John Butler scored two goals and set up another one as Sunderland West End claimed an impressive 3-1 victory against Cleator Moor Celtic in the first round of the Monkwearmouth Charity Cup on home turf.

The West End striker scored his first goal in the first half of the game after Lee Smith’s penalty was saved by Craig Divine. Soon, the away side equalised when Darren Johnston put the ball into the net with his head after a cross.

A few minutes into the second half, Butler scored his second from close range and if that wasn’t enough, he set up a third and final goal of the afternoon for West End when he found Bryan Norton in the box.

The visitors finished the match with 10 men after Darren Little was sent off in the closing stage of the game for a second bookable offence.

When the game started, Cleator Moor Celtic had the initiative and even threatened Graham Pickering in the first minute of the game, but the shot from Leigh Dunn was too wide.

Having more possession, it was just matter of time before the away side creates another chance and that happened in the 24th minute of the game.

Callum Birdsall received the ball from his teammate deep into the opposition half, avoided the offside trap, went around the keeper, and everyone expected him to score, but Chris Curtis had other thoughts as he cleared the ball off the line.

In the 38th minute, his bad finishing was punished when his team went one goal behind. Brad Foster was brought down in opposition’s penalty box and the referee pointed to the penalty spot.

Smith’s effort from 12 yards was saved by Divine, but on his disappointment, there was no one following Butler who scored from the rebound.

It seemed like the home side would lead on the break, but it wasn’t to be. In the 44th minute, Johnston reacted first after a great delivery from the right side and headed the equaliser.


But Celtic didn’t celebrate too long because, in the 49th minute, Butler scored his and Westend’s second goal of the game. After receiving the ball close to the edge of the box, he successfully took on a defender on the left side and scored from narrow-angle.

Butler’s perfect afternoon didn’t finish there as he assisted Norton in the 61st minute from the right side. Winger headed the ball with ease into the net as he was challenged by nobody.

From that point, the game became more open as the visitors chased the result. West End defended brilliantly, and Pickering had a few good saves. On the other side, Anthony Nelson’s team could have scored a few as well but couldn’t capitalise on their chances.

In the 88th minute, Darren Little was sent off after he received the second yellow card. The first time he was booked in the first half was for a two-footed challenge and most of the spectators thought he should have been gone then, but in the closing stage of the game, he was indeed sent off after he was shown the second yellow card and this time for a dissent.

At the end of the day, it was fifth straight victory for the West End who ended Celtic’s 11 matches long winning streak. Nelson’s team next face Silksworth Colliery Welfare in the Wearside Football League on Wednesday evening while Celtic play against Windscale.