U23 Report: Young Lads take point from Stoke

Stoke City U23 2-2 Sunderland AFC U23


Sunderland earned a point as they shared the spoils with Stoke City U23s at the Lyme Valley Stadium.


Will Harris added to his impressive tally for the young Lads this season with the first goal, before Cieran Dunne’s deflected strike sealed a point late on in the Midlands.


Arbenit Xhemajli started again at centre-half as he continued his recovery from a long-term injury.


Sam Wilding captained the side on his return to the starting XI after coming on as a substitute in their 3-0 win over Reading.


Stoke had the first chances in the first half, with a free-kick hitting the wall and Douglas James-Taylor watching his volley sail well over the bar.


Benji Kimpioka showed his quality in the 15th minute as went on an incredible run through the heart of the Stoke defence, but his resulting shot was blocked.


The Lads took the lead in the 36th minute after brilliant link-up play from Kimpioka and Ellis Taylor, and the cross fell to Harris who controlled well and fired his shot past Nathan Broome.


The Potters equalised a few minutes before half time through Douglas James-Taylor.


The home side took the lead 51 minutes in as Emre Tezgel slotted his chance past Jacob Carney.


Stoke almost netted a third goal in the second half, but substitute Cameron Jessup produced a tremendous last-ditch tackle to deny the home side another goal.


And Sunderland got a deserved equaliser 84 minutes in as Cieran Dunne’s shot took a big deflection off a Stoke defender and past Broome.


The Lads put a big shift in to earn a valuable point and now look to the Premier League Cup next as they take on Wigan Athletic.


SUNDERLAND AFC: Carney, Kachosa, Newall, Almond, Xhemajli, Wilding, Scott, Dunne, Taylor (Jessup 46’), Kimpioka, Harris (Dyce 46’).


Subs not used: McIntyre, Ryder, Kelly.

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