North Sunderland progressed to the next round of the League Trophy when they overcame Gateshead Cleveland Hall in an entertaining game on Tyneside. North Sunderland started sluggishly on a sloped pitch with very long grass and were pinned back in their own half for the first 15 minutes, but they went 0-1 up when Rory Davidson turned his markers on the halfway line and raced clear to finish well for a great individual goal. This prompted a ten minute spell where North Sunderland created chance after chance. Jos Wilson struck the bar with a thunderbolt shot, Zach Watson and Findlay Cross both headed wide from corners, then Rory Davidson and Tom Storey fired wide when well placed. They then contrived to somehow be 2-1 down at half time. Zach Watson was harshly judged to have fouled the home centre forward in the box for a penalty and a minute later a hopeful punt downfield was allowed to reach the forward who scored to make it 2-1. Following a frank half time exchange, North Sunderland started far better and began to pass the ball with more fluency. They equalised following good work from Liam Douglas who fed Koen Ross to calmly slot home. Alfie Purves fired just over from range and Findlay Cross headed against the bar, before Tom Storey reacted first to cross for Liam Douglas to make it 2-3. North Sunderland then allowed Gateshead back into the game when a misplaced pass was picked up by the home winger who fired home for a fine goal 3-3. Back came North Sunderland and Tom Storey fired home a brilliant shot from the corner of the area to make it 3-4. Cleveland Hall looked sure to draw level when their forward burst clear but he was thwarted by a fine, goal-saving challenge by Jack Heston. The game was then made safe when Liam Douglas finished to make it 5-3. Other chances were created and spurned but North Sunderland finally controlled the game to go through to the next round v Forest Hall. Not a vintage display but a win is a win. Best on the day were Findlay Cross, Tom Storey and man of the match 2 goal Liam Douglas who changed the game when moved to centre forward. Team: James Southwood, James Wright, Sam Hall, Zach Watson, Charlie Elliot, Tom Storey, Koen Ross, Findlay Cross, Liam Douglas, Rory Davidson, Jos Wilson, Alfie Purves, Ellis Bell, Jack Heston. Next game: Away to Premier League side Newcastle City Milan in the County Cup.

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