Sunderland RCA survived a late scare to emerge 3-2 winners over Seaham Red Star in the Durham Challenge Cup at Meadow Park.

Two Nathan O’Neill goals either side of half time gave RCA a comfortable lead.

A Thomas Scott header halved the deficit for Red Star but Micheal Charlton was on hand to restore RCA’s two goal advantage.

A late Ash Davis goal provided a nervy last few minutes but RCA held on for the victory

Goalkeeper Keith Finch replaced the injured Neal Bussey coming into the game as Martin Swales resisted the urge to rest the in-form O’Neill.

And it was O’Neill who gave RCA the lead just before half-time. RCA’s number 9 headed in from an in-swinging corner. A real sucker punch for Red Star.

On 50 minutes Red Star’s misery was further compounded with a second O’Neill goal, the striker stretching to get a toe on the end of a magnificent low ball from Colin Larkin, taking O’Neill’s tally to 19 goals in 19 competitive games.

Tom Scott pulled one back for Red Star with a well worked header on 62 minutes, however, RCA regained their two goal cushion four minutes later after Michael Charlton pounced on Page’s rebounded drive from 20 yards.

RCA were made to sweat again when Red Star were gifted an 86 minute penalty. Ash Davis duly converted to set up a nervy final four minutes.

Red Star battled hard but RCA managed the game well and were well worth their eventual victory.

RCA are next in action against Runcorn Linnets FC in the FA Vase second round at the Millbank Linnets Stadium on Saturday.