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Jordan Laidler

Under-21s claim Celtic draw

Laidler scores in hard-fought draw.

Sunderland U21 Development Squad 1 Celtic 1
Neville Pilkington

It was honours even at the Academy when Sunderland and Scottish visitors Celtic shared the spoils after a good entertaining game played in the right spirit.

Sunderland had the better of the first half with Jordan Laidler and Craig Lynch both going close before Kevin Ball's side took the lead on 35 minutes with a superb five-man move which tore the Glasgow side apart.

Roarie Deacon finally spread the play wide from midfield out to attacking full-back Anthony Callaghan who cracked the ball across first time and low for Laidler to adjust and divert past Celtic keeper Glen Daniels to finish clinically.

Celtic came back strongly in the second period but their final ball in was hindering their efforts to level.

The Wearsiders had defended well but unfortunately conceded a penalty ten minutes from time when Connor Oliver brought down an attacker inside the box. Celtic's James Keating's scored with a low shot to keeper Jordan Pickford's left to equalise.

In the last minute, Hoops striker Tony Watt hit the post but a defeat would have been most unjust on a Sunderland side who had played well and fully deserved at least the draw against quality opposition.

Sunderland coach Kevin Ball said: "We played good attacking football and were disappointed to concede a penalty and only draw."

Stephen Frail, the Celtic coach, said: "Sunderland were good in the first half but we came back in the second - it was a good game and a good work-out for us."

Sunderland: Pickford, Laing, Oliver, Ferguson, Callaghan, Gorrin, Reed, Joyce, Deacon, Lynch, Laidler.

Subs not used: Robson, Dixon, Wilson, Mitchell.