Sunderland were denied a first Under-18 Premier League win of the season when hosts Manchester United equalised in the final minute of Saturday’s Northern Division clash.
But the Black Cats are showing obvious signs of improvement as they made it two draws on the trot, following on from last week’s dramatic 4-4 share at Everton,
Lee Connolly, who bagged a hat-trick for Sunderland on Merseyside, opened the scoring on 20 minutes following a long clearance from keeper Michael Woud, as mistake by home goalie Alex Fojticek allowed Connolly to pounce and tap home from close range.
Sunderland continued to push forward but were unable to get a second goal to but the game out of reach.
The visitors have a very good record against United, having beaten the Reds in the previous five meetings, and they defended impressively to maintain their lead throughout the second half.
But they were cruelly denied all three points when United scrambled an opportunist goal as the 90th minute came up, Jake Barrett getting the final touch.
Sunderland survived a scare deep in stoppage time to see out the draw.
Coach Elliott Dickman said: ”The lads did very well – it was a well-deserved point, but I thought we should have came away with all three points.
“Overall, it was a good team performance.”
Manchester United: Fojticek, O’Connor, Kenyon, Dunne, Warren (Barrett 87), Hamilton, Whelan, Boonen, Gomes, Bohui (Diedrick-Roberts 65), Burkart (Spratt 65). Subs not used: Johnstone, Barlow.
Sunderland: Woud, Hickey (Howard 65), Taylor, Young, McAughtrie, Diamond (Krushnell 80), Allen (Fowler 75). Bale, Hackett, Kimpioka, Connolly. Subs not used: Patterson, Best