Northumbria University 5th Men’s Team got their campaign off to a winning start defeating Sunderland University Men’s 4th Team 6 – 1.
Two goals within the first 20 minutes for Northumbria started off the scoring.
Just before the break Sunderland pulled a goal back with Emmanuel Oyinlola making it 2-1.
In the 63rd minute Northumbria scored again to make it 3-1 to the visitors.
Then came three goals in the space of four minutes all for Northumbria to make the score 6-1 and secure the victory for Northumbria.
Going into this game, Sunderland tried to change things up tactically from last season. Starting the match with a 4-4-2 instead of a 4-3-3 in hope of playing a better style of football and keeping the ball more.
However, eight minutes in Sunderland fell behind after the Northumbria number nine battled off two centre backs to find the number 10 to put the ball in the bottom left corner to get the visitors off to a good start. 18 minutes played and Northumbria made it two after the defence struggled to press out and allowed number four to strike from the edge of box and it went straight through the keeper’s hands.
Just before half time Sunderland changed back to their regular formation as the 4-4-2 just wasn’t working with Northumbria dominating the play. But changing back worked as Sunderland pulled a goal back after some good pressing from the striker Ethan Nicol won the ball back and he put it across goal for Oyinlola to make it 2-1 going into the break.
In the second half Northumbria looked the fitter of the two teams pressing well and passing quickly. This quick passing enabled Northumbria to unlock the Sunderland for the third time this game. Precise passing between the number four and eight in the box split the defence open allowing the number eight to find the top corner to make it 3-1.
After that goal the Sunderland players heads dropped while Northumbria were wanting more and more, leading to three goals in quick succession. In the 75th a mistake at the back allowed the number nine to pounce and make it 4-1. In the 76th and 78th Northumbria scored two more both very similar goals by putting pressure on the defence and winning the ball high up the pitch allowing number four to get his second of the game and number five to finished off the scoring.
At the end of the game, the Sunderland coach Gordon Armstrong gave his thoughts on the game.
Armstrong said: “Northumbria had more quality than us in all parts of the pitch however we worked hard up until the 70th minute then our heads dropped”.
Speaking on how to improve heading into the next game, Armstrong said: “We need to be fitter so we can play the full 90 minutes at the max and defensively we need to do better and that’s something we will work on”.