By Adam Smith, Alex Baxter and Sam Johnson
Sunderland Foundation of Light Scholars suffered their first league defeat of the season after a 2-1 loss to Northampton Town Scholars on Wednesday afternoon.
Despite an Arron Thompson penalty giving Sunderland the lead, Northampton fought back to claim all three points.
After a slow start to the game Sunderland came the closest with an Alex Ramshaw free kick rattling the crossbar.
Northampton appeared to be on top, until a high foot on Thompson saw the referee award a penalty to Sunderland on 25 minutes. Thompson confidently slotted the penalty away and gave Sunderland the lead.
Despite conceding, Northampton continued to look strong towards the end of the first half, forcing some good saves from goalkeeper Elliot Stephenson. And Sunderland were quickly caught in the second half after a good move from Northampton opened up the defence to allow midfielder Josh De Michele to equalise in the 47th minute.
With both teams pressing for a winner, it took a stunning solo effort from Northampton’s Ben Morley, who dribbled through several players before having a go from long range, to find the back of the net 74 minutes in.
In the final minutes of the game Sunderland pushed forward to try and find an equaliser with both Codie Howe and Leon McKeith unlucky not to score a header.
The defeat is Sunderland’s first of the season but Howe is confident the Black Cats can bounce back next week, saying: “We’ll come back next week and be stronger.”
Sunderland’s unbeaten run lasted 10 games, but despite today’s loss they remain top of the league, one point ahead of Liverpool Scholars.