The final game of 2017 was one to forget for the University of Sunderland Men’s Football 1st’s as they were thrashed once again at home in the BUCS Northern 4B league.

The result now means Sunderland have conceded four or more goals in four of their last seven games.

The home side had just come off of an impressive 2-1 win against Sheffield 2nd’s last week but failed to stop the away side’s goal show this time out.

The first goal of the day for Durham was a hard one for Sunderland to take, with it coming just one minute before half-time and arguably shouldn’t have stood.

This clearly affected the confidence of the squad as the second-half began, so too did the away team’s goals.

The boys in orange did get one back to make it 5-1 in the 84th minute but it was too late for them to get anything from the match and to rub salt in the wounds, Durham scored just one minute later to make the score 6-1

The conditions were the worst Sunderland had played in all season, strong, high winds made it very hard for Sunderland, who often employ a long-ball style of play.

Head coach Phil Naisbett felt this undoubtedly affected his team’s threat when he spoke to SportsByte: “I think conditions certainly didn’t help. It’s not ideal to be playing football when it’s like this”

However Naisbett did acknowledge his players failures in the game, adding: “I think the biggest factor in the loss was that the boys lost their way in the first five or ten minutes of the second half.

“They didn’t take responsibility for their jobs and once the second goal went in it was always going to be tough.”

If the home side had been the first to score the match may have panned out differently as the first goal undermined all the hard work the team had put in and confidence was clearly shot from that moment on.

The game was pretty even for the majority of the first half with Sunderland coming close through central midfielder Liam Jackson and striker Joe Tunc who both saw powerful shots from outside the box fly just wide of the post.

Goalkeeper Nathan Brown conceded a penalty in the 18th minute after sliding in on one of their attackers, however, made up for the mistake by pulling off a wonderful save to keep the score goalless.

The better chances of the first half were Sunderland’s as they came close to going in-front a couple of times, most notably in the 31st minute when Tunc’s low-hit half-volley from just inside the box was cleared off the line by a Durham defender.

The first goal came after centre-back Marc Atkinson appeared to be fouled on the edge of the box and the team assumed play would stop. Durham carried on attacking, easily passing the ball home. It’s fair to say the referee’s decision not to stop play did not go down well with both Naisbett and his players.

The opponents bagged another four goals with ease after play resumed for the second-half. All four were practically identical in their build-up and finish with the first of the second-half arriving just two minutes after the break.

The home side were no match for the high-flying Durham team whose impressive pressing was too much to handle.

Rany Youssef came on in the 70th minute after a two-game absence and scored Sunderland’s only goal. The Canadian smashed the ball from six yards out but by this point there was little to celebrate.

Durham scored their final goal with an impressive long range curling effort from the left which found its way in to the top right corner.

The 1st’s are away from home for three of the remaining four games after the winter break and will be hoping to improve their inconsistencies.