Sunderland Under-18s advanced to the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup after claiming a convincing 3-0 victory over Gillingham U18 at Priestfield Stadium.
Kailem Beattie’s early strike broke the deadlock, Trey Ogunsuyi added a second with a close-range tap-in halfway through the second half before Josh Robertson wrapped up the win in the closing stages.
Sunderland's first chance of the match came in the opening 15 minutes when Tommy Watson skipped past his man down the left, before delivering a cross which was fired over the bar by Ogunsuyi.
The visitors controlled possession in the game's opening exchanges and deservedly took the lead on 20 minutes when Beattie was first to a loose ball inside the box and confidently fired low and hard past Tobey Smith from close range.
Ogunsuyi came close to doubling Sunderland’s lead on 25 minutes, but his drilled effort was well saved by Smith.
The hosts created their first clear-cut opportunity after the break when Jimmy Heasman advanced into the 18-yard box, but his attempt failed to force Matty Young into a save as the ball sailed over the goalkeeper's crossbar.
The Black Cats doubled their advantage through Ogunsuyi on 59 minutes, after a scramble in the box the striker was well positioned to poke the loose ball past Smith from four yards out.
Sunderland should have added a third shortly after, but an unmarked Ben Creamer failed to keep his header on target following Chris Rigg's pinpoint cross from the right.
Ogunsuyi almost scored the visitor's third of the evening after Rigg’s initial cross was fumbled by Smith before the frontman's follow-up shot somehow cannoned back off Webster’s crossbar from point-blank range.
Robertson finally added a third on 80 minutes from inside the Gills danger area as Ogunsuyi turned provider to seal the victory with a well-taken fierce strike.
The Lads are back in action on Saturday afternoon when they take on local rivals Newcastle United at the Academy of Light.
SAFC XI: Young, Sekete (Jones 76’), Lavery, Bell ©, Beattie, J.Jones (Whittaker 85’), Rigg, Robertson, Creamer, Watson, Ogunsuyi.
Subs not used: Cameron, Kindon, Mitchell, Obolo, Chung.