Wes Brown

Friendly outing for Brown

by Ashley Houghton

Wes gets first run-out of the season in the bag.

Sunderland U21 2 Blackpool U21 1

Wes Brown played his first full game in over a year as Sunderland’s development squad defeated Blackpool at the Academy of Light in a behind closed doors friendly at the Academy of Light.

The former Manchester United man played 90 minutes as Ryan Noble and Alex Gorrin grabbed the goals for Robbie Stockdale’s side.

Marco Futacs, on loan from Leicester City, scored for the Tangerines as Brown gained valuable match time as part of his recovery from a knee injury.

It was the visitors who went closest early on, Futacs breaking through the Sunderland midfield before cracking a 25-yard shot against the bar.

Sunderland were fluent throughout, though, and continuously created openings, Noble drawing a double save from Mark Halstead on the quarter-hour.

Futacs proved a good test for Brown and Scott Harrison in the Black Cats’ central defence and went close again from 25 yards, cracking the post on 25 minutes.

The hosts took the lead seven minutes before half-time, Liam Marrs’ long ball found Adam Reed and Reed, back from a loan spell at Portsmouth, squared for Noble to tap home from six yards.

Blackpool nearly equalised five minutes after the restart as Futacs volleyed wide from Gerardo Bruna’s cross.

Jordan Laidler then went close to doubling the Black Cats’ advantage but saw his long-range strike well saved by Halstead.

The Tangerines equalised ten minutes from time as Bob Harris’ shot from the back post was bundled over the line by Futacs.

Sunderland reacted well to the goal and grabbed a late winner two minutes from time.

Noble broke down the left and his shot was parried by Halstead into the path of Gorrin, who made no mistake from close range.

Sunderland: Dixon, Marrs, Ferguson, Gorrin, Harrison, Brown, Mitchell, Gorrin, Ryan Noble, Lynch (Mandron, 25)(Trialist)), Laidler.