DERBY drama awaits in the FA Youth Cup for Sunderland after the Black Cats rookies secured a fifth round tussle against Newcastle United.
Extra time goals from substitutes Luke Molyneux and Daniel Pybus ended the resistance of a spirited Ipswich side at the Stadium of Light and secured a home tie against the Magpies in the next round – a rematch from last season’s competition when Newcastle ran out 4-0 winners at St James’s Park.
It was a deserved victory for the Black Cats, who were in the ascendancy after Ipswich had taken advantage of some nerves within the ranks of the hosts early on, with impressive midfielder Victor Guldbrandsen pulling the strings for the visitors.
But after fighting back from going behind, Sunderland dominated the second half – midfielder Ethan Robson and winger Rees Greenwood notably standing out – with the Black Cats finally breaking Ipswich’s resistance in extra-time.
Sunderland had made an anxious start though, with goalkeeper James Talbot, who moments earlier had flapped at a cross, making a smart save to keep out an awkward dipping long-range shot from James Blanchfield.
Ipswich went close again in the ninth minute when Cemal Ramadan’s scuffed shot into the area was heading for Monty Patterson to tap in at the far post, but Talbot did enough to put him off and the left winger stabbed it wide.
But the breakthrough duly arrived for the Tractor Boys in the 23rd minute when powerful right-back Joshua Emmanuel delivered a pinpoint cross to the far post and Kundai Benyu got enough behind his header to prevent Talbot keeping it out, despite the keeper’s best efforts.
But Ipswich were ahead for just six minutes before Sunderland equalised in excellent fashion.
Ethan Robson went on a surging run to the left-hand by-line and then produced an inch-perfect pull-back into the path of Jordan Blinco, 12 yards out, who cushioned a shot inside the near post.
Ipswich should have regained the advantage before half-time when Shane McLoughlin slipped Cemal Ramadan through on goal, with Talbot unable to make a clean connection in his attempts to block the striker’s first shot.
The ball rolled back into the path of Ramadan, who had an open goal to aim at, but ended up slotting it into the side netting.
Sunderland went desperately close to going ahead in the 64th minute when Ipswich failed to clear a corner and Ethan Robson made space for himself on the left-hand side of the area.
He pulled it back into the path of namesake Joshua Robson whose left-footed shot was brilliantly cleared by Guldbrandsen on the line.
The game began to open up as the second half wore on; Greenwood wasting a good opportunity after being played in by Ethan Robson on the counter-attack, following a surging run by the midfielder.
Sunderland should have then won it in stoppage time, but spurned a golden chance when Dan Casey beat the Ipswich offside trap to Dylan McEvoy’s floated free-kick.
Casey had time to pick his spot, but could only glance his header harmlessly into the side netting.
Sunderland remained in the ascendancy in extra time and went desperately close when Molyneux’s mis-hit shot was headed towards goal by Ross Colquhoun, only for Ipswich keeper Sam McDermid to readjust superbly and tip over the bar.
But the breakthrough which Sunderland had threatened finally came in the dying seconds of the first half of extra time when Ipswich were caught on the counter-attack from a corner.
Sunderland broke well through Pybus and Daniel Wright, before the ball was eventually played to Molyneux on the left-hand side of the area, who calmly stroked it into the far corner.
That goal zapped the remaining energy out of Ipswich, with Sunderland finding the mark again within a minute of the restart.
Pybus drove into the area and hit a low shot which took a deflection and beat McDermid at his near post.
Sunderland were then awarded a penalty in the 111st minute after Molyneux was felled just inside the box.
Ethan Robson stepped up, but his penalty was saved superbly low to his right by McDermid, before the Ipswich stopper got to the rebound ahead of the Sunderland man.
It made no difference to the outcome though, as Sunderland secured a derby cup clash for the second season on the spin.
SUNDERLAND: Talbot, Casey, J Robson, McEvoy, Colquhoun, Ledger, Blinco (Pybus 98), E Robson, Nelson (Molyneux 51), Wright, Greenwood (Embleton 107). Subs not used: Lowrie, Purvis. Booked: Greenwood (102)
IPSWICH: McDermid, Emmanuel, Kenlock, Benyu, Fowler (Hayes 108), Smith, Blanchfield, Guldbrandsen, Ramadan (Ford 67), McLoughlin (Dozzell 59), Patterson. Subs not used: Daly, Ellis