A LAST-DITCH equaliser gave Newcastle a share of the spoils in the youth derby at the Magpies’ Little Benton Academy today.
It was bitterly disappointing for Sunderland to concede a goal in time added on after looking comfortable for the win in the second half. in the Northern Division of the Barclays U18 Premier League.
But the home side will claim they deserved to draw, over the whole game, in what was a typical, rather cagey match.
The Tynesiders had started on the front foot and Sunderland keeper Greg Purvis parried well to save from Sean Longstaff.
Sunderland then had two players – Ross Colquhoun and Purvis – booked when preventing striker Luke Chapman from going clear.
However, Sunderland weathered the early storm, soaking up the pressure, to come back and be on top for the final 20 minutes of the half.
They so nearly went in front six minutes before the break when Jordan Blinco cut in from the right and crashed a left-footed cross-shot against the bar, with Newcastle keeper Brendan Pearson well beaten.
Newcastle again started the half well with right-back Jamie Cobain hitting a fierce shot which was turned over the bar in style by Purvis.
Left-back Adam Laidler went even closer minutes later when his shot from distance hit the bar as the home side pressed.
Once again, Sunderland’s patient build-up and passing brought them back to largely get on top for the rest of the second period.
Seven minutes before time, they made the breakthrough with a deflected shot from Josh Robson, who had pushed up into mid-field. His strike hit a defender’s leg to loop high into the far corner of the goal, with keeper Pearson making a desperate attempt to prevent the ball from crossing the line.
It was a rather scruffy goal, but appeared to be enough at this late stage.
It was looking good for the Wearsiders to now go on and see the game out, but one minute into time added on Newcastle were awarded a corner. The ball was swung in from the right and slack marking by the Sunderland defence allowed sub Louie Johnson – the smallest man on the field – to flick a free header from inside the six-yard box just inside the post for the goal that gave Newcastle a share of the points.
Sunderland coach Elliott Dickman said: “Obviously it was very disappointing to concede in the last minute, but overall I suppose the draw was a fair result. It was still a good point away from home for us.”
Newcastle: Pearson, Cobain, Laidler Drenan, Newberry, Cameron, Ward, Story (Johnson 78), Charman (Holmes 55), Longstaff, Heaney.
Sunderland: Purvis, Robson, Hume (Ellison 43), Colquhoun, Ledger, Blinco, Robson E, Nelson, Greenwood (Casey 63), Molyneux.
Subs not used: Gardner, Lowrie, Embleton.