University of Newcastle 3rds 7-0 University of Sunderland 2nds
Sunderland University struggled to get started in Wednesday nights away fixture against Newcastle University, as they slumped to a 7-0 loss at Cochrane Park.
Braces from Ben Singleton and Aman Gill gave the hosts a 4-0 cushion just after half-time before strikes from Henry Hoston, Louie Hill and Noe Sanchez completed the rout.
Sunderland travelled to Newcastle high on confidence following a 3-2 comeback win against York University last week, but were left with little positives to take from this performance as the home side looked comfortable throughout.
A scrappy opening spell saw both sides struggle to maintain possession, before the first real chance of the game saw Newcastle’s Adam Gill blaze over the bar from a Louie Hill cross.
The home side began to get a real grip on the game, with another vicious Louie Hill cross from the left-hand side not managing to find a target.
Sunderland were forced into a change midway through the first half, as Bailey Shepherd made way for Stuart Bushby due to a groin injury.
Much of Newcastle’s success came from wide areas, and they finally broke the deadlock when midfielder Harry Pounds split the away side’s defence with a through ball to forward Ben Singleton, who fired his side into a much-deserved lead.
Appeals for a Newcastle penalty were waved away by the referee following a tussle between wide-man Charlie Smith and Sunderland full-back Nick Arampadis, as the Newcastle man appeared to go down too easily.
Another piercing through ball towards Smith seen the winger draw a fantastic save from Sunderland goal-keeper Michael Stephenson, with the home side on the hunt to double their advantage.
Sunderland appeared to spring into action 10 minutes before the break with their first attempt of the game, when midfielder Tom Webster forced a wonder save from Newcastle keeper Ted Claxton. Forward Sotiris Kyriakos effort came almost instantly afterwards as Sunderland seemed to be enjoying their best spell of the game so far.
The newly-found positivity was sapped out of them, however, as Newcastle doubled their lead just before half-time.
A Louie Hill corner seen a nervy scramble unfold in the Sunderland penalty area, forcing the away side to clear the ball for another set-piece. The resulting corner saw more defensive anxiety unfold in the box, before the ball fell to Newcastle number nine Aman Gill who buried home from six yards.
Sunderland continued to struggle at the start of the second half, with a poor goal-kick from Stephensen going straight to Charlie Smith who squared it across for Singleton to grab his second.
The fourth came not long after with Louie Smith again playing another whipping cross into the area, but only this time Gill was there to tuck home his brace.
Newcastle winger Charlie Smith, whose pace troubled the Sunderland backline throughout, made way for substitute Sam Francis. It was at this point that the travelling side looked to have settled into the 2nd half, with Sotiris Kyriakos again coming close following a jinking run from the right-hand side.
Sunderland University had their best chance of the whole game during this period, when captain Bradley Foster played beautiful cross-field ball to find Sam Humphrey, only for the forward to skew his close-range effort over the bar.
Much like the first half, the wind was taken out of Sunderland’s sails when the home team added a 5th, with Louie Hill scoring a well-deserved goal.
The number eleven showed real quality on the left-hand side, turning past full-back Anth Deans before rifling past the helpless Stephenson to cap off a fantastic game for the Newcastle man. Hill was just as effective on the left flank as Charlie Smith had been on the right for the hosts, with the two of them proving to be the key to their side’s victory.
More sloppy defending from Sunderland saw attacking midfielder Noe Sanchez add a sixth, with Henry Hoston squaring across the goal for an easy tap in. A beautiful flowing move soon followed as Hoston added a goal of his own to round off the perfect game for the home side.
Despite the heavy defeat, Sunderland boss Chris Mann remained positive about his side, refusing to single out anybody for his team’s loss.
“It was a bad day at the office, we have got to get this performance out of our system. It would be wrong to single out any of the players today”, said Mann.
“The positive for us is that our next game against Hull University gives us the perfect chance to right the wrong.”
Sunderland University are set to host Hull two weeks today, with the players keen to improve on todays showing and get back to winning ways.