Ethan spot on as he marks pro contract deal with Sunderland

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Sunderland Under-18s were happy with a 1-1 draw at home to Aston Villa in the Barclays U18 Premier League today.

Sunderland were rewarded with an opener in the 39th minute when striker James Stinson dribbled into the area and was brought down.

Ethan Robson, who celebrated his 17th birthday on Friday and has been awarded a two-and-a-half year professional contract, stepped up to send keeper Aidan Grant the wrong way with a low strike into the corner, to the keeper’s right.

However, the lead only lasted for three minutes when the Midlanders hit back to level.

A long, diagonal ball from the left by Riccardo Calder was finished off by striker Thomas Strain, who came in at the far post, completely unmarked, to sidefoot home.

* Full report in tomorrow’s derby special Football Echo