11 Sep 2021 in News



RACA's poor record in the FA Vase continued as they were eliminated by the narrowest of margins losing 15-14 on penalties after finishing the regulation time with a 2-2 draw against First Division Bishop Auckland at the Voneus Stadium.


Albion travelled to First Division Bishop Auckland’s impressive Voneus Stadium for an FA Vase 1st Qualifying Round tie and looking to improve on their poor record in the competition. Unbeknown to the 268 spectators, they would witness the ball in the back of the net 33 times and a game in which goalkeepers would play integral roles in the tie.

 RACA’s first choice keeper Dan Gladstone was unavailable, so Sam Harrison was selected as the man between the posts, but unfortunately he badly damaged his ankle in the warm up so seventeen year old Adam Mooney suddenly found himself thrust into the limelight, unexpectedly putting on his gloves in time for kick off.

 It took only a minute of play for Bishops’ stopper Nicholas Liversedge to suffer his share of misfortune when coming off second best in a challenge, the Two Blues captain needing medical attention following the coming together. Although he returned to the field of play he had to leave it again a few minutes later following a RACA attack in which a Rhys McLeod cross clipped the Bishops’ post and was replaced by substitute keeper Niall Frampton making his debut for the home side.

 It was the visitors who bossed the early stages of the game & it wasn’t long before Frampton was picking the ball out of his net when Louis Anderson burst forward past two defenders to latch on to an up and under to fire home on the quarter hour mark to make it 1-0 to RACA.

 On 24 minutes Shaun Pickford went on an impressive run into the Bishops’ box but held on to the ball too long & was tackled before he could release the ball to the unmarked McLeod.

 The hosts finally got a grip on the game & enjoyed a spell of domination in which Josh Gilchrist hit the side netting following a good ball from Lewis Suddick on 26 minutes. A minute later & Damien Stevens almost levelled for Bishops when he tried to lob Mooney who was off his line, but the young debutant just got enough contact on the ball to take the sting out of the shot & the ball was booted to safety.

 Despite that good spell it was the Albion who extended their lead on 35 minutes when a free kick was pumped forward into the Bishops’ box & Michael Laws volleyed home to send the travelling support into raptures.

 The home side responded with a move involving Matthew Waters, Suddick and Lewis Murphy which finished with Murphy firing his shot straight at Mooney.  Suddick’s shot on 39 minutes went the same way with Mooney comfortably gathering the effort.

 However on 41 minutes Suddick squared the ball to Murphy on the edge of the box & his shot went under Mooney to reduce the deficit to 2-1. This spurred on the hosts & Murphy grabbed his brace when given too much space in the Ryton box & he headed home a cross on 45 minutes to level things up.

 Albion had the last chance of the first half when in stoppage time, McLeod showed good control to bring down the ball, but his low drilled shot was straight at Frampton & the sides went in the interval level.


 RACA started the second half the brighter & Lee Johnson tested Frampton on 47 minutes with a powerful volley, but the keeper was able to smother the effort. The Two Blues responded a minute later when Stephen Oakley nodded a floated free kick against the Ryton post. Albion went on another period camped in the Bishops’ half with David Below & McLeod both having attempts on the Bishop Auckland goal.

  There was a pivotal incident on 73 minutes when Dillon Blake received a second yellow card from referee Matthew Davidson for a late challenge & RACA had to play out the rest of the cup tie with ten men. Bishops were unable to capitalise on their man advantage though Waters headed narrowly wide on 77 minutes & Josh Gilchrist headed a cross into Mooney’s arms a minute later but the visitors were able to keep their opponents at arm’s length & see out the remainder of the game


The FA directive is for Vase ties this season to go straight to penalties so both Mooney & Frampton became the key figures from now on. Incredibly it took 36 penalties to separate the sides with Bishops finally winning 15-14 following a fascinating shoot out. For the record the penalties went as below-

BISHOP AUCKLAND                        RACA                                        

Suddick (scored)                              Turnbull (shot saved)   1-0         

Gardner (shot saved)                      Anderson (scored)   1-1

Waters (scored)                                McLeod (scored)  2-2

Miller (scored)                                   Brown (scored)   3-3

Stevens (scored)                               Koroma (scored)   4-4

Murphy (scored)                               Jasper (scored)   5-5

Emery (scored)                                  Laws (scored)    6-6

Connor (scored)                                Pickford (scored)   7-7

Oakley (shot saved)                         Below (shot saved)   7-7

Harland (shot over bar)                   Mooney (shot saved)   7-7

Suddick (scored)                                 Turnbull (scored)   8-8

Gardner (scored)                                Anderson (scored)   9-9

Waters (scored)                                   McLeod (scored)   10-10

Miller (scored)                                      Brown (scored)   11-11

Stevens (scored)                                  Koroma (scored) 12-12

Murphy (scored)                                  Jasper (scored)  13-13

Emery (scored)                                     Laws (scored)   14-14

Connor (scored)                                   Pickford (shot saved) 15-14

So Albion out of the Vase at the first hurdle again but no shame in taking First Division opposition to a penalty shoot out away from home.


Match Reporter: Stevie Carter | Photo: Colin Robertshaw


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