U23s Report: Sunderland 1-0 Huddersfield Town

Sunderland U23 1-0 Huddersfield Town U23

safc.com’s Sam Lightle gives an overview of all the action between the Black Cats and the Terriers at the Academy of Light.


Ethan Robson scored the game’s only goal as Sunderland defeated Huddersfield in their penultimate pre-season test.

The midfielder dispatched a first-half penalty after Nelson was clipped, leaving the referee with no choice but to award a spot kick.


Elliott Dickman selected a strong started XI which included first-team face Lynden Gooch. The American has been on the verge of the senior squad throughout pre-season, and was given the chance to impress during a run out against the Terriers. Meanwhile, James Talbot replaced Max Stryjek between the sticks.


American youngster Gooch sat behind Nelson in the Black Cats’ attack, as the lads set about ramping up their preparations in pre-season after losing to Sheffield Wednesday earlier in the week. Gooch began the afternoon on the front foot, quickly latching onto a hopeful ball over the top and incisively slotting it across goal where Nelson was smothered out.


The visitors struck back on Wearside and created a flurry of chances without really testing Talbot in goal. A lung-bursting run from the halfway line was eventually snuffed out by Josh Robson before Storey and Robson got caught out with a finely placed pass through the middle. Storey did well to shepherd the play across the edge of the box, just about doing enough to force him to drag his effort wide of the mark.


But just as Huddersfield looked to be enjoying the lion share of possession, Sunderland hit back when Nelson made himself a nuisance inside the area. The striker used all his strength, making sure he got himself in between the ball and defender to draw in the foul and win a penalty. Robson confidently stepped up and calmly sent the keeper the wrong way from 12 yards. It was a morale boosting goal which was almost doubled when Gooch collected the ball 18-yards out. The American fainted a strike before flashing a fierce effort wide of the far post.


Huddersfield came on strong for much of the second period. Wave after wave of attacks crashed against the Black Cats’ backline, with dogged determination and lady luck being key to how the lads survived. Adam Bale made several crucial blocks as the Terriers looked to sink their claws in, blocking second and third balls time after time. It wasn’t pretty but the lads held firm to secure victory in their penultimate pre-season test.  

Sunderland under-23 starting XI: Talbot, Josh Robson, Storey, Beadling, Hume, Molyneux, Bale, Ethan Robson, Diamond, Gooch, Nelson.

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