Mikael Mandron

Black Cats pegged back late on

by Ashley Houghton

Mandron on target v Everton; Mangane plays.

Sunderland U21 2 Everton U21 2

This game will be remembered by those in attendance at Eppleton CW for two wonder strikes; first from Sunderland’s Mikael Mandron and then Everton’s Francisco Junior.

Mandron gave the Black Cats the lead before a Tyias Browning own goal doubled the hosts’ advantage.

But the visitors found a way back into the game through Conor McAleny before Junior earned the Barclays U21 Premier League Group One leaders a point.

Kader Mangane played 90 minutes for Kevin Ball’s side as he looks to pick up match fitness ahead of first-team action.

Sunderland started brightly and went close to breaking the deadlock on five minutes when Ryan Noble headed Mandron’s flick-on onto the bar.

Though the Black Cats dominated in large parts throughout the early stages, Everton weren’t without chances, with Luke Garbutt’s left-footed free-kick flying just wide.

The hosts’ best chance of the first-half fell to Mandron. Alex Gorrin’s shot was blocked by Matthew Pennington and the under-18’s top scorer dragged wide from the edge of the area.

Frenchman Mandron made up for that miss in some style, though, as just five minutes into the second half he beat two Everton defenders before launching a left foot strike into the top right-hand stanchion of Mason Springthorpe’s goal.

It took just ten minutes for Sunderland to double their lead. Craig Lynch played in Noble, who rounded Springthorpe only to see Browning poke the ball into his own goal.

Everton began to edge into the game, with the two-goal deficit giving the Toffees license to commit bodies forward. Sunderland were thankful to their keeper Wilson who saved low from McAleny just 45 seconds later.

McAleny grabbed a goal back for the visitors 20 minutes from time, beating two defenders before rolling past Wilson in the Sunderland goal.

Adam Mitchell worked himself a wonderful opportunity to wrap the game up but he blasted over when he needed just a little more composure.

The equaliser came ten minutes from time, and it was a goal worthy of rescuing a point for Everton. Junior picked the ball up 25 yards from goal and smashed it into the top right hand corner of Wilson’s goal – leaving the Sunderland stopper with no chance.

Both side’s number nines had chances to win it, first Noble glanced David Ferguson’s cross just over, before Hallam Hope flashed a shot just wide in the 90th minute.

Sunderland: Wilson, Marrs, Ferguson, Laidler, Harrison, Mangane, Mitchell, Gorrin, Noble, Mandron, Lynch.

Subs not used: McNamee, Dixon, Joyce, Honeyman, Holland.