U18 Report: Youth Team lose out against Newcastle

Sunderland U18s 0-1 Newcastle United U18s 

Fine margins decided a hotly contested Tyne-Wear derby in the U18 Premier League as Sunderland fell to a 1-0 defeat at the Academy of Light.

The visitors broke the deadlock 11 minutes into the second half through Kain Reed’s close-range finish and despite Sunderland’s late opportunities, his strike proved enough to earn the Magpies three points. 

The Black Cats came into Saturday’s derby clash still searching for the first win of the season, earning a 0-0 draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend following the opening day defeat against Liverpool.

The Magpies, meanwhile, came to the Academy of Light looking to gain their first points of the season having lost both of their games against West Brom and Manchester City without scoring.

Sunderland started brightly and earned the first chance of the game moments after kick-off through Ryan Leonard but his effort wasn’t quite enough to gift his side an early lead.

Despite the fast start to proceedings, much of the opening 45 minutes proved to be a cagey affair with both sides looking to gain the upper hand without creating many notable opportunities on goal. 

The hosts continued to chip away at the Newcastle backline and their work ethic forced perhaps the best chance of the half after half-an-hour. 

Cole Kiernan picked up possession and raced through on goal only to see his strike blocked by the on-rushing goalkeeper Otto Huuhtanen, before Tom Scothern’s follow up cleared the crossbar with Huuhtanen dashing back towards his line. 

The Magpies were afforded their first real chance after 38 minutes when Tom Howard’s misplaced backpass sent Thomas Cole racing towards goal, but to Howard’s relief the forward lashed wide after breaking into the box. 

It would be Newcastle who found the breakthrough early on in the second half as Deese Kasinga powered down the left-wing and laid the ball on a plate for Kain Reed to side foot home at the back post, handing the visitors the advantage.

Sunderland reacted by almost equalising mere minutes after the restart as Harry Ord beat Huuhtanen to a loose ball and forced the keeper into a point-blank save, before Kiernan dwelled on the rebound a fraction too long and saw the ball stolen from his feet. 

The hosts threw caution to the wind late on and pinned Newcastle back into their own half as the search for an equaliser intensified, and with 10 minutes left Sunderland were left wondering how they hadn’t levelled after passing up two clear-cut chances moments apart.

Leonard’s left-sided cross bested all but Sonny Best who arrived to head against the back post, before Kiernan’s right-sided cross was met by the unmarked Ord in the centre of the box – but the defender headed wide of Huuhtanen’s goal.

Despite continued pressure from the Black Cats in the game’s closing stages, the visitors held on for their first win of the season. 

Sunderland: Newman; Almond (Smith, 76’), Howard, Evans (c), Edmundsson, Ord, Leonard, Scothern, Kiernan, Best, Devine (Slack (66’)

Subs: Bond, Lilley, Miller.

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