A young Sunderland Under-23 side narrowly lost out 1-0 to West Brom on Monday evening in the Premier League 2.
Tom Fellows put the hosts ahead after just five minutes at the New Bucks Head Stadium, and an array of saves from Jacob Carney followed.
After the break, Harry Gardiner missed a golden opportunity for the equaliser, chipping an effort inches wide of the post and it ended in defeat in the Premier League 2.
Elliott Dickman named a very young side to face the Baggies, with Stephen Wearne, Patrick Almond and Carney the only regulars for the Under-23s to start.
Several Under-18s started, with Lee Johnson set to field a much-changed team in tomorrow’s Papa John’s Trophy opener against Lincoln City.
It looked like it could have been a long night for the Black Cats when Fellows slotted past Carney early on, but after weathering a storm they began to grow into the game.
On the 30-minute mark, the Black Cats carved their first opening when Trialist pulled it back for Tom Scott, but he flashed a strike just wide.
The Lads continued to push after the break and went close when Gardiner almost connected to Kelly’s cross, but it just evaded the forward.
Less than 10 minutes from time, Gardiner squandered the best chance of the game when he raced in behind and chipped Alex Palmer, but it dropped just wide and the Lads slipped to a narrow defeat.
Next up for the Under-23s is Leeds United on Monday in the Premier League 2.
Sunderland: Carney, Johnson, Jessup, Almond (Kachosa 45’), Bainbridge, Gardiner, Scott, Burke, Wearne (Ryder 45’), Trialist (Newall 45’), Kelly
Subs not used: McIntyre, Fieldson