Sunderland Under-18s fought back from going behind to take all three points with a 2-1 win over visitors Blackburn at the Academy of Light.
The visitors kicked off with the strong wind behind them, but Sunderland started brightl, keeping the ball on the ground as much as possible.
The first real attempt on goal came in the 10th minute when Rovers striker Grayson let fly from the edge of the area only to see the ball go over keeper Woud’s crossbar.
Although Blackburn continued to push forward they were continually denied by the resilient Black Cats defence.
However they did make the breakthrough in the 28th minute when they were awarded a free-kick on the right wing, and Joseph Grayson swung a cross in and the ball found a way past Woud.
Sunderland responded quickly, with Luke Molyneux brought down on the edge of the visitors’ area. He took the kick himself but the effort was cleared.
In the second half, the hosts went close on several occasions but were continually frustrated the Blackburn defence.
However, with four minutes remaining Sunderland finally made the breakthrough as Molyneux beat the offside trap, and jinked past keeper Ascroft to coolly slot home.
Molyneux the sealed all three points two minutes later when captain Dan Pybus floated a wonderful free-kick in from the left which Molyneux headed home.
Coach Elliott Dickman said: “It was a tough game in tough conditions. We didn’t play the best football, but we managed to sustain the pressure and keep going for 90 minutes.”
Sunderland: Woud, Gamble, Hume, Wright, Casey, Storey, Molyneux, Pybus (c), Nelson (Hackett 79), Embleton, Krusnell (Diamond 73). Subs not used: Taylor, McCulloch, Poame.
Blackburn: Ascroft, Makinson, Williams, Tavis (c), Doyle, Magloire, Pemberton, Mols, Steer, Grayson, Fanns. Subs: Curran, Todd, Lynch, Robinson.