Fulham U23 2-0 Sunderland U23
Sunderland under-23s endured a difficult night in the capital as Fulham secured the points at Motspur Park.
Two goals inside the opening 20 minutes – from Jayden John-Lloyd Harris and Moritz Jenz – handed the hosts the advantage at the break.
The Black Cats attempted to muster a response in the second 45 but the Cottagers had done enough in the opening 45 to seal victory.
Wednesday’s FA Youth Cup hero Ryan Leonard made his first start for Elliott Dickman’s under-23s this evening. Leonard – a second-year scholar - scored the game’s only goal in Wednesday’s win over Halifax Town, and as a result was handed his first start for the under-23s. Meanwhile, Andrias Edmundsson was named on the bench alongside 16-year-old midfielder Dan Neil.
Fulham hit the front straight away, striking twice inside four minutes. Jayden John-Lloyd Harris turned home his fifth of the season with 13 played, sweeping home Steven Sessegnon’s cross from the right on the half volley.
The Cottagers doubled their advantage shortly after, this time Moritz Jenz hooked a corner from the left into the top corner and beyond the helpless Max Johnstone between the sticks.
Fulham continued to control the general ebb and flow as Elliott Dickman’s side struggled to offer any real attacking threat as they went in at the break behind.
The hosts picked up where they left off at the start of the second 45, quickly penning the Black Cats back as they sought to wrap up proceedings.
But gradually Dickman’s men grew into the contest before their hard work was almost undone when Lee Connelly’s cross was cleared, and they hit the Lads on the break.
Soaring down the right, Cameron Thompson was a whisker away from slipping the ball into Johnstone’s near post, but he could only find the side-netting as it swept across.
At the other end, Adam Bale lifted his strike from 25 yards onto the roof of the net as Fulham wrapped up their second straight win.
Fulham U23: Ashby-Hammond, Sessegnon, Davies, Jenz, Mundel-Smith, O’Riley (Kelly, 76), Cisse, Harris (Santos-Clase, 70), Francois, de la Torre, Thompson
Subs: Ashby-Hammond, Atkinson, Drameh
Sunderland U23: Johnstone, Hunter (Evans, 73), Kokolo, Storey, Bainbridge, Young (Edmundsson, 83), Leonard, Bale, Connelly, Hackett, Connolly (Neil, 62)