Sunderland U18 1-4 Stoke City U18
Sunderland under-18s were put to the sword in their first home U18 Premier League match as Stoke City ruthlessly earned all three points on Saturday.
While the host began the game on the front foot, the Potters went ahead on 15 minutes as Venancio Da Silva Monteiro finished past Michael Woud in controversial circumstances.
Jordon Greenridge then added a second two minutes later after a route one ball caught Sunderland off guard.
It went from bad to worse on 29 minutes as the young Black Cats failed to clear a corner from the left and Luis Silva was well place to tap home from six yards.
Niklas Jokelainen added a fourth as Sunderland again were caught foul of failing to clear their lines before Benjamin Mbunga-Kimpioka reduced the arrears late on.
Following a strong week of training under the Lads’ belts, the youth team were raring to go ahead of their first home game of the season.
Keen to put behind them last weekend’s opening day defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers, Dickman stuck with his new look side as they continued to find their feet at the club.
Sunderland raced out the blocks and could’ve easily been two goals ahead, but the visitors did well to temper the hosts’ eagerness and with 15 minutes on the clock the Potters struck a decisive blow.
Stoke were awarded a throw in, despite strong Sunderland appeals that it should’ve been theirs, and within seconds Da Silva Monteiro slammed the ball home.
Two minutes later the visitors doubled their lead as the young Black Cats were caught napping when a long ball down the middle sliced Sunderland’s defence in two and Greenridge raced through before calmly slotting home.
Elliott Dickman’s side were on the ropes and with just 20 minutes played Stoke could’ve snatched a third as Harvey Read saw his close-range effort smack against the crossbar.
Any hopes of a fight back were undone just before the half hour mark when Potters skipper Luis Silva made the most of Sunderland’s failure to clear a corner as he tapped home from six yards out.
A more spirited and determined young Black Cats side returned in the second period keen and hungry to reduce the deficit.
Chris Allan and Adam Bale were dogged in the centre of the park with a couple of strong tackles but ultimately Sunderland lacked a killer pass to really carve open Stoke’s rear-guard.
And just like the first half the Potters were on the mark first as they added a fourth in the 64th minute. Jokelaien rammed the ball underneath Woud from inside the six-yard box after Sunderland failed to clear their lines again.
To their credit though Sunderland didn’t lie down - Bale shaved the top of the crossbar with a free-kick before Sonny Best saw his attempt comfortably saved by Stoke’s keeper.
Shortly after, the Lads grabbed a consolation goal as Fergus McAuthrie’s rifled shot was palmed away by Stoke’s stopper but into the path of Mbunga-Kimpioka who capitalised on the loose ball.
Sunderland under-18s starting XI: Woud, Taylor, Storey, Young, McAughtrie, Hickey, Bale, Allan, Hackett, Best, Mbunga-Kimpioka