Match report: Lads held at Hartlepool

Hartlepool United 1-1 Sunderland AFC

Sunderland’s pre-season campaign ended with a 1-1 draw against Hartlepool United on Monday evening.

An own goal handed the home side an early advantage at Victoria Park, as Jake Hastie’s cross deflected into the net

The Lads dusted themselves down and quickly took control of the contest, with a flurry of chances falling their way throughout the opening 45 minutes.

Elliot Embleton restored parity on the stroke of half-time, stepping up to convert from the penalty spot after Jack Diamond was fouled.

Luke O’Nien struck the post from close range following the restart, but it ended level in County Durham as all eyes turn to Sunday’s Stadium of Light opener against Coventry City.

Alex Neil made a slate of changes for the Black Cats’ final pre-season outing, as Carl Winchester, Danny Batth, Aji Alese, Jay Matete and Embleton lined up at Victoria Park.

Trai Hume, O’Nien and Diamond also featured, as did several youngsters including Jacob Carney, Ellis Taylor and Harrison Sohna.

Pools struck first in County Durham and they struck early, as Hastie’s cross deflected into the net from close range.

Diamond saw penalty appeals waved away with 10 minutes on the clock, as he tumbled following a slight nudge in the box.

Hume then managed to get on the end of a searching cross at the back post, but his volleyed effort was turned behind by Ben Killip.

The Lads continued to dominate proceedings and craft openings, as Diamond’s threatening pull-back went unfinished and Batth headed wide.

Diamond continued to toil up top and Embleton blazed over after more good work from the forward, who won a penalty in first-half stoppage time.

Embleton stepped up and made no mistake, slamming a penalty beyond Killip to restore parity ahead of the second period.  

Great work from Taylor and Sohna almost made it 2-1 six minutes after the restart, but after sliding in at the back post, O’Nien’s effort came off the woodwork.

For the second time in the game, an Embleton corner threatened to loop in and substitute goalkeeper Kyle Letheran had to claw the ball to safety, but it ended all square at Victoria Park.

Hartlepool United: Killip (Letheran 45), Tumility, Lacey (Menayese 45), Murray, Ferguson (Paterson 45), Featherstone, Cooke (Niang 45), Crawford, Hastie (Ndjoli 45), Grey, Hamilton (Umerah 45).

Sunderland AFC: Carney, Winchester, Batth, Alese, Hume, Matete, O'Nien, Sohna (Spellman 84), Taylor, Embleton, Diamond.
Subs not used:
Patterson, Wright, Ballard, Stewart, Cirkin, Evans, Roberts, Neil, Pritchard, Clarke, Gooch.

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