Sunderland got back to winning ways following two consecutive defeats with a hard-fought but well-deserved 3-0 win over Tottenham at Eppleton CW on Saturday.
It was a first victory in the Group Two stage to end the Barclays U18 Premier League season.
The hosts immediately put the Spurs defence under pressure, when Elliott Embleton broke down the left wing, but his cross was cleared easily.
Spurs, who must have been caught sleeping at the start, pushed forward following the scare and, for the next 20 minutes, put the young Black Cats under tremendous pressure, with Keanan Bennetts, Charlie Owens and Kazaiah Sterling all having opportunities to take the lead.
Sunderland’s next real chance wasn’t until the half hour mark, Dan Wright quickly turned his marker to feed Luke Molyneux, whose strike went straight across the face of goal.
The hosts continued to press and when Spurs’Joy Mukena slipped just outside his penalty area, Josh Maja pounced, but the defender recovered in time to clear.
Five minutes before the break, Molyneux beat the offside trap to collect a ball from Oscar Krushnell and run down the wing, but the cross eluded the onrushing forwards.
Sunderland brought on Jack Diamond for Chris Allen for the start of the second period and it proved to be a very useful substitution as, within two minutes of the restart, Molyneux, held the ball up on the left, crossed, to find the head of the onrushing Diamond, who coolly headed home to give Sunderland the lead.
The advantage was doubled 10 minutes later from a fantastic move, Dan Pybus picking up the ball at the edge of the Spurs area and playing a delightful one-two with Maja before firing home.
That second goal seemed to deflate Spurs and Sunderland continued to push forward, and were duly rewarded in the 79th minute when Embleton was brought down in the area, giving the referee no option but to point to the spot.
Pybus duly converted the resulting penalty for his second goal of the game, and Sunderland’s third.
Spurs pushed forward late on and keeper Michael Woud was forced to make two amazing saves in injury time to preserve the clean sheet.
Coach Elliott Dickman said: ”The first 20 minutes was very tough – we were under the cosh – but we dug in much better than the last two games.
“Spurs are a very good side, but we had the majority of the chances and we deserved to win.”
Sunderland: Woud, Gamble, Krushnell, Wright, Casey, Storey, Molyneux, Pybus (Hackett 85), Maja (Yves Poame 82), Allen (Diamond 45), Embleton. Subs not used: Hickey, McCulloch.
Tottenham: Austin, Muscatt, Brown, Owens, Mukena, Tanganga, Bennetts, Duncan, Sterling, Roles, Oteh. Subs: Marsh, Tsaroulla, Tracey.