SUNDERLAND COLLEGE 3 HARTLEPOOL VIth FORM 0
(North East College’s Premier League Cup final -Gateshead Stadium)
SUNDERLAND College men’s team are cup winners for the second season in a row after winning the North East Colleges’ Premier League Cup in emphatic style.
They beat Hartlepool Sixth Form 3-0 at Gateshead Stadium to lift the trophy and add to the Albert Knox Durham County Cup they won last season.
It was the second cup win in a row since Improtech took over the running of the College’s men and ladies’ football teams two years ago.
Martin said: “We’re delighted with another cup win, particularly as we are in the middle of recruiting new players for Sunderland College next season and this focuses attention on what we’re trying to achieve here.
“We are making progress season after season in terms of getting good young footballers solid educations while at the same time working hard to give them the best chance of winning contracts at league and non-league clubs.”
A first-half goal blitz gave Sunderland College victory against a Hartlepool side which never gave up but could find no way back from their early setbacks.
On a warm and sunny cup final day, Sunderland College’s Brandon Sloan was Man of the Match under the captaincy of Tom Hunter but the goals were grabbed by Liam Adamson and Luke Pearn.
Hartlepool went into the game with a psychological advantage having won both games in the league convincingly this season.
But Sunderland started the final sharper and took a 10th-minute lead when Adamson took a pass from Sloan and scored from 18-yards.
The College doubled their lead in the 17th minute after neat build-up play saw Liam Adamson link up with Dimitri Limbo on the edge of the box before firing home.
And the College’s third came on the half-hour with a move started by goalkeeper Andy Kokoska down the left.
Small passes up the pitch through midfield allowed the College to get the ball out wide to the right where winger Luke Pearn feinted past a defender, opened up the angle by driving inside and bent a shot into the bottom left corner.
Sunderland College could have gone even further ahead five minutes later when Tom Hunter rifled a 30-yard strike against the crossbar which Luke Pearn followed up but could only knock wide.
Hartlepool’s big chance to get back into the game came five minutes before the break – but a ball in from the right was smashed over the crossbar from 12 yards out and the moment passed.
During the break, the message to Sunderland College’s players was to keep up their intensity and that instruction was followed to the letter.
The second-half was played out in doggedly attritional style, with Sunderland successfully closing the game down keeping the ball well and playing out from the back through Brandon at right-back.
So successful were the smothering tactics that there were no real clear-cut chances, with Sunderland keeping Hartlepool’s key attackers quiet and seeing out a solid victory.
Delighted Sunderland College coach, Improtech Soccer’s Stuart Brand said: “This was a great team performance.
“In the first half we showed our understanding of positional play allowing us to attack with pace and numbers; in the second we showed terrific game management.
“We were solid at the back with Sam Robinson leading proceedings, our midfield three controlling and dictating play with the front three being a constant threat.
“So, a huge well done to everyone involved and commiserations to Hartlepool who performed admirably, showing their class and great attitude throughout”
Final Score: 3-0 – (Goals: Liam Adamson 2, Luke Pearn 1)
Sunderland: (4-3-3) Kokoska; Sloan, Colling, Robinson, Wray; Wilson, Karim, Hunter; Pearn, Limbo, Adamson. Subs: Beattie, McKenzie, Simpson, Garside, Shentenawy.
Hartlepool were 4-4-1-1.