Big away win for youngsters

by Neville Pilkington

Young Black Cats rack up comfortable victory in Lancashire.

Bolton Wanderers U18 1 Sunderland U18 4

Sunderland’s under-18 side powered past a strong and physical Bolton Wanderers outfit who were looking for their third successive win.

The young Black Cats opened the scoring in the eighth minute as Martin Smith (pictured) fired in a fierce shot which the keeper could only parry and Josh Robson was on hand to slot home.

However, the visitors' lead lasted only four minutes as from a Trotters corner, Sunderland were unable to scramble the ball clear allowing the hosts to level.

The young Black Cats’ lead was restored in the 37th minute with a brilliant solo goal by Rees Greenwood; the Winlaton-born youngster picked the ball up just inside the Bolton half and jinked past three defenders to coolly slot the ball home in the bottom right-hand corner.

It was 3-1 just before the hour mark, following a good run and a powerful strike by Josh Robson, the home keeper was unable to hold on to the ball giving substitute Jordan Blinco an easy opportunity to double the visitors’ advantage.

Wanderers, who were unable to penetrate the visitors' defence, then reverted to banging in shots from distance which keeper Burke dealt with comfortably.

It was all over in the 73rd minute when Greenwood went one on one with a home defender, who brought him down in the area and he stepped up to slot the resulting penalty low to the keeper’s right.

Academy manager Ged McNamee was delighted with the win which sees the young Black Cats keep their play-off hopes alive.

“We played some very good football out here today,” McNamee said. “It was a really pleasing display and performance.

“We also had the opportunity to give some of our younger players a chance, such as Luke Molyneux who stepped up from the under-16 side.”

Sunderland: Burke, Ellison, Colquhoun, Ledger, J Robson, E Robson, McCarthy (Molyneux, 77), Smith (Embleton, 85), Wright (Blinco, 28), Greenwood, Gooch.