Saturday, 22 August 2009

Sunderland RCA 1 v 0 Marske United 22/08/09

A game that promised so much in the early exchanges ended in farcical circumstances as both teams ended without their full compliment of players.
The town of Ryhope certainly would not of expected what happened on the pitch at Meadow Park, and if the bright sunshine was anything to go by, a good game of football was expected.
We duly took up our usual position next to the dugouts, and made our way through the truly brilliant programme, well worth the £1 that was charged for it. The crosswords and "Guess the Stadium" quiz kept us occupied in the build-up to the kick off. I never did realise that 2 Down Paulo Sousa built Swansea! Or is it that he is their manager?? Hmmm...
Anyway, the game got underway, and the first half set off at a frantic pace, with some delightful football from both teams; play going from end to end in no time. You can see why these two teams were challenging for promotion in the last campaign. RCA had the best chance of the half, but the final effort was headed right at the fortuitous Markse keeper.
ATG could write a book on the many quotes we have heard in our travels, and today brought up an absolute beauty. Throughout the first half, players, officials and supporters of Marske hurled abuse at the referee, and after a "dubious" free kick awarded to Marske, a shout from the away dugout came: "You've got a f****** whistle...I thought you'd swallowed the c**t" The culprit was the Marske manager, and had most of the crowd in the recent vicinity in stitches! Entrance to Meadow Park, £4; Programme, £1; Mars Bar, 50p; Non League Quotes, PRICELESS!
I sampled the "Famous Pies" at half time, and was not disappointed. The warm corned-beef and pastry encasing it was delectable. The Soccer Saturday in the Clubhouse was also a nice addition and was useful to check the half time scores and see how the "mighty" England were getting on in the ashes. Anyway, back to the action...
The second half saw the match explode, and for a change in this game (!), the referee got involved. Tough, hard tackles flew in all over the pitch, yet the only cautions were for dissent. Elbows, arms and studs-up tackles went in as if commonplace in football, without punishment with cards-or even free kicks, from the referee!
A brilliant cross from the right wing provided the opening goal and gave RCA the lead in the 73rd minute, despite a period of prolonged pressure from the visitors. The main action was still to come however, when a late innocuous challenge went in on the already cautioned Marske number 10. The retaliation was that of a heavy weight boxer who had just been knocked down in the 1st round. A left hook was thrown, followed by a forearm jab, and finished with an uppercut. The only difference between him and a boxer was that the boxer would have made contact with his opponent. A brief retaliation from the RCA defender resulted in the pair being dismissed from the field of play. Whilst both players left the field of play, another already-booked Marske player decided he wanted to join in. Presumably, this chap was watching the action on digital, as when he joined in, everything had stopped. He duly received his marching orders, and this left Marske leading 2v1...on the red card count. The remainder of the game was full of argy bargy and abuse being hurled from the Marske dugout.
Eventually, the referee had had enough of the Markse Manager, Paul Burton, and he was relieved of his position in the dugouts-all the way to behind the dugouts, were he could still shout instructions, hurl abuse and go about his normal duties. A job that should have been done in the 60th minute was done in the 90th minute, and had no effect on the manager or game at all, and the best thing that was possibly done all day by the referee was the final whistle.
Admission £4 + free raffle ticket. Programme £1. Pie + Hot Dogs £1.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Only a brief mention about the official's performance? I thought that would've dominated the whole article. In short, all 3 were an absolute disgrace. Frustrated everyone with the nit-picking and pedantic stuff and bottled the big decisions. The problem is that it's such an easy cop out to blame the officials that it just sounds like sour grapes whenever you do, especially as I'm speaking as a Marske player. But today had to be seen to be believed. Fair play to RCA, they nicked a goal in a game that had 0-0 written all over it. However, as for them "winning the league by a country mile", that won't be happening.

    Also, the bit about the brawl is typical journalistic sensationalism. The left hook, forearm jab and uppercut were non-existent. Both players threw their arms at each other and neither connected. If the ref had sorted it out in the first 10 minutes, there would've been no problem.

    That's just my very well informed opinion, but i think you'll find it's 100% accurate.

  3. I understand entirely with what you are saying. The game was "spoilt" in a sense by the failure to control the players by the Referee. But why dwell on it? We are here to give our views on the game, and are not here to have a go at the ref. We could have gone out all guns blazing and ripped him to shreds, but we chose not to.
    Yes, I agree, the brawl was over exaggerated a little bit, but all for a sense of drama.