Duncan Watmore staked his claim for more first-team action by firing a hat-trick in Sunderland’s impressive 3-0 win over Manchester City in the Barclays U21 Premier League today.
He might even get the chance against City on Tuesday, when Manuel Pellegrini’s men visit the Stadium of Light on Capital One Cup duty.
Watmore, ruled out of Saturday’s Premier League trip to Bournemouth, made an instant impact at Eppleton CW, converting an early penalty after Lynden Gooch was felled by keeper Billy O’Brien.
It was 2-0 by the eighth minute, Watmore netting from close range after a good passing move gave City big problems.
Watmore had chances to complete his hat-trick, curling one effort just wide, before finally making it three, scoring from a second penalty after being brought down by the keeper.
The 21-year-old could have had a fourth, but his clever lob ended on the roof of the net.
Victory took Sunderland level with Reading at the top of the First Division, albeit having played a game more.
Sunderland: Stryjek, J Robson, T Robson, Ledger, Brady, Mavrias (McEvoy), Greenwood, Smith, Agnew, Watmore (E Robson), Gooch (Blinco). Subs not used: Purvis, Lowrie.