Report: Sunderland U18 1-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers U18

Sunderland under-18s finally ended their winless run with a hard fought victory over a dangerous Wolves side at the Academy of Light on Saturday.

After taking a first half lead, the youth team were made to fight all the way by a committed opposition before eventually claiming that elusive success.

They nearly had an early setback when only a brilliant save by tall keeper Michael Woud prevented Wolves striker Jordan Allan's close-range header from taking the lead. 

But the Black Cats came back strongly and went in front with a picture goal by striker Lee Connelly in the 12th minute. It came from an astute pass into the box from Chris Allan which found Connelly who turned cleverly and hammered a left footed shot high into the roof of the net at the near post. 

Wolves came back and winger Ryan Giles was through but blazed high and wide as Woud came out to narrow the angle. 

Minutes later, it was Woud again who made a super save low to his left to keep the lead intact. 

Later in the half, Allan made a twisting run deep into the penalty area but saw his shot saved by Wolves keeper Rory Brown. 

Sunderland had to be resilient after the break to keep the West Midland side at bay.   

Central defender Alex Storey made several brilliant blocks and Woud gave his defence some respite, coming out and claiming some high crosses. They were also helped by some wayward finishing of Allan and Giles but held out to claim a confidence building conquest. 

Speaking post-match Elliott Dickman said: "At last - its been a long time coming.  I was very pleased with the effort and commitment - we really stuck at it to claim the clean sheet." 

The first win was also a fitting send off for departing Academy Manager Ged McNamee, who is stepping down after 20 years with the club.  

Sunderland:  Woud, Hickey (Gamble 57), Krusnell, Allan, Storey, Young, Best, Hackett, Diamond (Fowler 21), Connelly, Kimpioka 

Subs not used:  Howard, Patterson.

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