U21's maintain winning start

Published:
by Ashley Houghton

Honeyman double sinks the Saints.

Southampton U21 0 Sunderland U21 3

Sunderland’s development squad continued their fine start to the Barclays U21 Premier League with a 3-0 victory over Southampton at the Saints’ Staplewood academy.

George Honeyman scored twice before Mikael Mandron added a third as the under-21's maintained their 100% record in their opening four games.

Honeyman replaced Carl Lawson in the only change from Monday’s 3-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers and the Prudhoe-born youngster repaid the faith shown in him by coach Kevin Ball.

Southampton started well and had the first effort of the game on five minutes when Jake Sinclair shot just wide.

The Black Cats were ahead after 22 minutes as Cody Cropper did well to save Mandron’s initial shot after good play by Alex Gorrin, before Honeyman was quickest to react and volleyed home the rebound.

Honeyman was excellent throughout for the visitors and he forced a smart save from Cropper with a long-range effort.

The final ten minutes of the first half saw the hosts have good spells of possession, though Sunderland’s shape and work rate deterred the Saints from creating many clear-cut chances.

Southampton made a double change at half time to try and find a way back into the game and both Jake Flannigan and Andy Robinson went close to equalising, but the former missed the target whilst the latter was thwarted by Joel Dixon in the Sunderland goal.

The visitors doubled their advantage on the hour mark as Agnew fed Mandron, and the Frenchman again provided for Honeyman who finished neatly on his first start of the season.

Lloyd Isgrove nearly pulled one back for Southampton but his shot from the edge of the area was saved by Dixon.

Mandron’s hard work was rewarded in the 71st minute when he was played in by Lawson before squaring-up the Saints defender and then drilling past Cropper from just inside the area.

Substitute Lawson had a late strike ruled out for offside before Duncan Watmore forced a save from Cropper in the closing stages.

The win sees the development squad move to the top of the Barclays U21 Premier League table, leapfrogging Tottenham Hotspur who host Norwich City on Monday.

Sunderland: Dixon, Marrs, Ferguson, Agnew (Cartwright, 87), Harrison, McNamee, Watmore, Gorrin, Mandron, Honeyman (Lawson, 66) Mitchell (Holland, 87).

Sub not used: Burke.