Sunderland U21s 0 Manchester Utd U21s 1: Reid strike hands young Cats rare defeat

Sunderland's Liam Agnew takes on the Manchester United defence in tonight's U21 clash. Picture by David Wood
Sunderland's Liam Agnew takes on the Manchester United defence in tonight's U21 clash. Picture by David Wood
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Sunderland Under-21s suffered only their second defeat of the season after a 1-0 loss against Manchester United.

The Black Cats – who included first-teamers Vito Mannone, Adam Matthews and Duncan Watmore – were undone by Man Utd substitute Tyler Reid at Eppleton CW after Andy Welsh’s side had spurned several first-half opportunities.

Those chances began as early as the fifth minute, when Mikael Mandron curled a shot just wide of the far post from the edge of the area.

Liam Agnew then sent a fierce half-volley wide of the mark from a similar distance, before the visitors began to get a foothold in the encounter.

The game became increasingly bogged down as a spectacle, but three minutes before the interval, Sunderland went close after a burst down the right from Charis Mavrias.

The Greek delivered a well-flighted cross into the area where Lynden Gooch saw his header blocked, before Agnew fired the rebound inches over the top.

Watmore was a whisker away in the 54th minute when he burst away down the left and hit an outside of the right-foot shot which was pushed away high to his left by goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.

But with 15 minutes to go, the deadlock was finally broken when Man United substitute Joe Riley latched onto Ashley Fletcher’s flick-on to a hoof forwards, and managed to poke the ball beyond Mannone.

Sunderland came close to a leveller five when substitute Rees Greenwood lifted a lovely cross to the far post, where Watmore’s point-blank header was palmed away by Johnstone.

Mavrias then fired a vicious shot inches over the top from 20 yards after the visitors failed to deal with a corner.

Sunderland: Mannone, Matthews, Brady, Ledger, T Robson, Agnew, Smith (Greenwood 74), Mavrias, Gooch, Watmore, Mandron. Subs not used: J Robson, Stryjek, E Robson, Blinco. Booked: T Robson (90)

Man United: Johnstone, Varela, Tuanzebe, Borthwick-Jackson, Riley, Mensah, El-Fitouri, Redmond, Fletcher, Willock (Reid 66), Weir. Subs not used: Rothwell, O’Hara, Rathbone, Gribbin. Booked: Tuanzebe (35)