Sunderland Primary Schools Boys step up Harrison Cup title surge with double success
Sunderland Primary Schools Boys are back in the hunt for the Harrison Cup title after two good victories.
First up, the Wearsiders ran out impressive 3-1 winners against East Northumberland at Morpeth.
They started the game like a house on fire, with Kailem Beattie capitalising on a poor clearance from the keeper to fire in a cross which John Felton-Doyle finished well from close range.
The lead was quickly increased when Alfie Hodgson got to the line and pulled the ball back for Jack Waller to fire home from close range.
Waller created the third goal himself when he broke down the left wing and fired across the box for Felton-Doyle to gratefully grab his second goal.
Sunderland missed several great chances to increase the lead and it looked like it could come back to haunt them when the home forward nodded into the top corner.
The back three of Adam Anderson, Will Murphy and Callum Stanton worked hard to protect the lead in the second half.
Despite fielding a depleted squad, Sunderland then emerged 4-1 victors away to Redcar and Cleveland.
All three defenders were unavailable, but Sunderland, despite having just nine boys to choose from and no subs available, put in a tremendous performance, with Alfie Burnside and Jack Patterson outstanding as stand-in defenders.
Callum Hughes gave the squad a dream start when he chased down a long ball and forced the Redcar keeper into a miskick. When the keeper tried to clear the ball the second time, he only managed to fire it at Hughes and it rebounded off the striker and into an empty net.
The boys soon increased the lead when a surging run from Hodgson took him to the line and he pulled the ball back for Waller, who made no mistake for his third goal in three games.
Hughes got his second goal of the game when a fine cross from Felton-Doyle found him at the back post and he confidently hammered the ball past the keeper.
Beattie almost increased the lead with the last kick of the half, but his shot struck the inside of the post and rebounded to safety.
Redcar pulled a goal back 10 minutes into the second half with a great strike from 25 yards which gave Dobbs, whose handling was excellent throughout, no chance.
Waller struck the outside of the Redcar post and Mouat shot wide with the goal at his mercy before Hughes completed the scoring, and his hat-trick, when he was released by a Hodgson pass, side stepped the onrushing keeper and fired into an empty net.
The result sees the boys in second place in the league table ahead of the split in early March with a record of four wins, three draws and one defeat from the eight league games they have played.
Meanwhile, Sunderland face a replay after a 2-2 draw away to South Northumberland in the Derwent and Medomsley Cup.
Hughes gave the boys an early lead with a good header from a pinpoint Patterson corner, but a great 25-yard free-kick levelled it up.
Waller regained the lead when he ran onto a through ball to poke it past the onrushing keeper, but South Northumberland again hit back.
Sunderland thought they had sealed victory late on when Alfie Hodgson finished off good work from Waller, but the goal was ruled out, with the linesman saying the ball had gone out of play before the cross into the box.
Extra time failed to produce a winner.