Bishop Auckland came out the victors of a thrilling FA Vase tie at Meadow Park with all goals coming from set pieces.
The away side took the lead through Ben Errington’s header from a corner early on before Dominic Moan restored parity with his own headed effort soon after.
Craig Gott’s eighth goal of the season from a direct free-kick and Matthew Weirs’ volley from a corner either side of half time gave Bishop a more commanding lead.
An Alex Nelson goal from another corner got RCA back into the game with just over 20 minutes to play but despite a lot of effort they couldn’t get level.
The first chance came on 12 minutes for the visitors, and it was a double opportunity, Matthew Weirs ran in behind and was one on one but his effort was denied by Keaton Marrs before Dale Milburn’s follow up was brilliantly headed off the line by Callum Patton.
It would be Patton’s only contribution as he had to leave the pitch with injury four minutes later.
Bishop Auckland found the opener on 19 minutes as James Risborough’s corner from the right was met emphatically by Errington who headed in off the far post against his former club.
Just five minutes later RCA would level from a corner of their own, Kieran Charlton’s fizzed delivery was headed down into the goal by Moan, who replaced the injured Patton less than 10 minutes earlier.
Another corner almost produced a third goal and Bishop were convinced it should have. The cross from the left curled towards goal and Marrs palmed it from just on the line according to the officials before a follow up was cleared.
The lead was back with Bishop on 39 minutes after Moan’s foul just outside the box resulted in Gott firing in a 25-yard free-kick off the same post that helped them open the scoring.
RCA almost equalised quickly again but Charlton’s effort from a tight angle was kept out by the hand of Nicholas Liversedge.
Distance was established four minutes after the restart as another Risborough corner caused havoc for the hosts leading to Weirs volleying home at the back post.
It should’ve been four on 63 minutes when Marcus Giles beat the offside trap and found the wrong side of the post.
The game saw it’s fourth goal from a corner on 68 minutes as Charlton’s ball evaded everyone apart from Nelson who nodded in from close range to give RCA hope.
RCA were inches away from levelling the scores moments later, but Michael Annang-Colquhoun’s header went just over the bar.
A minute from time substitute Mark Davison came agonisingly close to an equaliser from yet another Charlton corner but his downward header bounced narrowly wide as Bishop held out for the win.
Afterwards RCA manager Steve Riley was frustrated with the result but encouraged by his team’s performance.
He said: “I don’t think there was too much between the two sides… I think we showed them too much respect in the first half and then came out in the second half as the better side.
“We’ve been playing really well at the moment, I’m confident that if we stick together we can have a good season although it’s disappointing to exit the Vase so early.”
Sunderland RCA: Marrs, Nelson, Charlton, Allen, Jakab, Patton (Moan), Morris (Davison), Bennett, Annang-Colquhoun, Fryatt, Charmey (Guy).
Subs: Best, Ezard, Lawrence, Richards.
Bishop Auckland: Liversedge, Burlace, Risborough, McGoldrick, Errington, Mills (Croft), Weirs, Gott, Giles (Fairley), Milburn (Banks), Whitfield.
Subs: Elgie, Carling.