Sunderland U23 1-2 Norwich City U23
Norwich City under-23s came from behind to defeat Sunderland at Eppleton Colliery Welfare on Sunday.
Lee Connelly opened his account for the season before Louis Lomas levelled before half-time and then Gassan Ahadme squeezed home the winner 13 minutes from time.
Elliott Dickman made two changes from the side that drew with Stoke City on Monday. First-team face Elliot Embleton came in for Dan Neil as he looked to clock some much-needed minutes while Owen Gamble replaced the injured Jordan Hunter.
Sunderland were bright in their approach and wasted no time penning the visitors deep in their own half, Jake Hackett made a darting run down the inside left channel.
Jack Diamond spotted his team-mate’s movement immediately and rolled a perfectly weighted pass into his path, which the midfielder breezed onto before flashing a low ball across goal.
Norwich just about dealt with the danger as it pinged off a number of bodies – for Sunderland, though, it was a sign of things to come.
With 15 played, the Black Cats made the breakthrough and again Hackett was at the centre of it. This time floating in a high and wild cross from the left which looked to have sailed behind for a goal-kick.
Everyone turned away thinking that was the end result apart from Diamond who chased the ball down on the opposite side, collecting it and then beating his man before firing in a low cross which Connelly was only too happy to put away.
Sunderland continued to look a threat as the half wore on. Embleton curled wide from 18 yards, Connelly then went close to bagging a second but after a good turn inside the box his finish evaded him.
And the Black Cats were made to rue those missed chances before the half was out, as Lomas turned home a corner to level things up for Norwich.
The second 45 was a much tighter affair as the swirling wind severely affected the quality of football.
Both sides traded blows in the middle of the park, with Anthony Patterson saving a one-on-one well before Bali Mumba opted to cross instead of shooting after capitalising on a mistake and driving into the box.
Embleton completed a planned 60-minute run-out and he was replaced by the towering presence of Dan Neil in the centre alongside Hackett and Ruben Sammut.
The Canaries got stronger as time ticked, Isak Thorvaldsson was denied by a splendid save from Patterson but eventually their pressure told.
Ahadme managed to squeeze his effort into the bottom corner, beyond the reach of Patterson who got down quickly but to no avail.
Sunderland U23: Patterson, Mumba, Gamble, Sammut, Taylor, Bainbridge, Hackett (Kokolo, 82), Embleton (Neil, 60), Connelly, Kimpioka, Diamond
Subs: Collins, Abdelkader, Greenwood
Norwich City U23: Mair, Nizet, Famewo, Lomas, Thomas, Fitzpatrick (McAlear, 87), Scully, Adshead (Martin, 89), Hondermarck (Hutchison, 64), Yahyai, Thorvaldsson
Subs: Jones, Johnson