Sunderland U23s 0 Brighton & Hove Albion U23s 5: Young Black Cats thumped in Premier League Cup clash

Sunderland Under-23 coach Elliott Dickman.
Sunderland Under-23 coach Elliott Dickman.
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Sunderland Under-23s' Premier League Cup campaign got off to the worst possible start after being thumped 5-0 at home to Brighton & Hove Albion.

Elliott Dickman's young charges were second best all over the pitch as the Seagulls ran riot at Hetton.

There was little to separate the two sides in the opening stages but Brighton soon cranked up the pressure in the opening Group H tie at Eppleton CW.

The visitors took the lead 19 minutes in, Sanders cutting in from the left flank, beating Sam Brotherton before firing a low effort through a crowd of bodies past Woud.

Sunderland soon found themselves two goals down, Woud played the ball to Christopher Allan on the edge of the area but the Brighton forwards quickly closed him down.

Sanders capitalised on the mistake, firing the ball high into the top corner. It could easily have been three. Sunderland were living dangerously but Will Collar's effort was blocked.

It soon was 3-0, Steven Alzate on the stroke of half-time with a good finish before he wasted a glorious chance just before the break to pile more misery on Dickman's side.

The visitors utterly dominant with Sunderland not posing a threat at all and shipping cheap goals at the other end.

It didn't get any better after the break.

Nelson saw a low effort comfortably saved by Robert Sanchez before Brighton added a fourth in the 50th minute, Alzate calmly slotting the ball under Woud.

Joel Asoro and Brotherton were hauled off before the re-start with Tommy Robson and Brandon Taylor on for Sunderland but the damage had already been done.

James Tilley added a fifth with 15 minutes to go, the Brighton midfielder going close to adding a sixth five minutes later but Woud made a low stop to prevent further embarrassment.

Sunderland have six group games in total, the Wearsiders also meeting Hull City and Exeter home and away in the competition.

The top two in each group qualify for the last-16 knockout stage but Dickman's side need a vast improvement based on this showing.

FT: Sunderland U23s 0 Brighton & Hove Albion U23s 5

SAFC: Woud, Love, Storey, Brotherton (Taylor, 50), Galloway, Allan (Wright, 78), Embleton, Diamond, E.Robson (C), Asoro (Robson, 50), Nelson.

Subs Not Used: Patterson, Poame.

Booked: E.Robson (35)

Brighton: Sanchez, Moore, Cox, Collar (Hutchinson, 69), Hall, Kerr, Tilley, Sanders, Alzate (Ajiboye, 80), Bjordal (Mandroiu, 73), Ahannnach.

Subs Not Used: Collings.

Booked: Collar (40)

Goals: Sanders (19, 23), Alzate (45, 50), Tilley (75)

Referee: M. Donohue