Sunderland succumbed 6-3 to Stoke City in an Under-18 Premier League goal-fest on Saturday.
The visitors, buoyed by their win over Wolves, were looking to progress climbing the table, but the hosts, fresh from winning at Liverpool, had other ideas.
Stoke came out all guns blazing from the start and, in the third minute, Jordan Greenidge crossed for strike partner Venancio Da Silva to slot home.
The Potters doubled their lead on 18 minutes when Da Silva scored his and Stoke’s second, curling his effort past Michael Woud after great work from Will Forrester.
The hosts continued to attack and made it 3-0 in the in the 22nd minute as Abdoulaye Toure burst through the centre and fired a fierce, dipping strike over the keeper and just under the bar.
Stoke hit a fourth goal the half hour as Greenidge finished off Toure’s through ball.
Sunderland hit back four minutes later with Sam Greenwood making the most of a defensive slip to shoot beyond keeper Allen.
Benji Kimpioka halved the deficit just before the break, timing his run perfectly to slot home a fine, low cross from Greenwood.
Greenidge was close three times to making it 5-2 in the second half, before Toure did strike on 71 minutes, beating two tackles and curling a shot in off the post.
Greenidge put the final nail in Sunderland’s coffin, with a sixth goal soon after, cleverly lobbing Woud as the keeper came out.
Kimpioka had the last word, hitting his second, and Sunderland’s third, eight minutes from time, but it was a case of a little too late.
Coach Mark Atkinson said: “We were punished in the first half hour, but we managed to pull two back before half-time thanks to Sam and Ben.
“I thought we looked better in the last 15 of the first half. However we weren’t able to pull something back in the second half, conceding another two goals. We created chances but were punished for our mistakes. We now have a fortnight to regroup before hosting Mancester City a week on Saturday.”
Stoke City U18s: Allen, Macari, Murphy, Collins, Stanton, Forrester (Porter 62), Toure, Greenidge, Da Silva, Jennings, Twyford (Malone 62). Sub not used: Broome
Sunderland U18s: Woud: Kokolo (Dunne 79), Young, Mumba, Edmundson (Devine 57), Lilley, (Leonard 68), Kimpioka, Howard, Hickey, Derbali, Greenwood. Subs: Newman, Scothern