Sunderland produced a super all-round display to beat third-placed Everton 2-0 at Finch Farm in the Under-18 Premier League Northern Division today.
They were on top from the start and took a richly deserved early lead.
A good build up down the left was finished with Benji Kimpioka smashing the ball across goal, and luckless Everton defender Michael Collins turning it beyond the keeper for an own goal.
Later in the first half, Robbie Dunne had an effort well saved, before the lead was doubled a minute into the second period.
Williams Kokolo made a super run from halfway, beating three men, before pulling back for Kimpioka to drive his shot back across the keeper and into the net from 14 yards.
Everton retaliated, with Sunderland keeper Anthony Patterson having to make a good save.
However, the Wearsiders managed to see the rest of the game out well to keep a pleasing clean sheet.
Coach Mark Atkinson said: “It was a good complete performance. We were back to defending well together with creating and taking chances.”
Newcastle’s home clash with Middlesbrough was postponed, allowing Sunderland to leapfrog them into seventh place, still with a game in hand.
Sunderland U18s: Patterson, Hesson, Derbali, Edmundsson , Howard, Evans, Scothern (Lilley 75), Greenwood, Kokolo, Dunne (Slack 75), Kimpioka (Leonard 65). Subs not used: Newman, Devine