Match Report: Lads progress in FA Youth Cup

Halifax Town U18 0-1 Sunderland U18

Sunderland under-18s booked their place in round two of the FA Youth Cup as they saw off Halifax Town at The Shay on Wednesday evening.

Ryan Leonard scored the game’s only goal from the penalty spot at the midway point in the opening 45.

Halifax Town had their chances after the interval, but apart from Jay Benn’s vicious strike from range Adam Cameron remained untroubled as the Black Cats booked their place in round two.

Paul Bryson’s side will face a home tie against either Oldham Athletic or Altrincham in the next round of this season’s FA Youth Cup.

First-team face Bali Mumba featured from the off for Bryson’s side while Dan Neil - who at 16 has been a regular in the under-23s this season - also lined up in the middle of the park.

Mumba had Sunderland's first chance after five minutes. He turned in the box to open up a shooting opportunity, but his shot towards the near post was blocked.

The resulting corner lead to another chance as Andrias Edmundsson had a free header at the back post, but steered it wide.

Leonard found Connor Stack with a cross in the 20th minute. Slack had to stretch to connect but couldn't direct the header goalwards.

Sunderland took the lead 22 minutes in. Leonard was brought down by Halifax's Jay Benn as he broke into the box. He stepped up to take the penalty, firing into the bottom left corner.

Some clever play between Leonard and Mumba almost found Sunderland another opening. The latter playing the former in with a back heel, but Leonard's cross from the bye-line was blocked before it could reach Slack.

Mumba had a golden opportunity to double the visitors lead two minutes before the break. Stealing possession from a goal kick, Mumba tried to round Carl Rushworth in the Halifax goal, but the 'keeper stripped him of the ball.

Just before the hour mark, Halifax almost levelled the score. First, after Sunderland failed to clear a corner, Benn had a powerful, close range effort blocked behind for a corner.

The resulting corner lead to a chance for Tosin Abioye, but his header was wide.

With 66 minutes played, Sunderland 'keeper Adam Cameron was forced into action, making a good save to deny Benn's long range strike.

Tom Scothern almost doubled Sunderland's advantage with a curling effort from the left hand side of the box, but a good save from Rushworth, stretching to his left, denied the midfielder.

But Leonard’s first-half goal proved to be enough in the end as the Lads set up a round two clash against either Oldham Athletic or Altrincham.

Halifax Town U18: Rushworth, Benn, O’Regan (King, 84), Abioye, Sesay, Gordon, Da Costa (Veitch, 80), Coulter, Rowson (Kirongozi, 86), Wade, Adiele.

Subs not used: Simpson, Russon.

Sunderland U18: Cameron, Evans, Howard, Edmundsson, Ord, Mumba, Neil, Kennedy (Besyt, 70), Scothern, Leonard, Slack

Subs not used: Bassey, Gooch, Compper, Devine
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