U23 report: Lads exit Premier League cup

Sunderland under-23s were knocked out of the Premier League Cup following a 2-0 defeat at Wigan Athletic on Monday.


A second-half spot-kick from Charlie Jolley, quickly followed by Divin Baningime’s low finish took the game away from the young Black Cats.


Cieran Dunne squirmed a late opportunity to get the Lads back in the game, as Sunderland exited the Premier League Cup at the group stage.


Elliott Dickman’s side came into their final group game knowing that only an enormous winning margin of seven goals would see them progress to the last 16.  


Joe Hugill once again led the line alongside Benji Kimpioka, while Ahmed Abdelkader deputised for Anthony Patterson between the sticks.


The Latics were quick to assert their dominance on the game and Abdelkader was quickly called into action.


The Algerian stopper did well to parry wide from Emeka Obi’s header after the towering defender met a deep corner.


On the 20-minute mark, the Lads put together a fine passage of play that ended with Hugill laying off Eliot Goldthorp, but the trialist’s effort went high and wide.


Sunderland had Jack Bainbridge to thank for keeping the score on level terms shortly after, when the skipper stood tall and made a great block from Tylor Golden’s fizzing strike.


Just five minutes after the break, things went from good to bad for Bainbridge though, when he gave away a penalty for a shirt pull on Jolley.


Latics’ number nine Jolley stepped up himself and powered home from 12-yards, sending Abdelkader the wrong way.


And it was two shortly after.


The impressive Alex Perry slipped Baningime in behind and Abdelkader made the initial block, but the winger reacted quickest to prod home the rebound.


Sunderland searched for a way back into the match and went close when Cieran Dunne fired inches over the bar from 10-yards, after strong hold up play from Hugill.


But the Latics comfortably held on to claim all three points in both side’s final group game.


The result sees the Lads finish fourth in Group F, with Liverpool and Wigan progressing to the last 16.


Wigan Athletic U23s: Aspinall, Golden, Robinson, Obi, Webber, Merrie, Smith, Perry, Jolley, Wer, Baningime


Subs: Jones, Joseph, Jolley, Adeeko, Costello


Sunderland U23s: Abdelkader, Gamble, Evans, Goldthorp, Edmundsson, Bainbridge, Greenwood, Sammut, Hugill, Kimpioka, Dunne


Subs: Connolly, Basey, Slack, Taylor, Zimba


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