Training at the Academy of Light

Friendly defeat for U21s

by Oscar Chamberlain

Beadling scores in 3-1 reverse at Partick Thistle.

Sunderland’s U21s continued their pre-season preparations with a 3-1 defeat against Partick Thistle.

Tom Beadling headed the young Black Cats into a 15th minute lead, but the Jags struck back to equalise 18 minutes later through Christie Elliott.

Steven Lawless made it 2-1 to Thistle midway through the second period, with Tom Robson inadvertently turning the ball into his own net two minutes from time.

Speaking post match, coach Robbie Stockdale said: “Partick Thistle are a very good side and they are gearing towards the new SPL season, so it was a good test for the lads.

“We may have been a little naïve in our approach against a very fit and experienced side, but there were still plenty of positives overall.

“We spoke after the game and the lads understand what they need to do to improve, and you always learn more from defeats than you do from victories so I’m sure the lads will respond well.”

Stockdale continued by praising the performance of Duncan Watmore, who tormented the Jags’ defence throughout the game and was unlucky not to add to Beadling’s early strike.

“The biggest positive from tonight’s was the performance of Duncan; he ran at defenders, got in some good positions and was positive throughout.

“He also hit the crossbar after a great run from box to box, he burst past a host of defenders before cutting inside and hitting the woodwork, and if that goes in it’s a different game.”

The coach also conceded that tiredness may have played a role following an extremely testing pre-season that has seen the U21s impress at development squad and first-team level.

“Maybe fatigue played a part but I wouldn’t use that as an excuse, we have tried to rotate the players so they have equal time on the pitch but we have also tried to work hard during the week.

“Perhaps that showed a little tonight but ultimately this is pre-season and we are here to test ourselves and get fit, but like I said we will learn from this and take it into our final pre-season match on Saturday.”