Derby County U18 3-1 Sunderland U18
Sunderland under-18s saw their upturn in form halted as Derby County secured all three points on Saturday.
The hosts flew out the traps in the opening exchanges and into an early lead, Jayden Mitchell-Lawson with the first goal on six minutes.
Mitchell-Lawson followed a ball over the top, stopper Michael Woud came off his line to deal with the danger but got caught in no man’s land to allow the striker the chance to slot home.
Sunderland rallied back and deservedly equalised in the 25th minute when striker Ben Kimpioka drew the side’s level.
Brandon Taylor fed Lee Connelly who slipped the ball into Kimpioka who's first attempt was blocked by keeper Yates, but the powerful Swede continued his run and to hit home on the rebound.
From there the Young Black Cats continued their pressure but were unable to make the breakthrough as they finished the opening period in the ascendancy.
The hosts returned as a completely different side in the second period, restoring their lead five minutes after the restart when Oscar Krusnell was beat down the right and Brown was well placed to head home.
Derby weren’t finished there, though, Harry Goode this time twisted and turned to beat Jack Diamond to make it 3-1 in the 73rd minute.
The defeat leaves Sunderland bottom of the table, level on points with Wolves but an inferior goal difference with only one game remaining.
Speaking post-match Mark Atkinson said: "The game was very similar to Tuesday’s at Newcastle, we were the better side in the first half despite conceding first, but quickly recovered to equalise. Derby threw everything at us in the 2nd and unfortunately we paid the price.
Derby County: Yates, Goode, Mills, Mango, Rashid, C Thomas, Jibodu, Dixon, Cresswell, Brown, Mitchell-Lawson.
Subs: Whittaker, Fryatt, Davie, Buchanan, Minkley.
Sunderland: Woud, Gamble (Hickey 45), Krushnell (Howard 75), Taylor, Young, Connolly, Allan, Diamond (Slack 78), Hackett, Kimpioka, Connelly.
Subs not used: Newman, Scouthern.