The University of Sunderland 3rds fell to a 4-3 defeat against Leeds City, and manager Ray Whitfield felt that the referee had a part to play in their close encounter.

The Wearisders fell just short against Leeds despite coming from behind to equalise on two occasions early in the match.

Following the defeat, Sunderland remain bottom of the Northern 6B League. The Wearsiders have four games to save themselves, but Whitfield is annoyed after the referee’s performance against Leeds.

“The referee didn’t help as he was inconsistent and made a fair few mistakes,” said the Sunderland manager.

“Like I’ve said before, the spirit within the team is good and I can only compare with last seasons’ efforts where the side didn’t play that well, but I feel we could and should have got at least a point without the poor decisions.”

Sunderland’s defeat was their fourth in six matches, but the boss had plenty of praise for his side.

“We played well, and my players didn’t deserve to be on the losing side,” said Whitfield.

“I was satisfied with the performance as we scored three goals from what we had practiced in training, but overall I think the referee has let us down in a game we could have got something from.”