Training at the Academy of Light

Youths complete stunning comeback


Young Black Cats reverse 2-0 deficit.

Sunderland U18 3 Stoke City U18 2
Neville Pilkington

Sunderland fought back from a two-goal deficit to beat Stoke with a last-minute winner in a five-goal thriller at the Academy.

The win was richly deserved on chances created and the visitors were largely outplayed in a wonderful second-half display by Craig Liddle's lads.

Sunderland should have taken an early lead but Mikael Mandron scooped the ball wide with only the keeper to beat. 

The game settled down and was confined to midfield before Stoke took the lead in the 27th minute.  The home defence gave away possession which enabled Stoke striker Jack Nardiello to go on and force the ball home despite Sunderland keeper Jonny Maddison's vain attempt to block, the ball rebounding off the Stoke player to cross the line.

It was still 1-0 at the break but two minutes after the restart the visitors doubled their lead.  Once again sloppy defending allowed Stoke's Kris Scott to slot home from inside the box.

The Wearsiders now came back strongly to dominate the rest of the game.  Neat footwork by Mandron saw the Frenchman go clear but Stoke keeper Dale Eve somehow stopped the shot and found the ball at his feet.

Sunderland deserved a goal on chances created and it finally came in the 65th minute.  Mandron quickly pulled back for sub Callum Hope to blast the ball first-time into the top corner.

The home side now took the game to Stoke and six minutes later were awarded a penalty when Mandron was brought down.  The striker got up to easily beat the keeper for the equaliser.

Stoke hadn't been in the game in the second half but looked as though they would come away with a draw.

However, the young Black Cats had other ideas and in the final minute Mandron, with his back to goal, laid the ball back to Hope who crashed home a tremendous drive from 18 yards for the winner.

Coach Craig Liddle said: "We fully deserved it.  After giving away two sloppy goals we came back to dominate the match.  It takes a good team to recover from two goals to then go on and win."

Sunderland:  Maddison, Ledger, Reece Noble, Agnew (Cartwright, 70), Gibbons, Sukar, Gooch, Martin (Hope, 46), Mandron, E Robson, T Robson (Honeyman).

Subs Not Used:  Burke, Burn.