Jordan Laidler

U21s claim derby point

by Stuart Vose

Competitive encounter ends all square.

Middlesbrough U21 0 Sunderland U21 0

Sunderland’s second string made it just one defeat in seven league games with a goalless draw at Middlesbrough.

A young under-21 side featured two Academy players, Tom McNamee and Mikael Mandron, while a third – Nathan Thomas – made an appearance off the bench.

Both sides had chances, with Craig Lynch almost winning the game late on when he poked wide in a scramble.

Boro first-teamer Curtis Main, building match fitness, twice came close in a first half which also saw Ryan Noble threaten at the other end only to be denied by Connor Ripley.

Main would have scored with his second effort but for a fine intervention by Sunderland keeper Ben Wilson, who blocked well at close range.

Jordan Laidler almost gave Sunderland the lead just after the hour mark when he rifled an angled drive goalwards, but the effort flashed just past the far post when it looked as if it might sneak in.

Sub Nathan Thomas saw a powerful drive from just outside the box gathered by Ripley, who was a relieved man when Lynch’s effort rolled just wide in the dying moments.

Sunderland: Wilson, Marrs, Ferguson, Laidler, Harrison, McNamee, Mitchell, Gorrin, Ryan Noble, Mandron (Thomas, 80), Lynch.

Subs Not Used: E Robson, Joyce, Dixon.

Photo Credit: Middlesbrough FC