Keeper Max Stryjek was the star of the show as Sunderland Under-23s fought gallantly for a goalless draw away to Tottenham in Premier League 2 tonight.
The Pole, on loan at League Two club Accrington Stanley but available for age-group Black Cats games, made a series of fine saves to ensure a share of the spoils, keeping Sunderland a point ahead of the bottom-placed Londoners in Division One.
Elliott Dickman handed a start to forward Benji Kimpioka following his fine form for the Under-18s, and he forced home keeper Brandon Austin to make a save in a tight first period, in which Stryjek did well to keep out an effort from Shayon Harrison.
Stryjek was busier on the restart as Tottenham looked for the win which would lift them off the foot of the table, with Sunderland showing great character in their defensive resilience.
Harrison had a strike from outside the box saved by Stryjek, moving to his right, and the Sunderland keeper then made a fine double stop to deny Anthony Georgiou.
Sunderland’s Under-23s are back in PL2 action on Sunday, January 7, with a home game against Derby at Eppleton CW.
They also have a Durham Challenge Cup tie at Northern League Division One side Stockton Town to look forward to, with the trip down the A19 scheduled for Wednesday, January 3.
Tottenham U23s: Austin, Marsh, Georgiou, Skipp, C Maghoma, Eyoma, Pritchard, Amos, Sterling (S Shashoua 63), Harrison, Tracey
Sunderland U23s: Stryjek, J Robson, Hume, Beadling, Taylor, Storey, Kimpioka, E Robson, Nelson, Embleton, Allan