Training at the Academy of Light

U18s slip to defeat

by Ashley Houghton

Sunderland undone by City.

Sunderland’s under-18 side went down to their second defeat of the season as Manchester City ran out 2-0 winners at the Academy of Light on Saturday morning.

The young Black Cats created the better chances in an even first half but they lacked a cutting edge in the final third.

The best opportunity came on 17 minutes when a superb cross by Lyndon Gooch found James Stinson unmarked but the striker headed wide from only two yards out.

Later a neat one-two between Daniel Wright and Stinson finished with the front man lifting his shot just over the bar.

Both sides continued to probe but there was no end product up to half-time.

City broke the stalemate from a set piece ten minutes after the restart as George Intima found space to volley home.

The visitors grew in confidence and smoothly moved up a gear for the rest of the match only for Sunderland’s Polish youth international keeper Max Stryjek keeping the young Black Cats in the game with a series of magnificent saves both from long distance and close range reflex actions.

He was finally beaten from another set-piece in the 75th minute as City winger Brandon Barker drove in a low cross from the left which skidded across the face of the goal before hitting Sunderland's Gooch and finally hitting the far post to creep into the net.

It was not more than the visitors deserved and they went on to finish comfortable winners although Gooch did have a chance late in the game to redeem himself but his hurried effort went just wide of the far side of the goal.

Academy Director, Ged McNamee, said afterwards: "We had a really great chance in the first half with the header that could have made all the difference.

“Goals change games and two goals from two set pieces is very disappointing - overall though I thought the better side won."

Sunderland: Stryjek, Ledger, Colquhoun, Beadling, Robson T, Wright, Smith, Pybus (Robson J 60), Greenwood (Blinco 65), Stinson, Gooch.

Subs not used: Burke, Ellison.