Despite a close contest, the University of Sunderland’s miserable run of form continued after the men’s 3rds fell to a 1-0 defeat against Leeds Arts University men’s 1sts.

Prior to kick-off, University of Sunderland 3rd team coach Dan Kendall insisted his players need to have more ‘self-belief’ in themselves if they were to get a result against a Leeds side, who have started the season with just one win and two defeats.

The winning strike however on the 61st minute condemned the visitors to their fifth defeat of the season in all competitions, leaving them still without a point in the British Universities and Colleges Sport Northern 6B league table.

Following a cagey first half, in which the best chance fell just before the interval, when Sunderland’s Jack Mensforth saw his header brilliantly kept out by the Leeds goalkeeper, tipping his effort over the crossbar from close range.

And after the break, Sunderland had another great opportunity to score when Louis Doneathy was in on goal only to miss-kick it at the most crucial time.

Moments later, Leeds had a great chance of their own on the 53rd minute, only for the striker to tap it wide at the back post with scenes of disbelief in the home sides technical area.

They did nevertheless put things right, when Sunderland goalkeeper Ahmed Hussein delivered a poor goal kick into the path of the Leeds striker who made no mistake, calmly slotting it home into the bottom left hand corner to give his side a 1-0 lead with half an hour remaining.

Hussein then made amends for his error shortly after, as on the 64th minute, he made a fantastic one handed save to deny Leeds a 2nd and keep his side in the game.

With 10 minutes remaining, Sunderland were still pushing for an equaliser and almost got it through Chris Suddas, who smashed his effort just wide of the right hand post.

The result leaves Sunderland’s men 3rds bottom of the league table, still without a point from their opening four matches and next up is a home tie against 2nd placed York St John University 4th team which takes place on Wednesday 29th November at the Silksworth Sports Complex (Kick-off 13:00).

University of Sunderland, Men’s 3rd Team – Hussein (GK), McGee, Topping, Nixon, Bushby, Boules, Doneathy, Mole, Scott, Mensforth, Suddas

Subs – Akshay, Elbom, Ankhunaizi

Man of the Match – Jake McGee

University of Sunderland, 3rd Team Coach Dan Kendal:

“Today we were absolutely fantastic from the first minute to the last, we’ve had a few problems in recent weeks with dropping off towards the end of the game and losing concentration. But today, we were switched on, ready to go and we never gave up throughout the game. We never deserved to lose.

“We gave man of the match to Jake McGee and he was outstanding at right back, he put a great shift in.

“But today it was all about the performance so we have to take a lot from that and I’m very proud of the boys and couldn’t have asked any more from them.”