James Stinson

Young Cats power to victory

by Neville Pilkington

Stinson and Thomas score to down WBA.

West Brom U18 0 Sunderland U18 2

After holding West Brom to a draw on Wearside just three days prior, Sunderland turned in a super away performance in the return game in the Midlands.

Apart from keeper Alex Palmer, the Baggies played the same side that was so dangerous and controlled long periods of the previous fixture.

But in this match, central defenders Tom McNamee and Jas Sukar were outstanding along with Ethan Robson in midfield, with every other player also contributing hugely to a deserved win.

The Wearsiders dominated the first period, going ahead after only four minutes. James Stinson (pictured) was put through by Ethan Robson and the striker coolly slotted home.

After staying on top, the young Black Cats doubled the lead in the 27th minute.  Nathan Thomas showed good anticipation to intercept a defensive pass across the box and went on to score with a low shot to the left of keeper Palmer.

They kept up the pressure and Ethan Robson hit the bar with Martin Smith also going close on two occasions.  Then Stinson shot wide from a one-on-one after Smith had played him in.

As expected, West Brom did come back in the first 15 minutes after half time and struck Peter Burke’s post at one point.

But Sunderland regained control and this time it was Liam Agnew who was through but again hit the bar from another one-on-one.

Two more chances fell to Thomas and sub Steven McCarthy from breakaways but both drew good saves from the keeper.

The visitors were then content to run down the clock and finish worthy winners after a performance so different from the previous game, where they were somewhat fortunate following a brilliant display by keeper Burke to take a point.

Coach Craig Liddle said: "We knew we didn't play very well on Saturday despite getting a draw - we also knew we could raise our game from that display. We did that today and turned in a very good performance."

Sunderland:  Burke, Ledger, McNamee, Sukar, T Robson, Holland (McCarthy, 50), Agnew, E Robson, Thomas, Stinson (Lane, 80), Smith (McGrath, 75).