Jaison McGrath

Friendly draw for young Cats

by Ashley Houghton

York clash ends all square.

Sunderland U18 2 York City U18 2

Two goals from Jaison McGrath were not enough to earn Sunderland a win as they drew 2-2 with York City in a behind closed doors friendly at the Academy of Light.

Craig Liddle’s young side conceded five minutes from time to surrender their lead having dominated for large parts of the game.

Chris Dickinson’s 85th-minute strike cancelled out McGrath’s double after Oli Smith had earlier pulled one back for the Minstermen.

Sunderland were ahead after just ten minutes; Liam Agnew crossed deep for McGrath to nudge a header past the York keeper.

The Black Cats continued to dominate throughout the opening stages and McGrath went close to a second when he crashed Nathan Thomas’ pass onto the post.

McGrath grabbed his second on 26 minutes after Thomas had twice seen his shots saved McGrath was on hand to drive home the follow up.

York hit back immediately through their first attack of any potency; Smith drove home from 18 yards after Sunderland had failed to clear.

The hosts continued to stay on the front, though; Thomas was a constant thorn in the side of the York defence but failed to test the keeper on a couple of occasions.

Steven McCarthy was another who impressed and his lively play down the right nearly grabbed him his first goal for the under-18’s but his left-foot shot was well saved.

Despite the young Black Cats' domination York managed to find a way back into the game five minutes from time when Dickinson capitalised on miscommunication in the Sunderland defence and hammered past Joel Dixon.

Liddle’s side travel to Stoke in the Barclays U18 Premier League a week on Saturday (April 6) looking to return to the top of the table after Tottenham Hotspur defeated Liverpool at Melwood yesterday.

Sunderland: Dixon, Ledger, T Robson, Holland, Beadling, Sukar, McCarthy, Agnew, Thomas, McGrath, Lane.