Sunderland line up a free kick

Despite an evenly contested affair, the University of Sunderland men’s Football 2nd team fell to a 2-0 home defeat to Liverpool Hope University 3rds, a scoreline that flattered the visiting team’s performance.

Sunderland started on the back foot as they conceded inside the first 10 minutes following an early corner.

There was a number of chances for both sides, but it was Liverpool who doubled their lead through a speculative, long-range strike.

The 2nd team didn’t start well, the slow start from the hosts was punished straight away. Liverpool were awarded an early corner, the set-piece was swung in and despite it initially coming to nothing, poor attempts at a clearance from the defence gifted a chance to the Liverpool forward who slotted his finish low, past the near post.

Liverpool almost doubled their lead soon after, their midfield played a long ball over the top into the path of their striker, although his effort was well saved by Sunderland goalkeeper, Valentino Kosamaer.

Controversy soon followed as appeals from the hosts for a penalty were turned down by the referee, it appeared as if the Sunderland forward was taken down whilst attempting to run onto a loose ball, the referee, however, ruled that there was no foul.

After the hectic beginning to the match, it soon settled down. Both teams were able to put together good passing moves, yet both were also unable to find the killer, final pass that could lead to a shot on goal.

Sunderland did carve out an opening with about 10 minutes to go in the first half, an almost inch-perfect cross from the right wing into the box outfoxed all of the Liverpool defenders but it was also agonisingly out of reach of the Sunderland attacker.

With the half-time whistle looming there was still time for more drama as Liverpool were awarded a free kick around 25 yards out. The Liverpool player hit his curling effort well, but despite beating the Sunderland goalkeeper, he could only watch as his effort struck the crossbar.

Sunderland then immediately went up the other end and, following a whipped free-kick of their own, a header from the far post could only strike the woodwork following a pinpoint cross.

Liverpool finally scored their second immediately after the second half began, a hopeful effort from the Liverpool midfielder evaded the grasp of the keeper and found it’s way into the back of the net.

From then the majority of the second half was a slow, turgid episode. Neither side could control possession and as such clear-cut chances were few and far between.

Following a formation change and a number of substitutions, Sunderland ultimately gained the upper hand with a number of late efforts on goal.

The first of which was a goalmouth scramble following a delivery into the box, the Sunderland players got two or three bites of the cherry but were unable to penetrate the group of defenders and the goalkeeper that were camped in the six-yard box.

There was one last chance for Sunderland following a remarkable run from the Sunderland number 11, beating three players before his shot was drilled low towards the goal, unfortunately, the good effort was met by an equally good save from the Liverpool goalkeeper to preserve his clean sheet.

Sunderland did have a late flurry of shots on the Liverpool goal, none of which truly troubled the visitor’s keeper.

Whilst Sunderland had put in a good performance and arguably were the better team overall, costly mistakes at key moments ultimately ruined their chances of getting any points from this game.

University of Sunderland, Men’s 2nd Squad – Kosamer (GK), Winterburn, Hunt, Snaith, Gregg, Harrison, Capeling, Watt, Glasper, Brown, Greenwood, Lima, Clelland, Jackson, Smith (C)

University of Sunderland, Men’s 2nd Team Coach Matty Lyons

“They picked our pocket, let’s be honest, we were the better team all over that park. A horrendous first goal very early on, I think, no excuses for it, they switched off. And then the second goal, now I don’t blame goalkeepers, there’s plenty of stuff that could’ve gone on before that and I think the little fancy stuff they did in the midfield when we lost the ball is what cost us, not the mistake the keeper made.”

On the positives he can take from this performance

“They worked till the end, they never stopped working. Ross Glasper, I thought was fantastic today. He took a clump in the first half, a real nasty one, he kept on and on until the end of the game, a lot of players wouldn’t have done.

“I’m disappointed, but I know we’ll bounce back from it.”