The University of Sunderland’s futsal sides went to York to take part in three games on Sunday, but came back empty handed in an event-filled day.
First off, Sunderland 2nds were up against York 2nds and lost a tight game 5-2. Martin Kelly bagged two goals but it wasn’t enough as York smashed three early goals. York looked to be running away with it but Kelly’s left footed finish put Sunderland back in contention.
Sunderland were looking dangerous at 3-1 down, with Jack McCaig and Nathan Jefferson picking holes in the York defence, but the ball just wouldn’t drop for Sunderland. Just as the game seemed to be turning, the Yorkshiremen grabbed another goal and killed the game off.
A seemingly innocuous foul then led to something of a brawl as a York player appeared to headbutt Kelly, before turning his attention to Eddy Robertson, the goalkeeper.
Once the fight had settled down, Robertson was sent off, but controversially the York player stayed on the pitch. After much protesting from Robertson and Kelly, the offending player was sent off too and the game played out to a 5-2 loss in an uneventful finish, with both sides exchanging a goal.
Second up was Durham 3rds, who due to a shortage in players started with just four. Sunderland 2nds decided to match them in numbers, but maybe not in goals – despite Martin Kelly opening the scoring with a typically powerful finish, Durham cut Sunderland open and scored six unanswered goals to up 6-1.
Kelly got another on the break, but Durham were relentless. They smashed three more in before Sunderland could reply, when Elliott Griffiths tapped home a Kelly cross to make it 9-3, but they conceded one more before half-time.
Kelly completed his hat-trick shortly after half-time but Durham refused to take their foot off the pedal. Scoring either side of Kelly’s hat-trick goal to make it 12-3, including the undoubted goal of the game, a drilled outside of the foot shot from distance that left Robertson still.
Imran Kwabo smashed home a lethal strike after a skilful run, before Griffiths got his second, sliding home a neat passing move from Nathan Jefferson and Sam Johnson, the latter receiving a one-two before cutting the defence open.
Johnson seemed to do everything but score – hitting the post and forcing a string of good saves from the keeper as the second half went on.
Durham ended the game bagging another six goals before the final whistle, finishing the game 18-6 up.
Then it was the turn of Sunderland 1sts, who were up against York St. John 2nds. It was a disappointing performance from the 1sts who failed to score, coming closest when Lewis McKay’s close range effort was blocked after a delightful long pass from Ayman Hatem.
Graeme Burns in the Sunderland goal had a great game, blocking nearly everything – and it’s only thanks to him the game finished just 5-0.
Overall it was a disappointing day for the futsal teams, but they can take heart from the performances and hopefully will start to get some points on the board.