The boot room at the Academy of Light

Youngsters draw at Spennymoor

by Oscar Chamberlain

Mandron scores twice, while Smith also nets in U21 friendly.

Spennymoor Town 3 Sunderland U21 3

Sunderland’s under-21s rounded off their pre-season campaign with a 3-3 draw away to Spennymoor Town.

The hosts opened the scoring through Liam Henderson but the Black Cats hit back through Mikael Mandron on the stroke of half time.

The French striker then put the Wearsiders ahead via the spot, but they were pegged back by Anthony Peacock before Liam Henderson made it 3-2 with his second goal of the game.

However, Martin Smith provided an equaliser to ensure the youngsters avoided defeat ahead of their Barclays U21 Premier League opener against Liverpool next week.

Speaking post-match, Robbie Stockdale admitted the side started slowly but praised the players for their reaction which saw them come from behind on two occasions.

“It was a very tough game in blustery conditions and overall it was rather disjointed performance - some of it was okay and some of it was poor – but it came at the end of a very tough pre-season.

“Credit to the players because they kept going and they kept probing. We could have won the game but Spennymoor also had a few good chances.

“We will take everything we have learnt from it and take it into the new season which starts against Liverpool in just over a week’s time.”

The U21s were without Tom Robson, Liam Agnew and Duncan Watmore for the visit to Brewery Field, with the trio all featuring during the first team’s 2-0 win over Udinese, and Stockdale was pleased to hear they impressed against the Italian side.

“It is great to hear they did well because our role is to develop players and promote them into the first team, the experience is great for them and to hear they performed well is even better.

“It also gave me the chance to select some of the U18s and they did very well. Overall it was a successful day for us.”