U18 Report: Youth team lose to league leaders

Sunderland U18s 0-4 Everton U18s

Sunderland under-18s fell to defeat against Premier League table-toppers Everton on Saturday afternoon.

Ellis Simms’ first-half brace put the Toffees in the driving seat before Kieran Phillips added a third just after the half hour mark to leave the Black Cats with a mountain to climb.

Phillips’ second of the game two minutes after half time ensured three points went back to Merseyside in a game the Black Cats will hope to put right next weekend.

With the two sides set to face off again in the FA Youth Cup third round next Saturday, the game’s early moments were a tense affair with both sets of players approaching proceedings with an air of caution. 

The Black Cats had the better of the opening 10 minutes and could have gone ahead had Rayed Derbali’s back-post header not found the gloves of Harry Tyrer.

The hosts had the ball in the net 13 minutes in as Harry Ord headed home Sonny Best’s free-kick, only for the offside flag to quell any celebrations before they started. 

In a cruel double blow, Everton took the lead instantly after the restart as Simms latched onto a ball down the right side before cutting inside and placing past Adam Cameron. 

The momentum swung the way of the visitors after the first goal and they made it two on the half-hour mark, Simms finding the net again as he tapped home Bobby Carroll’s low cross.

Sunderland conceded a quick-fire third two minutes later as Carroll found Phillips inside the area before the latter placed across Cameron from close-range.

The Toffees almost made it four just before the break as Simms struck the post from inside the area, while at the other end Sean Kennedy saw a long-distance strike saved by Tyrer. 

A fourth arrived swiftly after half time for the visitors as Phillips grabbed his second of the game, mishitting Carroll’s deep cross before firing in at the second attempt despite the Derbali’s attempts to block on the line. 

Both sides saw half chances in the second 45 as the game died down somewhat with Phillips seeing a goalbound effort blocked by Ord, while Kennedy turned and curled an 18-yard strike into the grasp of Tyrer at the other end.

Cameron was called into action to keep the score at four midway through the half as he rushed out to block Phillips’ lofted effort with the Everton man through on goal in search of his hat-trick.

Connor Slack and Ryan Gooch both saw late efforts saved as the Black Cats searched for a consolation goal which ultimately proved elusive, as the Toffees returned to Merseyside with three points.

Sunderland U18s: Cameron, Howard, Devine, Scothern (Lilley, 57’), Derbali, Ord, Gooch, Kennedy (Compper, 78’), Slack, Best, Leonard.

Subs: Basey, Bell, Miller.

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