Mikael Mandron

Sunderland U18 4 Newcastle U18 2

by Stuart Vose

Mandron scores twice in derby win.

Neville Pilkington

Sunderland were well worth their decisive win over rivals Newcastle in the youth derby at the Academy of Light.

Although the Tynesiders played well, two of Sunderland’s goals came at crucial times in the game and thus enabled the home side to retain their impetus.

Twice Newcastle reduced the lead to a single goal, but each time Sunderland slammed the door shut to deny any potential recovery by replying almost immediately to keep control.

The game was played in warm sunshine with around 300 spectators enjoying an attractive match.

The Wearsiders started well and went ahead on 17 minutes. Mikael Mandron, who was outstanding throughout, played in George Honeyman and the winger advanced, looked up and sidefooted past Newcastle keeper Jonathan Mitchell.

Ethan Robson, a midfielder from Durham, had a good shot blocked and fired the rebound over the top before the hosts doubled their lead on 31 minutes.

Honeyman again got through down the left and reached the line before cutting back for Martin Smith to blast the ball home.

But on 35 minutes the Magpies pulled a goal back when Macauley Booth's shot was deflected into the path of striker Alex Gilliead, who finished easily.

The hosts hit back two minutes later when Andrew Cartwright went down in the area from a push. Mandron stepped up to bang the ball low to Mitchell’s right to restore the two-goal margin at the break.

It had been a half that had seen Sunderland well on top for most of the 45 minutes, but the visitors came back after the break and Jon Quinn hit the post nine minutes into the second half.

The away side continued to press and were finally rewarded on 82 minutes from a set piece. A left-wing corner reached Greg Gillespie, who headed emphatically past Maddison.

The goal gave the visitors hope, but Sunderland were stung to retaliation. They roared back downfield almost immediately to regain control with another decisive goal.

Sub Tom Robson got away on the left and although his pass was slightly behind Mandron, the striker was still able to finish clinically with his left foot from seven yards to grab his brace.

Coach Craig Liddle said afterwards: “We dominated the first half and when we conceded, we reacted well to recover from the setback. I was very pleased with the performance, which is always more important than the result.”

Sunderland: Maddison, Reece Noble, Burn, Gibbons, Lane, E Robson (T Robson, 80), Cartwright (Holland, 77), Lawson, Mandron, Smith, Honeyman (Gooch, 58).