Sunderland 3-1 Carlisle United
Benji Kimpioka scored just two minutes into his first senior start, as Sunderland defeated Carlisle United on Tuesday night.
The Swede’s early header handed Jack Ross’ side an early advantage, but the Cumbrians struck back through Ashley Nadesan with 22 minutes played.
Ethan Robson’s impressive strike restored the Lads’ advantage before the interval, with captain George Honeyman adding a third after the hour mark.
Jack Diamond and Lee Connelly both made their first-team debuts late on, as the Black Cats took their Checkatrade Trophy points tally to five from two games.
Ross was forced into wholesale changes for cup outing, as 14 first-team players missed out.
But he was still able to call on undoubted quality against the League Two side, with Honeyman, Aiden McGeady and Chris Maguire amongst the starters.
Kimpioka was also named in the starting XI, and it didn’t take long for the Swede to catch the eye.
With just two minutes and three seconds on the clock, the 18-year-old planted a header into the corner after fabulous link-up play from Reece James and McGeady.
Led by the energetic Honeyman, the Lads continued to push forward as they searched for a second, but they were pegged back on 22 minutes.
Moments after Macaulay Gillesphey curled a free-kick onto the roof of the net, the Cumbrians went route one and reaped the rewards, as Nadesan latched onto a long ball and produced a cool finish.
Sunderland dusted themselves down and continued to carve out chances, with the flanks proving to be a particularly fruitful source for opportunities.
Adam Matthews was next to test Adam Collin who parried the Welshman’s effort to safety, with McGeady continuing to menace as the visitors dropped deeper and deeper into their own half.
Honeyman then saw an effort cannon off a defender, but there was no stopping the follow-up, as Robson rifled a low strike into the bottom corner to restore the Lads’ advantage.
Unfortunately, though, the midfielder’s evening was cut short soon after, as he limped down the tunnel in first-half stoppage time and was replaced by Luke O’Nien.
Penalty appeals were waved away following the restart as McGeady went to ground, but the Black Cats kept turning the screw.
Kimpioka should have bagged his second on the hour mark, but he headed straight at Collin at point-blank range after James whipped a terrific cross into the six-yard box.
Carlisle attempted to play on the counter and tried to attack when they retrieved the ball, but Dylan McGeouch controlled the centre of the park and wouldn’t give them an inch.
A third arrived after the hour mark Honeyman got in on the action, producing an assured finish after Matthews cut open the Cumbrians’ backline with a sensational pass.
The Lads continued to slice through the visiting defence as Kimpioka was again denied, but it didn’t matter come full-time as the Lads eased to a comfortable win.
Sunderland: Ruiter, Ozturk, Baldwin, Matthews, James, McGeouch, Robson (O’Nien 45), Honeyman, Maguire, McGeady (Diamond 79), Kimpioka (Connelly 86).
Substitutes: Patterson, Hackett, Taylor, Gamble.
Carlisle United: Collin, Miller, Liddle, Parkes, Glendon, Gillesphey, Slater, Campbell, Yates, Nadesan (Egan 79), McCarron (Jones 56).
Subs not used: Gray, Etuhu, Brown, Adewusi.