David Moberg Karlsson

Moberg Karlsson strike earns point

by Ashley Houghton

Swede notches in U21s' draw at Villa.

David Moberg Karlsson scored his second goal in as many under-21 league games as Kevin Ball’s side drew 1-1 with Aston Villa at Tamworth FC on Monday evening.

The Swedish youngster levelled on the hour mark for the development squad after Riccardo Calder opened on the half hour for Villa.

Connor Wickham and Andrea Dossena both played 90 minutes for the young Black Cats who remain second in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League – trailing only West Ham United on goal difference.

Wickham was the first Sunderland player to go close when he hit an early free-kick over the bar before Graham Burke struck the post for the hosts in a high tempo opening ten minutes.

Wickham twice went close to putting the development squad ahead as the Black Cats began to dominate; first Benjamin Siegrist’s clearance fell to the England under-21 international but he recovered well to tip the Ipswich-born striker’s powerful drive wide, then good play by Duncan Watmore opened up an opportunity for Wickham but he drove wide.

Daniel Johnson then tested Joel Dixon from a free-kick but the Sunderland stopper did well to tip wide as the Villa midfielder’s set-piece looked to be heading for the bottom corner.

The hosts took the lead on the half hour as Calder converted Andras Stieber's cross from inside the area.

Wickham went close to finding the equaliser just two minutes later as he headed David Moberg Karlsson’s corner just inches wide.

Alex Gorrin was the next Sunderland player to have an effort on goal as he manoeuvred his way into the box before firing a shot just wide.

Stieber nearly doubled Villa’s advantage on 58 minutes as he met Burke’s centre but couldn’t direct it on target.

Sunderland were level on the hour mark as George Honeyman’s initial shot rebounded off the post and Moberg Karlsson was quickest to follow up and convert from close range.

Wickham nearly made it a five-minute turnaround for the visitors but when his shot looked destined to go in Villa defender Bradley Lewis superbly blocked and kept the score at 1-1.

Sunderland: Dixon, Marrs, Dossena, Gorrin, Harrison, McNamee, Watmore, Ba (Agnew, 63), Wickham, Honeyman (Lawson, 63), Moberg Karlsson.