Sunderland’s youngsters left it late to rescue a point as they were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Derby County.
Tom Beadling slotted home an 88th minute penalty as the Black Cats were twice forced to come from behind.
Andy Welsh handed starts to 'first teamers' Mika, Donald Love, Lynden Gooch and Joel Asoro as the home side looked to avoid a third defeat in a row.
In a cagey first half Sunderland started the better of the two teams, with Gooch looking lively and linking up well with Rees Greenwood who saw his effort saved early on.
The rest of the half saw the ball largely remain in the middle of the pitch and despite some bright build up play, the Wearsiders lacked a cutting edge and didn’t look likely to score.
But on the stroke of half time they nearly made the breakthrough when Ethan Robson saw his header strike the top of the crossbar.
The hosts started the second half in much better fashion with Asoro firing into the side netting before Mitchell made a fine save at the foot of his near post to deny Greenwood after he found space for a shot inside the area on the left.
However, the visitors took the lead against the run of play with a fortuitous goal. Mika came off his line to deal with what looked like a routine corner, but his tame punch deflected Alex Babos and into the back of the net.
Sunderland responded well to this setback and were level 15 minutes later when substitute Daniel Wright bundled the ball home from close range after good play by Honeyman and Greenwood.
However, parity lasted for just a minute as Mika was again at fault for the goal as he dropped another simple looking cross on impact before Gordon stabbed the ball home for Derby County.
It looked as though Sunderland were going to slip to an undeserved defeat but with just three minutes remaining Josh Maja was fouled in the box, giving Tom Beadling the chance to level. He coolly converted the spot kick to end the young’uns losing streak.
Speaking after the game Andy Welsh leapt to the defence of his goalkeeper who was at fault for both of Derby’s goals, as he said;
Mika is going to have to deal with a lot of crosses in English football, and I’m sure he’ll learn and develop well.
He was also quick to praise the resilience of his squad, saying;
I think it’s probably two points dropped in the end. Their first goal came against the run of play and I can’t argue with the work rate and desire of the lads and we worked really hard to get something from the game which is a real positive.