FA Youth Cup: Bryson delighted to book place in next round

Sunderland under-18s coach Paul Bryson hailed his side’s all-round performance following Thursday evening’s 4-1 win over Oldham Athletic in the FA Youth Cup second round. 

The Black Cats went into half time two goals to the good at Eppleton CW thanks to Connor Slack’s 18th minute opener, before Dan Neil made it two just one minute later.

Oldham were given hope 10 minutes after the restart when Declan Baldwin’s corner found its way into the far corner, but Sunderland responded by netting another two through Ryan Leonard’s second of the competition and Slack’s second of the evening. 

Slack had the chance to seal his hat-trick and make it five with a penalty at the death only to be thwarted by Latics goalkeeper Ellis Allen, but nevertheless Bryson was pleased with his side’s commanding performance. 

“It was a really pleasing all-round performance, in and out of possession,” he said. 

“I thought we worked to our game plan out of possession and pressed high up the pitch, then in possession we were quite clever and the front three caused problems with their pace.

“We’ve worked on that over the last couple of weeks, being nice and clever in and around the box and finding little pockets but also switching the play as well – which the fourth goal was a great example of.” 

The result sees Bryson’s side travel to Merseyside to face current Premier League table toppers Everton in the third round on December 15 – with a preview of the clash set to take place next Saturday as Sunderland host the Toffees in the league.

“The FA Youth Cup is the biggest competition in youth football,” continued Bryson.

“The lads are all developing at different stages, so Saturdays are more like development games for me - but everybody wants a good cup run.

“Now we go to Goodison Park to play Everton, which is a fantastic reward for the lads.

“We’ll get a look at them next weekend and I’ll watch other footage from them, but we could also have a few players back then as well, and the lads play to the top of their game if they’ve got competition for places.”

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