Goals from Greg Swansbury and Colin Larkin helped Sunderland RCA come from behind to beat Sunderland U23’s in the Durham Challenge Cup First Round at Meadow Park.

A Lee Connelly penalty had the visitors in front after 10 minutes, but RCA responded well and were level at half time with Swansbury equalising on the half hour mark.

RCA looked the more likely to score in the second half and with 20 minutes to play they finally got their goal with Larkin converting from the spot to win the game.

The tie was originally drawn with Sunderland U23’s hosting the game but was reversed to be played at Meadow Park. Despite the loss of home advantage, the young Black Cats started the game on top.

Just eight minutes in RCA’s defence were caught off guard, appealing for an offside that wasn’t given, leaving Adam Bale to run through the middle onto the loose ball before being taken down in the box by Dimitrios Tsapalos, who was yellow carded as the referee pointed to the spot.

Connelly smashed the penalty into the top right corner sending Tsapalos the wrong way to put the U23’s ahead.

The first half was bereft of clear-cut chances with both teams struggling in blustery conditions, but RCA used them to their advantage with their equaliser.

Nathan O’Neill flicked on a cross which looped into the goalmouth, where Swansbury and Dom Moan were stood, which lead to a scramble. Swansbury looked to get the final touch as the ball went over the line, despite claims from the defence that it hadn’t.

RCA finished the half on top and could have gone in ahead at the break, but efforts from Ross McNab, O’Neill and Mark Davison were all just wide of the post.

Sunderland U23’s should have taken the lead not long after the restart when Williams Kokolo was tackled by Tsapalos, with the ball falling to Connelly, but the winger tried to do too much and lost possession when a shot looked the better option.

RCA had the better of the second half and came close on the hour mark, but Davison’s bullet header from McNab’s freekick was just off target.

Moments later the hosts were given the chance to go in front from the spot after Luke Page went down in the box.

The decision looked soft, but there was nothing soft about the penalty itself with Larkin thumping the ball into the top left corner.

RCA were now in control of the game and were unlucky not to add to their tally late on, with Page having a header, from a McNab corner, cleared off the line before Davison saw an effort tipped onto the bar by Patterson late on.

RCA: Tsapalos; Jury, Preston, Swansbury ©, McNab; Moan, Page, Hodgson, Larkin; O’Neill, Davison

Unused subs: Charlton, Lilley, McAloon, Armstrong, Davis

U23’s: Paterson; Hunter, Brotherton (Taylor), Storey, Young; Hackett, Bale © (Best 86’), Connolly; Kokolo, Diamond (Neil 24’), Connelly

Unused subs: Johnstone, Bainbridge