Sunderland U23s visit Ryhope CW tonight to mark the club’s 125th anniversary – and they will come up against an ex-academy player in stunning form.
Ryhope ace Josh Home-Jackson, a former youth team player at Sunderland, had a day to remember at the weekend scoring four goals in a sensational nine-minute spell in a 5-3 win over Penrith.
The 27-year-old forward played as a junior for Sunderland almost a decade ago and comes up against his former side for the anniversary match.
His four-goal weekend haul helped move Ryhope CW up to ninth place in Ebac Northern League Division One ahead of the game against Elliott Dickman’s young Under-23 side.
Tonight’s match takes place at Ryhope Recreation Park, in Ryhope Street South, (KO 7pm).
Officials at Ryhope CW are hoping for a bumper crowd for the game, which will help raise funds for the club.
The gamet marks a busy week for Sunderland’s development players with the game coming on the back of last night’s Checkatrade Trophy match at Doncaster Rovers.
Ryhope CW boss Gary Pearson, speaking to the North East Football Podcast, said: “We are really looking forward to the game to mark the 125th anniversary.
“We are delighted to have secured a game against Sunderland Under-23s.
“It would be nice to see a lot of new faces come down and to attract some of the Sunderland fans to the game as well. If they enjoy it – and when Sunderland are playing away – then maybe we can keep hold of a few to continue the support.
“The club has a lot of history behind it, like a lot of other clubs, but 125 years is special and to be part of this club over the past four years has been great.”
Assistant manager Stu Gooden added: “All the players and officials are looking forward to the game – it should be a cracker!”
Admission is £6 for adults, £4 for concessions (under-14s) and over 65s.