Sunderland coach rues 'shell-shocked' start as Birmingham run riot in FA Youth Cup
Sunderland were beaten in their F.A. Youth Cup 3rd round tie at Eppleton last niight, losing 4-1 to Birmingham City writes Neville Pilkington.
It was an emphatic defeat that began with a disastrous opening from which they never really recovered.
Incredibly, the Wearsiders were two goals down after only 90 seconds.
After 30 seconds striker Adam George robbed Sunderland's Harry Ord to go through and score. Sixty seconds later they notched a second when the two strikers combined for George to fire in a shot which squirmed under Sunderland keeper Jack Newman.
The hosts came back quite well from the early double blow and on 32 minutes pulled a goal back.
Dan Neil fed Joe Hugill, who cleverly backed healed for James Foster to shoot home.
It looked to be game on but one minute before the break, City's Keiron Hurst cut back for 6-foot-five striker Josh Andrews to slot in.
In the second period, Sunderland's Cole Keirnan and Hugill both had half chances but the Blues sealed their victory on 77 minutes.
It was George who completed his hat-trick with a shot from 18 yards. The goal was created from a fast counter attack as Sunderland pressed in vain to try and save the game.
Sunderland coach Paul Bryson summed up afterwards "We gave ourselves a mountain to climb with those early demoralising goals. Some of our players seemed shell shocked and didn't really show. It was really frustrating and very tough as they had some very effective players who severely punished us."
Sunderland: Newman, Smith (Watts 72) , Pye (Miller 25). Armstrong, Ord, Wombwell, Neil, Foster (Kompper 82), Momba, Keirnan, Hugill.