Craig Liddle's first game as boss of the Sunderland Youth Team got off to a solid start as they beat Gateshead College 3-0 at the Academy Of Light today.
Sunderland dominated from the first few minutes when Andrew Cartwright's shot was well saved, and the hosts slick passing lead to the opening goal through Frenchman Mikael Mandron after 21 minutes.
Latching on to a through ball from midfield, the lanky striker delicately chipped the onrushing keeper to open the scoring, and he grabbed his and Sunderland's second just 15 minutes later. More good passing lead to Mandron finding space in the area, and slotted the ball with ease to the opposing keeper's right hand side.
After a 40 minute half (as was agreed prior to kickoff) the interval came, but following that there was no let-up from Sunderland who within seconds of the restart had a third goal from midfielder Callum Hope, only on as a substitute at the break, who finished with a low drive from the edge of the area, putting the game beyond any shadow of doubt.
The lead could well have been doubled or indeed tripled as time wore on, and the would-be professionals showed class throughout against one of the better sports colleges in the country.
Craig Liddle told the clubs official website after the game;
It was a very good game, a good workout, we kept possesion very well. To come through the first game, with no knocks or niggles is very important at this time. I was really pleased with the lads performance as it was our first game; it's a good platform to build on for the upcoming season.
Many of the new youth intake got their first action in Sunderland shirts, including central defender Jassem Sukar, wide midfielder Steven McCarthy and American midfielder Lynden Gooch.