Newcastle United U18 1-1 Sunderland U18
Sunderland under-18s were made to settle for a point away at Newcastle United on Saturday.
Connor Slack handed the Black Cats the advantage shortly after the hour mark but Thomas Cole levelled 15 minutes from time to earn a share of the spoils on Tyneside.
Following a frustrating defeat last time out at Liverpool, Paul Bryson remained without striker Cole Kiernan, who suffered another injury set-back over Christmas. Slack returned to the line-up, though, after starting last Friday’s match at Merseyside on the bench.
While the match held a certain significance due to the fact it was a Tyne-Wear derby, the general ebb and flow of the encounter in the opening half was far from that.
Both sides showed a discipline and patience to their game, as they refused to throw too much at their opponent to avoid being dealt a sucker punch on the break.
Neither side created a great deal in what was a largely cagey opening 45 before the Lads took the game by the scruff of the neck shortly after the hour mark.
Good build-up play from Sunderland saw them work the ball out to Ryan Leonard. He then delivered a testing cross which wasn’t dealt with and Slack showed good awareness to touch home.
It was a lead, but a slender one and it didn’t last long as the hosts struck back to earn a point 13 minutes later.
Sonny Best failed to beat the wall from a free-kick on the edge of the box and the Magpies swooped in, flew down the other end and scored on the counter through Cole to earn a point.
Sunderland U18: Cameron, Smith, Almond, Derbali, Badhawi (Miller, 87), Evans (Kennedy, 62), Scothern, Best, Neil (Lilley, 90), Leonard, Slack
Subs not used: Bassey, Ord