Albion went into this difficult fixture on a high following the win over Birtley but were caught cold within 30 seconds when Conor WINTER put the hosts 1-0 up after getting on the end of a Craig Hughes cross, though there was a suspicion of offside in the move.
Albion were on the back foot in the early exchanges although Will Forsyth did get a shot on target for the visitors in the 8th minute, though Ryhope keeper Jonny Ball was able to gather comfortably.
However most of the action was at the other end with Winter in particular making a nuisance of himself down the right wing, Leigh Shickle having to cut out a particularly dangerous Winter cross on 15 minutes, followed by an equally important interception from Mark McMeekin a minute later to clear a Stephen Oakley header.
Having been under the cosh for the first twenty minutes, Ryton managed to get a foothold in the game, forcing a corner in the 22nd minute following a good move between Forsyth & Shickle. Although the corner came to naught, a minute later Forsyth blasted in a fine shot towards the top corner of Ryhope’s net which looked like a certain equaliser until Ball somehow sprung up to claw the ball to safety. Albion tails were up & a minute later Phil Robinson played a neat through ball to Ryan Burnyeat but last week’s hat-trick man could only shoot wide.
Ryhope responded with a Hughes shot from the right that went narrowly over Greg Purvis’ bar, to be quickly followed by a fine Richard Hodgson cross that Winter met, his shot being pushed wide by Purvis & put out for the relative safety of a corner by Adam Chrostowski.
But from that corner, Ryhope doubled their advantage when OAKLEY headed the cross in, & though Purvis got a touch to it, he could only push the ball into the roof of the net & it was 2-0
The hosts were pushing for a third goal, Chrostowski doing well to block a Winter shot on 32 minutes. There looked to be even more danger five minutes later when Jack Pounder found himself unmarked in the Albion box & with bags of time on the ball, but he carelessly blasted high despite taking time to weigh up his options.
As the half drew to a close, Forsyth put a free kick narrowly wide then at the other end a Ryhope attack saw David Pounder play a clever backheel to Winter but Liam Barker was alert to the move & blocked Winter’s shot .
HT RYHOPE 2 RACA 0
The second half started a bit less frenetically than the first, though Ryhope were 3-0 up when on 55 minutes, Nathan O’NEILL took advantage of some clever play in the RACA box, receiving the ball & firing in at close range giving Purvis no chance.
Despite the game now being beyond them, Albion continued to press forward & on the hour mark, Craig Barker made a significant run down the centre of the park & laid off a good pass to Burnyeat on the left, but his shot was narrowly wide.
Martin Metcalfe ventured forward for Ryhope on 74 minutes & tried to get his name on the scoresheet with a shot, but it was an easy stop for Purvis. More controversially on 81 minutes Winter ventured forward, controlling the ball with his hand before being fouled in the box by Liam Barker. Referee Ian Freeland correctly awarded a penalty, but the move ought to have been stopped earlier with the hand ball incident, though none of that mattered to Richard HODGSON who hammered to ball in from the spot to make it 4-0.
Still Albion pressed for a consolation goal & came close when sub Mark Emmerson hit the post with two minutes to go, but it was not to be & the match finished-
FT RYHOPE 4 RACA 0
Albion still missing several key players were beaten fair & square by a physically stronger side, but the four goal margin was a bit flattering. For Ryhope that’s one defeat in ten now as they push for a top 6 finish.
RYHOPE– Ball, Francis, Metcalfe, Ryan, D Pounder, Oakley, Winter, O’Neill, J Pounder, Hodgson, Hughes. SUBS- Cook, Young, Trewick, Pearson
ALBION – Purvis, Stoddart, Shickle, McMeekin, L Barker, Chrostowski (Kastrati 46), C Barker, Backhouse, Burnyeat (Emmerson 74), P Robinson, Forsyth (Holland 65). Subs Not Used – Gillespie, Upperton.
REFEREE – Ian Freeland
ATTENDANCE – 83