Sunderland Under-23s 0 Manchester United 1: Black Cats on end of narrow defeat

Sunderland Under-23 boss Elliott Dickman.
Sunderland Under-23 boss Elliott Dickman.
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Sunderland Under-23s were narrowly beaten 1-0 by Manchester United at Hetton, a Demetri Mitchell penalty proving the difference.

Elliott Dickman's Sunderland remain second bottom of Premier League 2 following defeat at Eppleton CW, Hetton.

With the Sunderland first team training in the morning at the Academy of Light ahead of Tuesday's crunch home game with Bolton Wanderers, there were no senior players involved at Hetton.

First team coach Robbie Stockdale was watching from the stands, Billy McKinlay and Adrian Tucker alongside him.

There was little to write home about in the first half, clear cut chances few and far between with the heavy downpour not helping any hopes of free-flowing attacking football.

United skipper Joe Riley chanced his arm from distance in the opening stages but it was comfortably saved by Michael Woud in the Sunderland goal.

The two sides were evenly matched with Woud not called on again until the 33rd minute, again comfortably stopping Charlie Scott's effort.

Former Sunderland boss Ricky Sbragia is manager of Manchester United's U23 side and they should have taken the lead 10 minutes before the break.

Zak Dearnley provided the cross only to see striker Indy Boonen blaze over from underneath the crossbar when it looked easier to score.

Sunderland's only effort was a curled Rees Greenwood attempt from 20-yards straight into the hands of Kieran O'Hara.

The second half was a far livelier affair, Manchester United taking the lead in the 48th minute from the penalty spot.

Demetri Mitchell fouled by Owen Gamble, the left-back picking himself up to send Woud the wrong way.

Sunderland responded well, Gamble looked to make amends but his fierce drive was palmed away by O'Hara while sub Jack Diamond shot wide.

Roshaun Williams failed to make the most of a free header from a United corner, while up the other end Elliot Embleton dragged his effort wide from just inside the area.

Sunderland continued to press but couldn't get the breakthrough, Sbragia's side running out 1-0 winners.

Sunderland: Woud, Gamble (T.Robson, 76, Hume, Bale (Hackett, 71), Taylor, Beadling (C), Molyneux, E. Robson, Asoro, Embleton, Greenwood (Diamond, 60)

Subs Not Used: Storey, Patterson.

Booked: Gamble (48), Asoro (74), E. Robson (90)

Manchester United: O'Hara, Riley (C), Mitchell, Ercolani, Williams, Sand, Dearnley, Scott (Buffonge, 81), Boonen, Whelan, Kehinde.

Subs Not Used: Tanner, Johnstone, Hamilton, Bohui.

Goal: Mitchell (48).