Duncan Watmore

Watmore at the double for U21s

by Ashley Houghton

Honours even at the SoL v Blues.

Sunderland U21 2 Chelsea U21 2

Sunderland’s development squad went to the top of the Barclays under-21 Premier League with a 2-2 draw with Chelsea at the Stadium of Light.

Duncan Watmore scored twice for the young Black Cats either side of strikes from Islam Feruz and Alex Kiwomya for the visitors.

Wes Brown played the full 90 minutes for Kevin Ball’s side and put in an assured performance as the development squad maintained their unbeaten record on Wearside this season.

The hosts went ahead on five minutes after a wonderfully worked move found Liam Marrs on the right hand side before he cut back for Watmore to curl in a fine strike with his left foot.

However, the Blues were level just four minutes later as Feruz closed down a short back pass and slotted past Joel Dixon from close range.

Alex Gorrin then had a great chance to put Sunderland back in the lead but he placed when well positioned after Chelsea failed to clear.

Connor Wickham could have put the hosts ahead after great play by Marrs but, when the Cramlington-born full back cut back from the byline, the England U21 international dragged wide.

Dixon then denied the visitors on a couple of occasions before Brown headed David Moberg Karlsson’s cross just over.

Lewis Baker nearly finished off a neat move for Chelsea before the Blues eventually did take the lead 25 minutes from time as Kiwomya drove home sweetly from 25 yards.

Sunderland reacted well to the goal as Liam Agnew nearly equalised immediately only to be thwarted by a fine save from Bradley Collins after he had headed Gorrin’s cross towards the top corner.

The young Black Cats were level just five minutes later as the on-rushing Watmore drove home Wickham’s lob from eight yards out.

Wickham was twice denied a late winner by the excellent Collins as Moberg Karlsson and Watmore provided opportunities for the former Ipswich man.

The point sends Ball’s side top of the Barclays U21 Premier League with West Ham United and Fulham playing later in the week.

The youngsters next play on Monday 4th November when West Bromwich Albion travel to Eppleton CW.

Sunderland: Dixon, Marrs, Ferguson, Cabral (Lynch, 80), Brown, Diakite, Watmore, Ba (Agnew, 30), Wickham, Gorrin, Moberg Karlsson (Mitchell, 88).

Subs not used: Egan, Burke.