dry, crisp but cold day.
There had also been another signing with forward Peter Glen-Ravenhill signing from North Shields after scoring 7 goals in 5 games for the reserves. Both players were named in the subs. Staying put in the defence was David Hall after another successful game against Shildon that had earned him the man of the match award.
The bar...warm it was.
First stop, just to get out of the cold, was to the warm atmosphere of the bar, which was doing great guns on its pies rather tasty, apparently. Preferring to wait until half time (by which time they had run out), I headed out for the pitch to watch the pre-match warm-up. Disappointingly, neither the French maestro nor our hot reservist striker were in the starting line-up but that was only to be expected, I suppose: they have to earn their place.
As far as I can remember, whenever the Bay have played here, we have ended up shooting downhill in the first half and that is just how it turned out today.
Mince of a pie?
My memories of previous defeats sprang to mind as the lads struggled. RCA were on the attack from the off and the Bay defence didn't look happy in the continued absence of Prof Wilkinson. It was no surprise when with 10 minutes gone, Stehen Callen coolly slotted past the exposed Tom Flynn. It could have been worse a few minutes later when a suicidal Bay backpass, led to an almighty scramble with Bay bodies being flung in front of the ball and then finally Nick Allen spectacularly clearing the ball first off the line and finally narrowly over the bar.
Not good for Shanksy.....up to 8 weeks
 out with geet hard tissue damage.
There was hope for the Bay as the ex-Alnwick duo of Liam Brooks and Adam Shanks looked to be linking up well. It was the Kempstervator who found himself out of luck however as his efforts were cleared off the line, having twice beaten ex-Bay legend (for ten minutes) Jonathan Carmichael. According to one Bay fan visiting from Malta, he had been indulging in too many of the old pies since leaving.
The second half didn't start well for Whitley's Shankster as he went down under a challenge and couldn't get up...or even roll off the pitch, as one sympathetic soul said he should do.

On came new boy Peter Glen-Ravenhall for his debut and he proceeded to hit both posts with two cracking strikes. It just wasn't to be our day.

The drama once again proved to be off the pitch as a paramedic arrived at the other end of the pitch. Assuming it was for Shanksy, it shut the youngest member of the travelling support for a few minutes, who claimed there was nowt wrong with Mr Shanks and that he'd be playing next week. We watched as the paramedic went one way and Shanks went the other like an episode of the Keystone Cops. It later turned out that one of the Sunderland fans had taken ill and was thankfully taken to hospital in an ambulance that quickly arrived. Shanks would have to make his own way to Cramlington hospital...couldn't see him wanting to be treated at Sunderland General somehow.
Finally, the French Maestro arrived on the pitch but with eight minutes left, it seemed like it was too late. He did have the chance to lay off a couple of good balls to the supporting Peter, Alex and Liam (boyband potential...? Don't think so) and did so calmly and accurately.
The final blow came when Mark Robinson slotted calmly underneath the advancing Flynn. 2-0 final score and once again the lads had been out-fought and out-passed, despite the luck not going their way.
Sad trip home.
What we need is a local derby next....
Have a great Christmas and see you at Hillheads on Boxing Day for the big game!

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