Striker grabs both goals in 2-1 win.
Sunderland U18 2 Blackburn Rovers U18 1
Sunderland put in a workmanlike display to grind out a single-goal victory over Blackburn Rovers.
It was the gritty performance that was needed to overcome both the stubborn opposition and the cold wind that was blowing at the Academy of Light.
The home side started well and defender Ross Colquhoun powered a header just over the bar from a corner. Then Luke Molyneux delivered a low cross which just evaded striker James Stinson only three yards out in front of goal.
But in the 20th minute, they took the lead when a super through ball from Lynden Gooch found his fellow striker Stinson, who bravely lifted a shot over onrushing keeper Callom Williams to finish.
Rovers came back with midfielder George Pierce letting fly from long distance but the strike was tipped over by Sunderland keeper Peter Burke.
It was still 1-0 to the hosts at the break but shortly after the restart, Blackburn equalised. Brice Wassi played in Sam Joel who maintained good composure to slip the ball under keeper Burke.
The game now developed into a rather scrappy battle for supremacy but in the 70th minute, the Wearsiders grabbed the winner.
The move started with a good crossfield ball from Molyneux who found Jordan Blinco on the opposite flank. Blinco controlled and then struck a powerful shot straight at keeper Williams who found the strike to hot to hold, dropping the ball onto the line where Stinson - as all good strikers do - had followed up to turn the ball into the net to ensure a merited win.
Coach Carlton Fairweather said: "Although Wednesday's Youth Cup game did have an effect, our young side still played well to gain the win with good football".
Sunderland: Burke, Lowrie, Colquhoun, Beadling, T Robson, Blinco (E Robson, 80), Smith, Wright, Molyneux, Gooch (Greenwood, 70), Stinson.