Match report: U23s narrowly beaten by Stoke

Sunderland U23 0-1 Stoke City U23 

Sunderland under-23s slipped to a narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of Stoke City in the Premier League 2 on Monday evening.

A third minute goal from Gabrial Kyeremateng proved the difference as the Young Black Cats just couldn’t get through the Potters’ sturdy defence.

The 23s were denied what looked a clear penalty in second-half injury time that would have salvaged them a point, when Cieran Dunne was brought down.

The Premier League 2 clash was Sunderland under-23s’ first competitive game this month, after last Friday’s game against Wigan Athletic was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Elliott Dickman’s side began the game on the front foot, with Jack Connolly forcing a smart save from Blondy Nna Noukeu just one-minute in.

But the young Black Cats were caught on the counterattack just two minutes later, and the Potters took the lead.

Tre Pemberton found space down the right and played a low cross towards Kyeremateng, who was unmarked at the back post and tapped home. 

The Lads then had Anthony Patterson to thank for keeping the deficit to one just moments later. 

First, Patterson bravely dived at the feet of Kyeremateng to deflect the ball away and prevent the German from grabbing his second. 

And then the Sunderland stopper beat away another Kyeremateng effort from point blank range, before Daniel Jarvis sent the rebound wide. 

It was Peter Etebo’s turn to have an effort at the Black Cats goal shortly after; the Nigerian international carefully watched the ball drop from the sky and fired a 25-yard volley just inches wide.

Elliott Dickman introduced Cieran Dunne early in the second-half and the winger almost made an instant impact.

The Scotsman dispossessed William Forrester, but sent a tame effort straight at the ‘keeper when Benji Kimpioka was left unmarked at the back post. 

Lee Connelly and Benji Kimpioka partnered each other up front and both went close with 20 minutes to play.

Connelly’s whipped-in cross evaded everyone, but Nna Nokeu was on hand to make a strong parry and then Kimpioka’s volley flew inches wide of the post after good work by Dunne down the right.

Deep into injury time, Sunderland were denied what appeared to be a stonewall penalty.

Dunne picked the ball up on the left hand side, before driving into the box and weaving his way past two men, only to be tripped by Tre Pemberton, but the referee waved play on.

Next up for the 23s is a trip to Carrow Road as they face Norwich in the Premier League 2 on Sunday.

Sunderland U23s: Patterson, Gamble, Kokolo, Neil, Trialist, Taylor, Taylor, Sammut, Connolly, Kimpioka, Mumba, Connelly

Subs: Edmundsson, Abdelkader, Bainbridge, Greenwood, Dunne

Stoke City U23s: Nna Noukeu, Pemberton, Corrigan, Wara, Forrester, Kigbu, Dunwoody (C), Sorensen, Kyeremateng, Jarvis, Etebo

Subs: Macari, Cooper, Jarrett, Varian, Jones

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