Benji Kimpioka stole the show as Sunderland Under-23s enjoyed a friendly victory in the sunshine last night.
Elliott Dickman’s young charges eased to a 4-2 success away to Sunderland RCA, who finished fourth in the Ebac Northern League First Division last season.
Luke Page and Steven Callen had opportunities for RCA in a bright first period, but the young Black Cats forged in front thanks to the brilliance of Kimpioka.
He pounced three times in eight minutes to complete a superb hat-trick in the closing stages of the first half.
Sunderland, who fielded a trialist midfielder understood to be ex-AFC Fylde and Oldham youngster Mason Fawns, extended their advantage to 4-0 in the second half, but the Meadow Park men hit back twice in the final stages.
Reece McEwan hit home a fine goal to cut the deficit to three goals, then Nathan O’Neill converted a penalty to complete the scoring.
RCA are back in action tomorrow, taking on Esh Winning in a friendly on the 4G surface at Stanley’s North Durham Academy.
Martin Swales’ side also visit Jarrow on Tuesday and Chester-le-Street next Saturday before opening their Northern League campaign on August 4 at home to Newcastle Benfield.