Manchester City U18 2-1 Sunderland U18
Sunderland under-18s surrendered their lead late on to suffer a narrow defeat at Manchester City on Saturday.
Mackenzie Dichicco scored on the hour mark to give the Lads the lead on the road, but two goals in the final seven minutes from Kayendrah Simmonds and Cole Palmer handed the hosts the points.
Paul Bryson was boosted ahead of the match with the availability of under-23 midfielders Bali Mumba and Dan Neil. While the duo are only first-year scholars, Mumba and Neil have featured prominently for Elliott Dickman’s development side throughout the term, with the pair also involved with the first-team in spells.
After enduring heavy defeats in recent times, the pair provided Bryson’s side with some steel in the middle of the park as the Lads limited City to few chances in the opening 20 minutes.
The Citizens changed their shape shortly after and that almost saw them make the breakthrough after a succession of corners were won in the air by Taylor Harwood-Bellis, but neither could beat Jack Newman in the Sunderland goal.
The Lads stood up to the challenge of City’s slick passing well and seized their moment when it came along on the hour mark.
A free-flowing counter attack saw Dichicco control the ball inside the City box before tucking away his first chance of the game.
But the hosts weren’t to be outdone and struck back in the 83rd minute, Simmonds created some space on the edge of the box and bent home a fine leveller.
Sunderland dug deep as wave after wave of blue attacks crashed against their backline, and eventually their resolve was broken in the most devastating of fashions.
The Black Cats failed to clear their lines and Palmer flicked home the loose ball to secure the points and leave the Lads empty handed.
Sunderland U18: Newman, Collins, Almond, Ord, Evans, Scothern, Neil, Kennedy, Mumba, Gooch, Dichicco
Subs: Cameron, Miller, Derbali, Smith, Wonbelle