Sunderland U18s 1 Middlesbrough U18s 5: Boro youngsters too strong for Black Cats

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SUNDERLAND were deservedly beaten by table-topping Middlesborough in the Barclays U18 Premier League’s Northern Division at the Academy of Light this afternoon.

The visitors started the brighter in chilly and blustery conditions, going close in the seventh minute with a well-struck right-footed volley by Alex Pattison, but keeper Talbot was well placed to save.

The hosts seemed slow out of the blocks, but, on 15 minutes, they went close following a corner from the right as Dylan McEvoy rose with Boro keeper Dawson, but the taller Dawson was able to knock the ball clear.

Just after the half hour mark, Middlesbrough made the breakthrough. Chapman slipped past Dan Casey, then cut inside and shot across Alex Talbot and find the top right corner of the net.

In the 39th minute, Sunderland needed a tremendous save from Talbot to prevent the visitors doubling their lead, the keeper tipping the ball over the bar.

Boro were awarded a penalty in the 43rd minute when Jordan Jowers was felled inside the area. He duly got up to take the strike, but keeper Talbot dove the right way to keep the game within reach.

The hosts started the brighter in the second half and, in the 48th minute, levelled the game as Luke Molyneux was fed through by Dan Wright to coolly slot the ball home.

This seemed to merely encourage the visitors and they simply stepped up a gear and got their second on 62 minutes, as Alex Pattison found the net on the third attempt following a save by Talbot and a block by substitute Hume.

With 15 minutes to go, Boro made it three when Talbot could only parry a shot away, falling to Jowers to finish.

Five minutes later it was game over as the visitors hit their fourth when Joe Wheatley’s low drive evaded keeper Talbot.

The final nail in the coffin came when Jowers got his second and Boro’s fifth, cooly slotting home from the edge of the box.

Sunderland coach Elliott Dickman said afterwards: “The better team won, they were stronger, and more powerful than us. However, on the positive side, we had a young side out including 16-year-old Kiean Graham.”

Sunderland: Talbot, Casey, Robson, McEvoy, Lawrie, Ledger (Graham 70), Greenwood (Hume 45), Embleton, Bloinco, Wright, Molyneux. Subs not used: Purvis Gainyn.

Middlesbrough: Dawson, McGoldrick, Fry, Elsdon, Coulson, Pattison, Wheatley, Chapman, Mondal, Johnson, Jowers.