AT the third time of asking, Prudhoe finally tasted victory against Sunderland in the Bob Stokoe Shield.

They ran out 2-1 winners over the Black Cats U18 side in front of a healthy crowd at Kimberly Park on Friday evening.

After getting their hands on the prestigious shield, the hosts had goalkeeper Geoffrey Bowes to thank for a series of eye-catching saves.

The Prudhoe United team, largely made up of Prudhoe YC Seniors’ Northern Alliance Division One players, were well up for the challenge, after losing the previous two contests against Sunderland’s vastly more experienced U23 outfit.

Prudhoe took the lead on 15 minutes when Steven Forster headed home at the near post from a corner.

And they doubled their advantage on the half hour mark, when Sam Dibb-Fuller found the top corner with a stylish finish from outside the box.

There was some slick passing football from the young Sunderland academy side, which included former Stocksfield junior goalkeeper Jack Newman, and ex-Prudhoe youngster Jack Armstrong.

On 32 minutes, home defender Mark McMeekin was called into action to thwart a Sunderland attack which stemmed from the inside left channel.

Prudhoe keeper Bowes made the first of a series of fine saves on 35 minutes, diving to his right to tip a curling shot around the post.

On the stoke of half time, Bowes managed to divert a thunderous strike onto the upright.

The Black Cats pulled a goal back on 65 minutes, and Bowes made three more outstanding saves in the second half.

But Prudhoe used their experience well, defending resolutely and proving a threat on the counter attack.

The night wasn’t all about the match itself. The occasion was to honour the memory of Mickley-born footballing legend Bob Stokoe.

As a player, he won the FA Cup with Newcastle United in 1955, before lifting the trophy as a manager with Sunderland in 1973.

Jimmy Montgomery, who was Sunderland’s goalkeeper during the famous FA Cup final victory over Leeds United, was at Kimberly Park on Friday. Stokoe’s daughter, Karen Craven, was on hand to present the prestigious shield to Prudhoe after the final whistle.

All proceeds from the match will go to Ferndene, the Prudhoe hospital which cares for young people with mental health difficulties and learning disabilities.