Young Cats seal Midlands victory.By Neville Pilkington
Sunderland pulled off a super away win in the sunshine against Aston Villa earlier today.
Down to ten men for the last period of the game, they defended magnificently to hang on to the single goal lead and fully deserve all three points at the final whistle.
The young Black Cats were the better side throughout the first half and went ahead with a calm finish by Carl Lawson just inside the far post after 20 minutes.
Villa never really threatened during the first period while the visitors had several half chances with Mikael Mandron forcing a great save from the Villa keeper.
Just after the restart, they doubled the lead when Lawson squared the ball for Mandron to tap in.
However, the home side came roaring back with two well worked goals in five minutes to level the score on 65 minutes.
But four minutes later, Mandron got away down the left to sidefoot into the far corner to regain the lead.
Martin Smith had came on as sub but received his marching orders when he collected two yellow cards for tackles in ten minutes.
With Craig Liddle's lads down to ten men, the hosts really applied full pressure.
Sunderland now defended superbly with many blocks foiling Villa's attempts to level. They went close several times but when the final whistle went it was the Wearsiders who had gained all three points for a tremendous victory over powerful opposition.
Coach Craig Liddle said: "I was absolutely delighted with the performance - Villa threw everything at us when we went down to ten men but we held on to deserve the win."
Sunderland: Maddison, Noble Reece, Burn, Gibbons, Lane, Lawson, Cartwright, Agnew (Hope 75), Honeyman (Smith 59), Gooch (Holland 80), Mandron.