Sunderland U21 2-1 Newcastle United U21
Zak Johnson's late goal give Sunderland a deserved 2-1 derby day win over rivals Newcastle in the Premier League 2 on Monday.
In a tense first half which ended goalless at the Academy of Light, Newcastle opened the scoring against the run of play in the early stages of the second half through Josh Scott.
Jewison Bennette's curling shot brought Graeme Murty’s side level before Johnson’s bullet header inside the final five minutes was enough to claim victory.
Sunderland created the first opportunity of the match when Tommy Watson advanced forward after pouncing on a loose ball midway inside the visitor’s half, his attempt clearing Jude Smith’s crossbar.
Luke O’Nien almost caught Smith off his line with an audacious attempt from inside his own half a few minutes later but the goalkeeper backtracked quickly to pluck the ball out of the air.
Caden Kelly’s fizzed shot from the edge of the box forced Smith into the only save of the first half. Bennette initially skipped past his man down the left, but an unmarked Kelly was unable to direct his shot past the Magpies goalkeeper.
Newcastle took the lead within five minutes of the restart; Scott riffled his shot from inside the host's box into Carney’s top right-hand corner.
The hosts levelled the game just after the hour mark, Watson’s defence-splitting pass picking out Bennette who expertly cut inside before curling the ball into Smith’s top left-hand corner.
Harry Gardiner came close to giving his side the lead, the striker got on the end of Ellis Taylor’s cross, but his flicked effort was deflected just wide of Smith’s near post.
Sunderland scored the decisive goal in the dying embers of the match; Johnson rose highest inside the Newcastle box to meet Kelly’s corner with a powerful header.
Newcastle continued to push forward in search of an equaliser, but Sunderland held firm to claim all three points and derby bragging rights.
SAFC U21: Carney, Wilson (Jessup 60’), Johnson, O’Nien ©, Taylor, Rigg (Sohna 90+5'), Ekwah (Scott 60’), Watson (Chiabi 90+5'), Kelly, Bennette, Gardiner.
Subs not used: Richardson.
Newcastle United U21: Smith ©, Carlyon, Bondswell, Hackett, Barclay (Stewart 67’), J. Miley, Scott, L. Miley, Parkinson (Ndiweni 75’), Huntley (Vilca 81’), Diallo.
Subs not used: Thompson, Crossley.