Adam Mitchell of SAFC U21s

Youngsters draw eight-goal thriller


Young Black Cats with two late goals to draw with Burnley.

Sunderland’s development squad scored two late goals to earn a share of the spoils in a 4-4 draw with Burnley in a mid-season friendly at the Academy of Light on Saturday afternoon.

Carl Lawson and Adam Mitchell both notched in the closing stages for Kevin Ball’s side after Jamie Frost and Cameron Howieson had given the Clarets a two-goal advantage.

Jason Gilchrist had given the Lancashire outfit an early lead before Ross Holland and a Jordan Laidler penalty put the young Black Cats ahead.

Steven Hewitt equalised after ten second-half minutes from the penalty spot for Burnley as Sunderland played out their second 4-4 draw in three games.

It was Burnley who took the lead on 17 minutes as Gilchrist latched onto a neat through ball and smashed a left-footed drive beyond Joel Dixon in the Black Cats’ goal.

Ball’s side were level on the half hour, though, as Louis Laing’s strike bounced back off the base of the post and fell kindly into the path of Holland who tapped home from close range.

And the hosts were ahead just a minute later as Craig Lynch was brought down in the area and Laidler stepped up to fire into Burnley keeper Conor Mitchell’s bottom left-hand corner, sending the Northern Irish stopper the wrong way in the process.

Lynch then instigated a counter-attack as Sunderland began exert dominance on the affair and Mitchell was unlucky not to double the advantage with a curling effort from the corner of the box.

The Clarets were level in the 55th minute as Scott Harrison was penalised for a foul on Gilchrist in the area and Hewitt stepped up to equalise from the spot.

And the visitors were ahead three minutes later as Hewitt saw his shot blocked before substitute Frost was well-placed to fire home.

Howieson doubled Burnley’s advantage 20 minutes from time with a low side-footed effort as he rushed in at the back post.

However, as has been the case for the 2013-14 season, Ball’s side never gave up and found a way back into the game in the final minute as Connor Oliver played Lawson through and the forward fired across Mitchell and into the bottom corner.

And the young Black Cats got their reward when Mitchell fired into the top left-hand corner of his namesake’s goal from Laing’s corner in the dying seconds.

Sunderland squad: Dixon, Oliver, McNamee, Harrison, Casey, Ferguson, Mitchell, Laing, Agnew, Honeyman, Holland, Lawson, Lynch, Laidler.