Fixture: Sunderland U23 7-1 Silksworth CW

Benji Kimpioka scored four as Sunderland under-23s got their pre-season campaign off to a flying start against Silksworth CW. 

Three goals inside the opening 20 minutes, a brace from Kimpioka either side of Jack Diamond’s goal, got the lads on their way.

Silksworth pulled one back as Sunderland failed to clear a corner from the right before Kimpioka and Connor Shields restored the lads’ grip on the match after the interval.

A low cross from Shields on the right was then turned home before Lee Connelly clipped in a neat cheap from the edge of the box and Kimpioka netted his fourth as Sunderland wrapped up the victory at the Academy of Light. 

While the under-23s only returned to training on Tuesday, Elliott Dickman has been quick to put his players through their paces. Following a fitness-fuelled week, attentions turned to their opening pre-season friendly as they welcomed local Wearside league club Silksworth to the Academy of Light. 

And as the Black Cats looked to dust off any cobwebs, Kimpioka showed his class as he moved from left to right before dragging his shot back across goal and into the far corner with nine minutes played. Two minutes later, it was 2-0. Diamond this time was the man in the firing line as he netted an incisive right-footed effort from the edge of the box.

Kimpioka then made it 3-0 shortly after the quarter-hour mark. Diamond was quickly onto a defensive error as the Silksworth stopper failed to clear his lines. Kimpioka powered into the box and Diamond unselfishly squared it to his Swedish team-mate for him to touch home. 

But with Sunderland seemingly in cruise control, Silksworth pulled one back from a corner. The Black Cats’ trialist stopper came off his line but was unable to punch and the ball was knocked home at the back stick.

Sunderland had to wait until the second 45 to gain full control of the game once more. Kimpioka touched home for his hat-trick minutes after the restart after Shields’ effort was saved. Shields then notched a goal for himself, firing home as Kimpioka turned provider, feeding through a fine ball with the outside of his right foot. 

Shields continued to work tirelessly up top and Sunderland added to their scoreline further when his drilled cross from the right byline was turned home by a helpless Silksworth player.

Scottish frontman Connelly then clipped a neat chip from the edge of the box before Kimpioka turned home his fourth in the closing stages.

Sunderland U23 starting XI: Trialist, Gamble, Taylor, Young, Kokolo, Connelly, Connolly, Bale, Hackett, Kimpioka, Diamond.

Second half: Trialist, Kane, Taylor, Storey, Bale, Gamble, Diamond, Kokolo, Kimpioka, Shields, Connelly

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