Two goals in two minutes proved too much for Sunderland as they attempted to gain their first win of the Under-18 Premier League season on Saturday.
They were up against a solid Everton side well coached by ex-player Kevin Sheedy and although the Black Cats kept going, they never really threatened to even get a point.
In the opening period, Sunderland’s Jack Diamond cut in from the right, but his left-footed shot was easily saved and there was a similar outcome from Chris Allan’s effort minutes later.
Striker Lee Connelly did have the ball in the Everton net following a good move, but he was ruled offside.
Play switched to the other end where tall striker Fraser Hornby tried to steer a pass into the far corner, but Brandon Taylor got in a superb block.
Hornby, dangerous throughout, then saw his header hit the post, with Anthony Patterson, in the Sunderland goal, stranded.
But the pressure did finally pay off in the 36th minute when Hornby played in Jack Kiersey to open the scoring. Two minutes later, outstanding right-winger Danny Bramall switched to the left and cut inside to drive low just inside the near post to double the advantage.
It was a powerful burst by the visitors and one that proved to be decisive.
Only a last-ditch tackle by Taylor prevented further agony from being piled on seconds later as the Toffees took over.
To Sunderland’s great credit, heads did not drop and, in the second half, they held their own against an accomplished outfit.
Connelly went close with a shot that drifted just wide, but Patterson had to save well with an outstretched leg to prevent the third as Lavery closed in.
But the keeper was nearly caught off his line as Hornby’s long-range shot was narrowly wide.
Although Sunderland huffed and puffed, they never created one clear-cut chance as the points deservedly went to the better side.
Coach Elliott Dickman said: “We tried something different with three at the back and two wing-backs, but to no avail. In the second half, we showed a lot of character and kept persevering but were never really dangerous”.
Sunderland: Patterson, Hickey (McAughtrie 46) (Kimpioka 56), Krusnel, Young, Taylor, Storey, Diamond, Hackett, Connelly, Allan, Best. Subs: Woud, Howard, Leonard.
Everton: Renshaw, Morris, Moore, Collins, Lees, Denny, Bramall, Kiersey, Lavery, Hornby, Mampala (Ball 73).