Sunderland suffered a 1-0 defeat to Middlesbrough in their opening game in the end-of-season Group Two clash in the Barclays U18 Premier League today.
Coach Elliott Dickman took a rather youthful squad, containing no less than five Under-16 players, down to Boro’s Rockcliffe Park hoping to avenge the 3-2 Northern Division reverse a fortnight ago.
The visitors started the game the brighter, with both Jean-Yves Poame and Josh Maja going close to break the deadlock in a tight first 45 minutes.
The young Black Cats continued to pressure the hosts after the break, but were caught with a sucker-punch in the 75th minute as Middlesbrough’s Mitchell Curry pounced with a counter-attack to score his 21st goal of the season.
Coach Dickman said: “It was a tough game and although we had the majority of the chances in the first half.
“We seemed to fade slightly after the break. I was pleased with our overall performance but disappointed to concede the goal the way we did.”
Sunderland: Woud, Gamble, Hickey (Biwer 75), Storey, Krushnell, Diamond, Embleton, Allen, Hackett (McAughgrie 86), Poame, Maja. Subs not used: McCulloch, Lilley, Fowler.