Sunderland a very impressive 2-0 Under-18 Premier League victory at Stoke City today – only their third of the season.
The young Black Cats went into their final game of the regular season desperate for a win to lift them off the bottom of the table, above Wolves, who have two more games to play.
The game at Stoke’s Clayton Wood training ground saw both sides fielding a selection of under-17s and first-year academy students.
As a result, both teams started nervously, with Sunderland lacking that killer instinct shown in their last three games.
It took until five minutes into the second half to break the deadlock when Jack Diamond turned to beat his marker, and he rode two more challenges before firing home.
The visitors continued to press and were rewarded with a killer second goal in the 85th minute.
Ben Kimpioka fed the ball through to Jack Hackett, who played in Diamond to put the game beyond the hosts.
Sunderland coach Mark Atkinson said: “We had a youthful side out, as did Stoke, and it took us a while to get into our stride.
“In the second half, we seemed to grow in confidence and once we got the first goal we were more relaxed.
“I’m very pleased with the two goals Jack scored. Now its all eyes on Wolves.”
Wolves, now three points adrift at the bottom, host Derby tomorrow, then travel to Everton next weekend.
Sunderland: Woud, Muamba, Howard, Young, Krusnell, Best (Slack 75), Hackett, L Connelly (Greenwood 75), Kimpioka, Diamond, J Connolly (Smith 80). Sub not used: Patterson