SUNDERLAND powered past a strong, physical Bolton side looking to record their third successive Barclays U18 Premier League win at the Eddie Davies training academy.
The young Black Cats were ahead as early as the eighth minute, when Martin Smith fired in a fierce shot that the home keeper could only parry and Josh Robson was on hand to slot home.
However, the visitors’ lead only lasted four minutes as, from a Bolton corner, the Sunderland defence were unable to scramble the ball clear, allowing James Ball to level.
Sunderland restored their advantage in the 37th minute following a brilliant solo goal by Rees Greenwood.
He picked up the ball midway in the home half, then jinked his way through three defenders to slot the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
Sunderland continued to dominate and it was 3-1 on 56 minutes when, following a good run by Josh Robson, he let fly and his effort squirmed through the hands of the keeper, falling for sub Jordan Blinco to hit home.
Bolton, unable to penetrate the Sunderland defence, reverted to long shots which gave keeper Peter Burke few problems,
The game was all over on 73 minutes when Greenwood, one on one with a defender, rounded him and was subsequently brought down in the area.
Greenwood dusted himself down and stepped up to fire home, low to the keeper’s right.
Academy boss Ged McNamee said afterwards: “We played some very good football today – it was a really pleasing display and also gave us the chance to give some of the younger players an outing, such as Luke Molyneux, who stepped up from the Under-15s.”
SUNDERLAND: Burke, Ellison, Colquhoun, Ledger, J Robson, E Robson, McCarthy (Molyneuz 77), Smith (Embleton 85), Wright (Blinco 28), Greenwood, Gooch.