Sunderland RCA survived a late scare to emerge 3-2 winners over Seaham Red Star in the Durham Challenge Cup at Meadow Park, but RCA boss Martin Swales believes his team must be less cavalier in attack when leading games.

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 which concerns manager Swales:

“I’m a little disappointed as I’ve told the lads. We’re leading 3-1 and we’re pushing for another goal, we need to put the breaks on, slow down and get our foot on the ball.”

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

“We’ve made an easy game look like a hard game allowing Red Star to score a few from nothing”, Swales said.

“With the possession and chances we’ve had to finish the game at 3-2 makes the scoreline look tight when it shouldn’t have been.”

Swales’ RCA are next in action against Ashington in the Northern League Division One this Saturday, kick off is at 3:00 pm at Meadow Park.