SUNDERLAND earned a good away point at Brighton today, but they should really have taken all three in the Barclays U18 Premier League.
The young Black Cats could have been at least three goals ahead at half-time, but spurned some golden chances.
Two of the best opportunities fell to Jordan Blinco and Dan Wright. First, Blinco went round the keeper but then saw his strike cleared off the line by a defender when he should have made sure of scoring.
Then England U17 youth international Wright did the same but fired wide of the goal with his final effort.
Brighton had started well at their excellent American Express training ground but the visitors grew into the game yet once again the final pass was lacking.
The visitors had to make a change after 28 minutes when the ball smacked right-back Brendan Taylor in the face and he was left very unsteady. Dan McEvoy replaced him.
In the second half, it was nip and tuck but the best chances continued to fall to Sunderland. Luke Molyneux showed brilliant footwork but then hit his strike over the bar.
Brighton took the lead when Sunderland defended poorly, with the home side slotting home the opening goal under keeper James Talbot.
Sunderland hit back and got a deserved equaliser six minutes from time, following a good move down the left. When the ball finally came to Elliot Embleton, he moved up a gear and shifted past two players before driving his shot into the far corner of the net.
Post-match, coach Elliott Dickman summed up by saying: “Overall, a very deserved point, but it was a game we almost certainly should have won. We had by far the best chances.”
SUNDERLAND: Talbot, Taylor (McEvoy 29), Casey, Storey, Ellison, Pybus, Wright (Bale 80), Embleton, Molyneux, Nelson, Blinco. Sub: Hackett