Young Black Cats beat Gateshead at the Academy of Light.
Sunderland's under-18s began their pre-season schedule with a 2-1 victory over Gateshead at the Academy of Light.
Goals from Rees Greenwood and one of a number of trialists who featured wrapped up the victory in the young Black Cats’ opening friendly game.
Last season’s second leading goalscorer James Stinson was the first to go close for the youngsters after he battled to find space before blasting over from close range.
The under-18s took the lead on 17 minutes as Ethan Robson picked out Rees Greenwood with a cross-field pass before the Winlanton-born youngster curled a wonderful left-footed shot into the top corner.
Lynden Gooch, who missed the second half of last season through injury, was next to go close for the Black Cats but his 20-yard drive went just wide.
Sunderland continued to dominate and it was Gooch who went closest to adding a second in the first half as Greenwood fed the American, who shot against the post from the edge of the area.
Coach Carlton Fairweather made multiple changes at half time as he looked to give the majority of his squad substantial time on the pitch.
The lead was doubled just two minutes into the second half as a trialist neatly volleyed home from 18 yards.
Gateshead replied on the hour as the Heed’s right-back broke forward and smashed past James Talbot from 20 yards.
Gateshead tested Sunderland throughout the final stages, though it was Tom Robson who went closest to adding to the scoresheet when he shot just wide after a fine solo run.
Sunderland: Burke (Talbot, 45), Ellison (Trialist, 45), T Robson, Smith (Trialist, 70), Ledger, Sukar, Greenwood (McEvoy, 45), E Robson (Blinco, 45), Stinson (Trialist, 70), Trialist (Trialist, 82), Gooch (Trialist, 62).