Sunderland U23s were brushed aside by ten man Manchester United U23s this evening at the Leigh Sports Village, going down 3-0 without really mustering up much of a fight.
Elliott Dickman’s young-looking side got off to the worst start imaginable when they conceded a goal in the third minute and, despite a nasty looking injury to Owen Gamble which forced him off, they improved slightly after their early blip.
Gamble’s replacement, Jack Connolly, played an absolutely top drawer pass which put Lee Connelly through on goal, and he was subsequently tripped from behind by George Tanner.
The defender received his marching orders, forcing the home side to play with just ten men with more than an hour left on the clock.
Sunderland improved as the half wore on but, in truth, they didn’t do enough to test the opposition goalkeeper - and as a result, they went in to half time a goal down.
Ricky Sbragia made two changes at the break, and they were effective ones as the home side doubled their lead quickly after the game resumed.
Facing a fierce but saveable shot, Max Johnstone probably should have turned the ball around the post but he didn’t and, instead, ten-man Manchester United scored their second of the game.
On the hour mark came their third - more poor defending allowed Chong to get another shot away, and he got his second of the evening to put the game to bed.
Some half chances late on from Kokolo, Neil and Diamond didn’t really trouble the home side and Dickman’s side were, in the end, easily defeated.
In truth, Sunderland looked second rate all night alongside their high-flying counterparts and, even with the man advantage, they were simply unable to cope with the quality and precision of their opponents.
Max Johnstone, 5/10: Never looked confident against his old team. Really should have done better with Man Utd’s second goal. Made a good save near the end of the game to keep the score down, though.
Brandon Taylor, 5/10: Struggled to cope with the waves of Man Utd attacks.
Jordan Hunter, 5/10: Played some nice passes forward but did little else.
Owen Gamble, N/A: Wasn’t on long enough to make an impact. Hope his injury isn’t too serious, but it looked a bad one.
Jack Bainbridge, 4/10: Didn’t want to close Chong down which led to us being punished more than once.
Jacob Young, 5/10: Like Bainbridge, he had a night to forget.
Lee Connelly, 6/10: Had very little service, though he did get a man sent off after timing his run well to get on Connolly’s pass in the first half.
Jake Hackett, 5/10: Struggled to make an impact.
Jack Diamond, 6/10: The one Sunderland player that stood out a bit. Looks like he has that bit more quality than the rest of his teammates.
Dan Neil, 5/10: Don’t really recall him doing a lot.
Williams Kokolo, 5/10: Quiet bar one shot at 3-0 down.
(SUB) Jack Connolly, 6/10: Played a fantastic pass which led to Manchester United’s red card.
Man of the Match: Jack Diamond.