Sunderland Under-21s were beaten 2-0 by Darlington at the Northern Echo Arena last night.
Goals from Kev Burgess and Nathan Cartman earned the win for the well-organised Vanarama National League North side.
Sunderland took the opportunity to play a lot of players at this early stage of pre-season.
And they included several players the club will hope to move on in the coming weeks - including Adam Matthews, Liam Bridcutt, Jordi Gomez, Will Buckley and Charis Mavrias.
Greek winger Mavrias, Michael Ledger and Elliot Embleton all missed good opportunities for the visitors, who are about to fly out to Spain for a training camp.
The opening goal came after just three minutes, with Burgess’s header beating keeper Max Stryjek.
The second goal came on 25 minutes when Cartman doubled the hosts’ lead, firing home from close range after good work from Adam Mitchell.
Embleton did well after coming on for the second half, but did fire a shot wide of the far post.
Sunderland (first-half starting XI): Stryjek, Matthews, Casey, Ledger, Brady, Bridcutt, Gomez, Wright, Triallist, Mavrias, Buckley
Second-half starting XI: Talbot, Storey, Casey, Brady, Wright, Bridcutt, Embleton, Triallist, Gomez, Lawson, Triallist