The boot room at the Academy of Light

Youngsters defeated on Wearside

by Neville Pilkington

Young Black Cats suffer home reverse.

Sunderland U18 1 Liverpool U18 3

Sunderland played well for long periods in this game but slipped to defeat against an accomplished Liverpool outfit.

The game started in a fast cut-and-thrust manner with both sides going close.

First Tom Robson got well forward into the box but was crowded out.  Then Ethan Robson burst into the penalty area and shot low towards the corner, but Liverpool keeper Ryan Crump pulled off a great save.

Liverpool hit back with Alex O'Hanlon forcing Sunderland keeper Max Stryjek into a full-length save.  Shortly afterwards prolific striker Jerome Sinclair turned quickly and got in a shot which was well saved by the Polish stopper.

In the 10th minute the Merseysiders took the lead when a ball was played over the top.  Stryjek raced out but powerful winger Sheji Ojo anticipated and was able to side-step the keeper and roll the ball into the net.

On 35 minutes the visitors doubled their advantage when Sinclair turned in the box and scuffed a shot just inside the post.

Liverpool made it 3-0 five minutes after the break when the unfortunate Jordan Blinco headed into his own net from a corner.

Sunderland came back with Blinco's powerful volley well saved by Crump, who then tipped a low Ethan Robson free-kick round the post.

The home side continued to press with Tom Robson testing Crump with a high drive which was comfortably held by the keeper.

Finally the home side's efforts were rewarded when lively winger Rees Greenwood was brought down inside the area and Greenwood himself stepped up to bury the spot-kick with a low shot into the corner.

The goal gave the Wearsiders hope but they could not pull back any further as the visitors claimed the three points.

Academy manager Ged McNamee said: "It was a decent game against a decent team but we shot ourselves in the foot again with some poor goals.  

"We didn't take our first-half chances either but we kept going all the way and never gave up."

Sunderland:  Stryjek, Ellison, T Robson, E Robson, Lowrie, Beadling, Greenwood, Smith, Nelson (Stinson, 78), Blinco, McEvoy (Molyneux, 65).

Subs not used:  Colquhoun, Talbot, Ledger.