SUNDERLAND Broom firsts dropped back to second place in the North East League’s Premier Division after succumbing to Durham University in a seven-goal thriller.
The students edged home 4-3 at Sandhill View to see Sunderland, on 10 points from 12 games, leapfrogged, albeit only on goal difference, by Jesmond Parish Church, who defeated bottom club Wilton 3-1.
This Saturday, Sunderland have their last match of 2013 when they entertain eighth-placed Newcastle University thirds. Their next game after that is on January 11.
In Intermediate 2, bottom club Sunderland seconds began the second half of their campaign with a 5-0 defeat at second-top Redcar firsts.
In the first half hour, the Wearsiders battled well and the defence of Andy Scollen, Jim Gardner, Steve Crute, Paul Baldesera, Stewart Douglas and young keeper James Angus kept Redcar at bay.
However, the continued pressure eventually told with the Teessiders scoring just before half-time.
Broom created few chances and despite some excellent midfield passing through Ed Winship, Scott and Glen Olsen, the team failed to capitalise in the Redcar circle.
As they tired, the fitter home players made the most of their fast breaks and punished the Sunderland defence in the closing stages.
The seconds,without a goal in their last four matches and having scored in only two games all season, visit third-top Darlington firsts on Saturday (2pm).
H In the women’s North League Division Two North East, Sunderland Broom succumbed 11-0 to mid-table Stockton Roseberry in their final game of the year to remain bottom of the table.
H Sunderland Over-40s saw their National Veterans Cup dreams dashed recently, with a strong Formby side securing a 5-2 win at Sandhill View.
The Ashbrooke side disappointingly had only 10 men for the home tie, a severe disadvantage against the Merseysiders who had 14 players available.
Neil Sparrowhawk and Mark Wilkinson impressed in midfield, producing hard-working shifts, and Sunderland grabbed both goals from their superb short corner routine, which troubled Formby throughout.
The first was an unstoppable strike from Mark Wilkinson, then Jason Clements pounced on the loose ball off the keeper’s pads.
Stewart Douglas, Jim Gardner, Glenn Pearson and Michael Brown stuck to their task in defence under pressure, with keeper Nemo making a series of excellent saves.