SUNDERLAND Under-21s succumbed to a 4-3 defeat in an entertaining Academy of Light friendly against Southampton on Saturday.
Saints twice led, through Omar Rowe and Ryan Seager, whose strikes sandwiched a classy effort by Mikael Mandron, but Carl Lawson’s close-range shot and a well-worked Martin Smith goal turned it around for Sunderland.
But the hosts were made to rue a wasted penalty at 2-1 down, when Mandron’s effort was saved by keeper Cody Cropper.
Rowe levelled with a cracking free-kick in off the bar from outside the box, then completed his hat-trick with a deflected, low shot.
SUNDERLAND U21s (4-5-1): Dixon (Stryjek 46); Ledger (Wright 46), McNamee (Trialist 70), Beadling (Harrison 46), Robson (Molyneux 75); Blinco (Sukar 46), Agnew, Smith (Pybus 72), Lawson (Ganiyu 75), Cartwright; Mandron.