Kevin Ball

Youngsters draw with Hibs

by Stuart Vose

Lawson scores in friendly draw.

By Neville Pilkington

SPL side Hibernian gave a mixed Sunderland Development Squad side a good test in a friendly played in blustery conditions at the Academy.

The wind was gusting so strongly that Sunderland nearly opened the scoring on 17 minutes with a shot by goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.  The keeper's clearance from the edge of his own area just cleared the bar first bounce at the other end with Hibs goalie Paul Grant backpedalling furiously.

Home full-back Glen Lane fired in a wind assisted 40-yarder shortly afterwards which was well saved by Grant but the visitors almost opened the scoring shortly afterwards following a goalmouth melee just before the break.

But ten minutes after the restart, the Edinburgh side did go ahead when Euan Smith went down the right-hand channel and pulled back for striker Alex Harris to turn the ball past Pickford.

It was a good game played with a very good attitude by both sides in awful conditions.

- Kevin Ball, coach

However, the lead only lasted for four minutes.  Coach Kevin Ball brought on Callum Hope on the hour mark and the Hendon lad crossed with his first touch for Carl Lawson to twist and level with a fine header - an inspired substitution.

The hosts finished strongly and only a full-length save by Grant prevented Sunderland's Adam Mitchell from grabbing the winner in an even tussle.

Sunderland: Pickford, Marrs, Gibbons, McNamee, Lane (Trialist, 57), Joyce, Trialist (Hope, 60), Armstrong, Mitchell, Trialist (Mandron, 69), Lawson.