Sunderland 1st’s captain Ollie Watt

The University of Sunderland Men’s Football 1st’s got their first victory since October as they secured a 2-1 home win against the University of Sheffield’s 3rd’s on Wednesday.

A goal from Ahmed Terek and a Sheffield own goal were enough to give Sunderland an important victory and move them above their Northern 4B rivals.

Sunderland had lost their last three games, with their most recent being last week’s 7-0 thrashing away to York St. Johns 2nd’s. However, the North East side were able to come back from a goal down and go into the final game until January against highly-rated Durham University 2nds with some confidence.

The Sunderland side included some new names and also saw captain Ollie Watt start at left-back, instead of his favoured central forward role. The skipper took well to the position flushing out some opposition counter attacks and starting some of his own too.

The scoring was opened in the 19th minute as Sheffield’s right winger’s high cross into the box found the striker’s head and was nodded down and bounced over keeper Nathan Brown.

Sunderland replied in the 34th minute after a long-range curling Ollie Watt free-kick bounced across the six-yard box and was fumbled into the net by the Sheffield man on the far post.

Ten minutes into the second-half tricky winger Ahmed Terek and debutant striker Joe Tunc linked up nicely on the counter-attack with Tunc squaring the ball across the box for Terek to slot home.

The attacking threat from Sunderland was present right to the end of the match leaving manager Phil Naisbett over the moon with his team’s performance.

There were opportunities at both ends early on with an early call for a penalty after Terek appeared to be tripped in the box inside the first ten minutes.

Terek caused havoc in the Sheffield half all game with the defenders unable to keep up with his technical dribbling in and around the box, popping a shot off in the 29th minute from the edge of the box which whistled past the post.

The sides went into the break equal on the score-sheet but not in play, with Sunderland aggressive and direct in their play from the off having the better chances and unfortunate not to go into the second-half with a lead.

The boys in orange were dangerous once again from the start of the second-half forcing a couple of fouls from the frustrated Sheffield defenders.

Winger Anus Al-Essa was also at his best on the day relentlessly running at the Sheffield defence and finding space to cut-in or get a cross into the box more than once throughout the match.

However, despite their little attacking threat, Sheffield did come close to equalising in the second-half after a low-hit corner swing into the penalty area was headed on to the near post and quickly smashed off of the line.

In the final moments of the game, Ammar Abul almost made it 3-1 with a powerful hit from long-range which forced an unbelievable save from the keeper, earning applause from both benches.

Tunc was unlucky not to grab a goal himself, breaking free of the physical Sheffield defence on multiple occasions in the final quarter.

Other debuts for the firsts this season included second-team players Matty Harris and Keeran Harrison who, together, played a vital part in the team’s win setting the tone from midfield and dissolving any threat from the Sheffield attackers.

The win now leaves the 1st’s in forth position with six points in the BUCS Northern 4B league.