Sunderland U18s suffer heavy defeat to Blackburn - but young striker shines

Defensive frailties were largely to blame for Sunderland Under 18's 5-2 defeat by Blackburn Rovers Under 18’s in Saturday's game at the Academy of Light, writes Neville Pilkington.

Monday, 19th August 2019, 2:00 pm
Updated Monday, 19th August 2019, 2:00 pm
Sunderland suffered defeat to Blackburn Rovers

After 37 minutes even play with both sides having chances Sunderland actually took the lead. Striker Cole Kiernan latched on to a good through ball from Jack Armstrong to hold off a defender and score from 15 yards.

But a poor back pass from Ryan Wombwell let in Sam Durrant to level two minutes later and then a left side cross provided a tap in at the back post for Jake Garrett to give Rovers the lead at the break.

Blackburn's Sam Burns doubled the advantage on 58 minutes - but five minutes later the Wearsiders hit back with the lively Kiernan getting his second after heading in from a corner.

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It looked to be game on as Sunderland switched to a 4-4-2 formation and brought on another forward in order to take the game to Rovers.

Unfortunately they were caught on the break trying to level and allowed Rovers James Horlock to double the lead with a header.

In stoppage time, the visitors made it five, Durrant getting his second from the penalty spot following a trip.

Sunderland coach Paul Bryson said "We were punished for avoidable mistakes and were very disappointed with the goals."

Sunderland: Cameron, Wombwell, Miller (Pye 46), Jones, Armstrong, Ord, Gooch (Bruce 78), Krakue, Kiernan, Foster (Dicchio 60). Watts.