Sunderland U18s 3 Liverpool U18s 1: Cracking comeback as young Black Cats sink Kop kids

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SUNDERLAND opened phase two of the Barclays U18 Premier League’s fixtures with a tremendous win over Liverpool today.

They had to come from behind, but two super goals in two minutes early in the second half gave them victory over a good and always dangerous Liverpool side.

Sub Dylan McEvoy put the ball over the top down the left for Luke Molyneux to go on and centre for Elliott Embleton to coolly convert with a low, first-time shot into the far corner.

Sunderland fielded a young side containing three Under-16 players in Brandon Taylor, Alex Storey and Owen Gamble, who were making their debuts at this level.

It was the visitors who started the better and Ovie Ejaria created a good position for himself but pulled his shot wide in the seventh minute.

Following a fairly even opening period, Sunderland’s Gamble played in Andrew Nelson, who was brought down inside the area for what looked to be a blatant penalty only for the referee to award a corner and not a spot-kick.

To add insult to injury, the Merseysiders went straight to the other end of the field to take the lead, with striker Wade Maxwell getting across his marker to head home.

Sunderland lived dangerously for the period following the goal and keeper James Talbot saved well from powerful strikes by Ejaria and Cullum Nicholas.

But the young Black Cats recovered to come back, with England U-17 midfielder Dan Wright going close with two powerful efforts, breaking at speed with one shot saved and the other tipped over the bar by Liverpool keeper Andrew Firth.

However, one minute before half-time they did draw level following a well worked set-piece straight from the training ground.

Jordan Blinco took the kick and flighted a cross to the far post, where defender Michael Ledger put the ball back into the danger zone with a brave diving header for fellow defender Josh Robson to side-foot home.

It was a crucial time to score and the impetus it gave enabled the home side to pressure immediately after the restart. Robson again had the ball in the net, only to be ruled marginally offside but the respite was only temporary for a shell shocked Liverpool side.

Moments later, Sunderland took the lead.

Sub Dylan McEvoy put the ball over the top down the left for Luke Molyneux to go on and centre for Elliott Embleton to coolly convert with a low, first-time shot into the far corner.

Almost straight from the kick-off, Molyneux gained possession to put Nelson away down the left and the striker went on to draw the keeper and place the ball with his right foot low inside the far post, converting with aplomb.

On 65 minutes, the Reds’ Trent Arnold should have pulled one back, but he fired over from a great position.

The Wearsiders replied with Nelson finding McEvoy, but the keeper saved the strike. Then Wright looked up and tried a cheeky chip but undercooked his effort for the keeper to save easily.

The home side were finishing strongly now and Nelson shot from a tight angle rolled agonisingly almost along the line to just miss the far post.

But it didn’t matter - the game had been won and deservedly so.

Post match, coach Elliott Dickman said: “It was a pleasing and very honest performance, with the second half being better than the first, but it was enough to give us a good win.”

Sunderland: Talbot, Taylor, J Robson, Wright (Bale 89), Ledger, Storey, Blinco (McEvoy 45), Embleton, Nelson, Gamble (Gainyu 70), Molyneux. Subs not used: Purvis, Ellison.

Liverpool: Firth, Virtue, Dhanda, Brewitt, Masterson, Polgar, Nicholas, Arnold, Maxwell, Ejaria, Kone. Subs: Roberts, Wheeler, Johnston, Whyte.