SUNDERLAND Under-21s fared better than the first-team on the south coast after a 1-1 draw at Southampton today.
The Black Cats rookies, who also missed a penalty, were pegged back against the Saints after Duncan Watmore’s superb opener was cancelled out early in the second half.
Robbie Stockdale’s side spurned the opportunity to go ahead as early as the fourth minute when Liam Agnew’s spot-kick was saved by Saints stopper Paulo Gazzaniga after Carl Lawson was tripped in the box.
Omar Rowe then hit the post for Southampton, before Sunderland went ahead in style five minutes before the interval.
Winger Watmore controlled an attempted clearance on the edge of the area, before curling it into the top corner with his left foot.
But the Saints pulled level three minutes after the restart when Josh Debayo’s cross was turned in by Rowe.
Substitute George Honeyman, back in the side after injury, set up a near-miss for Agnew, as Sunderland attempted to re-gain the lead, before Watmore forced another good save out of Gazzaniga.
Both sides struggled to create clear-cut chances in the dying stages, with Sunderland holding out for a point.
The Black Cats youngsters are next in action when Fulham visit the Academy of Light next Monday.
SOUTHAMPTON: Gazzaniga, Flannigan, McCarthy, Wood (Mugabi 31), Debayo, Gape, Reed (Little 92), Hesketh, Sims (Willard 69), Rowe, Seager. Subs not used: Britt, Barnes. Booked: Rowe (62)
SUNDERLAND: Dixon, Cartwright, Robson, Oliver, McNamee, Ferguson, Watmore, Agnew, Gooch (Honeyman 30), Smith (Greenwood 72), Lawson. Subs not used: Sukar, Burke, Beadling.