Sunderland Primary Schools Boys made it two wins out of two in their defence of the Harrison Cup as they beat East Northumberland 1-0 on a very heavy pitch at Castletown Primary School.
Sunderland, missing the influential Oliver Thompson, ground a result against a strong visiting side.
The Wearsiders started the game strongly and made all of the early running, with the overworked Northumberland defence battling manfully to keep the scores level.
An excellent through ball from Ellis Stanton released Jake Hutchinson down the left and the visiting keeper did well to turn his fierce shot around the near post.
The visitors weathered the early storm and started to get a foothold in the game, near the end of the first half, but skipper Joe Errington, Eden Page and keeper Ethan Baillie held firm.
Sunderland took the lead shortly after half-time when the excellent Stanton received the ball 25 yards out from goal and fired in a shot which deflected off a visiting defender to wrongfoot the luckless keeper as it flew into the opposite corner.
Bryan Taylor then went close to increasing the Sunderland lead.
Faced with a one on one with the keeper, great footwork took him past the keeper, who denied him with an outstretched hand just as it looked like he was going to roll the ball into an empty net.
Taylor was denied again when he fired a great shot which looked to be heading for the top corner, only for the keeper to impressively pluck the ball out of the air at full stretch.
It looked like East Northumberland would equalise as a visiting forward latched onto a through ball, but home keeper Baillie bravely blocked his goalbound shot with his face to protect the slender lead and ensure a second successive victory.
Team manager Chris Lindstedt was proud of his team’s efforts.
He said: “All of the boys deserve great credit for a hard-fought victory, but special mention should be given to Daniel Collins, who turned up on the day despite being under the weather all week and soldiered on to give a determined performance which epitomised the attitude shown by the boys.”