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Branch footy team snatch point at the death

After a solid mid-table finish in our first campaign in the Championship, the Branch footy team were showing alarming signs of second season syndrome, falling to four consecutive defeats in the opening games. Thankfully, the green shoots of recovery seem to be sprouting; an encouraging performance in a 2-0 defeat against Neural Netters was followed by 3-1 and 3-0 victories over Real Milbank and Milk Boys respectively. This week’s unimaginatively named opponents, Chaps FC, have had a solid if unspectacular start to the season, with the only real blemish being a crushing 10-0 defeat to runaway league leaders The Nutmegs.

The Pub Victory Selfie made a long-awaited return after the 3-1 win against Real Milbank

After an even start to the game, Chaps FC took the lead with a low rasping shot that snuck past Sunderland keeper Andy Jordan. They then doubled their lead through a well-taken goal by their main threat, a diminutive but tricky (and very annoying) winger. Despite the early set-back, Sunderland were always in the game, and midfielder Adam Cansfield pulled one back early in the second half. It was more or less one-way traffic from this point, with the opposition pegged back in their penalty area and resorting to long balls in a vain effort to assert some control of the game. New signing Anthony Connolly grabbed his third goal in two games to draw Sunderland level, and it looked like there would only be one winner.

To their credit, however, Chaps FC had other ideas. A drilled low free kick from the left wing caught the Sunderland defence unawares and was flicked home to make it 3-2. With limited time remaining, the Lads piled forward in search of an equaliser. A quickly taken throw-in from winger Jaxon Allen found Adam Cansfield unmarked on the edge of the box, and his fiercely struck shot hit both posts on its way to nestling in the back of the net to give Sunderland a deserved equaliser.

The point sees Sunderland climb just outside of the relegation zone. While it’s far from the start we would’ve wanted, we’re actually only one point behind our total from this stage last season, and much like SAFC we’ll look to build on seven points from nine to push up the table.

Anyone interested in joining the Branch football team should register their interest online at, or contact Ben Littledyke at, or via WhatsApp at 07501 076 770.

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