A RATHER lacklustre Barclays U18 Premier League match ended with Everton just about deserving the win that they ground out today.
There was a distinct end-of-season feel about the game at the Academy of Light, and it wasn’t until the 25th minute that there was any goalmouth action.
But when it came, the Wearsiders should have taken the lead.
Their best chance of the match came from a corner on the right, which was taken by captain Martin Smith. When Ross Colquhoun headed down to Jaz Sukar, from the set piece, it seemed as though scoring was a formality. However, the defender blazed over from only six yards out.
Predictably, the match was still scoreless at half-time, but six minutes into the second half, Everton broke the deadlock when tall winger Callum Dyson headed home just inside the post from a right-side cross.
The hosts came back when a shot by Smith was tipped over by Everton keeper and captain Russell Griffiths.
Everton’s powerful striker, Courtney Duffus, then burst through but shot over from an angle.
Seconds later, Duffus had a good header tipped over by home keeper Greg Purvis.
Sunderland had a let-off when Everton’s Harry Charsley headed wide of an open goal in the 80th minute, but two minutes later they did seal the game with a second goal.
The home defence dallied and fatally lost possession on the edge of the box, allowing Everton sub Michael Donohue to go on and smash the ball past Purvis.
Sunderland had no comeback, and the Toffees easily saw out the game.
Coach Carlton Fairweather said: “They were probably the better side, and caused us a lot of problems with their movement, especially in the second half.
“We had one great chance in the first half and, at 1-0, you’re still in it, but then we gave away a soft second.”
SUNDERLAND: Purvis, Ledger, Sukar (Ellison 45), Wright, Colquhoun, Smith, J Robson, E Robson (Pybus 72), Nelson (Molyneux 58), Blinco, McEvoy. Subs not used: Talbot, McCarthy
EVERTON: Griffiths, Birch, Connolly, Graham, Thorniley, Walsh, Dyson, Charsley, Brewster (Donohue 63), Duffus, Dowell