SUNDERLAND went down to their first of the Premier League U18 season to powerful Manchester City at Platt Lane today.
The young Black Cats played well in patches and created a few chances, with the best opportunity coming in the second half when a penalty was awarded for handball.
Rees Greenwood missed his second spot-kick in successive weeks, however, seeing his shot saved at a comfortable height to keeper Charlie Albinson’s left.
The Wearsiders had gone a goal behind after 20 minutes when poor marking let attacker Denzeil Boadu go clear, with nobody following his run and keeper Greg Purvis was easily beaten.
However, the Sunderland goalie had a super game and pulled off some great saves throughout the rest of the contest.
The first half had seen the home side on top, but the visitors improved and came back well after the break.
The penalty miss came on the hour mark, but City were always dangerous, hitting both the post and the bar.
Purvis continued his good work with more good saves, but Sunderland equally had chances saved by the home keeper.
On 75 minutes, however, City sealed the win after Ross Colquhoun was caught square and City’s Boadu finished well.
Michael Ledger, in central defence, Dan Pybus, in midfield, and Denver Hume, at full-back, all produced good performances for Sunderland.
Overall, the young Sunderland side were far from disgraced but City deserved their victory.
SUNDERLAND: Purvis, Ellison (J Robson 55), Colquhoun, Ledger, Hume (Lowrie 80), Greenwood, E Robson (Nelson 35), McEvoy, Molyneux, Pybus, Blinco
* Newcastle U18s lost 3-2 at home to Manchester United, for whom Demetri Mitchell bagged a hat-trick.
* See tonight’s online Football Echo for a picture special on last week’s U18 and U16 derby clashes between Sunderland and Newcastle. It’s available on this website from 7pm