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Cameron Scarratt Trophy – Team Sunderland defend their title in third meeting with Northumbria Police

Over £1,300 was raised for both Macmillan & the Oddballs Foundation as University of Sunderland Men won their second Cameron Scarratt Trophy on Monday night, defeating Northumbria Police’s side 2-1 at Ford Hub.

A first half double from Lewis Charlton set Sunderland well on their way to taking the lead in the series. Despite losing the inaugural contest in 2019 by five goals to four, last year saw the return of the fxture for the first time after COVID enforced lockdown with the University running out 4-0 winners.

The occasion honoured the memory of former detective and University of Sunderland student, Cameron Scarratt. Cameron passed away after a short battle with cancer in 2019, and the competition created in his name has raised over £3,200 since its inception.

David Bell, Vice Chancellor of the University, was in attendance and greeted both sets of players as well as the officials prior to the match.

It took less than a minute for Team Sunderland to pick up from where they left off last year – straight from kick-off an excellent through ball from Matthew Chapman set Charis Saitikis away, the winger rounded the goalkeeper and was tripped right on the edge of the box.

Charlton whipped the resulting free-kick into the far bottom corner to get the scoring underway under the lights.

Northumbria Police looked to apply some pressure following their slow start, but were reduced to half chances in the opening stages.

The closest effort for the trailing side came 20 minutes in as a snapshot on the turn found the side netting from the right side of the penalty area.

Shorlty afterwards the University almost doubled their advantage, Charlton was again involved as he cut back onto his favoured left foot and his looped cross found Simon Jakab in the area but the Sunderland RCA defender’s header bounced off the inside of the post and was cleared.

Sunderland were really start to show their quality in the latter stages of the half, Saitikis picked up the ball just inside the Northumbria half before beating several defenders with an excellent solo run into the area only to see his stabbed effort drift just wide of the post.

The young University side would find their second just before half time.

A game of head tennis in the middle saw captain Lloyd Hayes force a header forward that was too powerful for the Northumbria man who headed back towards his own goal – Charlton latched on to the fast moving ball, delcately lifting over the ‘keeper before nodding into an empty net.

After the break Sunderland made several changes, with many of the University’s second team squad getting the opportunity to feature.

The Police swung in a free kick from deep, following which the referee awarded a penalty as the Sunderland goalkeeper was adjudged to have dragged down a Northumbria attacker – the decision wasn’t popular with either side as the whistle was blown just as the ball was being hooked into the net by Northumbria.

Their issues were shortlived however as the penalty was comfortably converted.

The pressure was on for the remainder of the game for Sunderland as their opponents had most of the possession and looked to threaten via set-pieces, but couldn’t quite create anything clear cut. The defensive efforts from Jakab and Giorgos Alambritis in particular helped the University remain comfortable.

Sunderland had chances to extend their lead on the counter, most notably with under 10 minutes left as Ryan Abba couldn’t keep his first time effort down from just inside the area.

Northumbria had one last roll of the dice with a deep corner in injury time, but it was headed wide and the referee’s final whistle was music to Sunderland ears.

Skipper Hayes lifted the trophy before prizes generously donated by South Shields FC, Tesco & more were won in the raffle.

You can still donate via the link below.