Sunderland’s U23 side were relegated this evening as they lost to Swansea, despite other results going in their favour.
The young Lads had to beat Swansea and hope that Derby failed to pick up anything against Leicester - but sadly not all of those events transpired, and so the youth team will be plying their trade in the Premier League 2 Division 2 next season.
The home side had a huge chance on five minutes. An attempted clearance deflected into the middle of the box, inadvertently putting Swansea’s Liam Cullen through on goal, but Max Stryjek produced a brilliant reaction save to keep the game goalless.
The Swans had another great opportunity to take the lead just after the twenty minute mark - with Stryjek this time beaten. George Byers fired in a low, dangerous shot from a free-kick but it bounced off the post and out of danger.
Sunderland scarcely saw the ball make its way into Swansea’s half during the opening interval and struggled to muster up any attacking threat whatsoever. An indirect free-kick from Elliot Embleton which Swansea headed clear was arguably the closest we got.
Sunderland got off to a much better start once play resumed and could’ve got themselves in front with only a handful of minutes played. Embleton’s cross bounced back into the path of an unmarked Luke Molyneux who had a clear sight on goal - but the midfielder mistimed his kick and volleyed at thin air.
Only minutes later, down the other end, Swansea glanced themselves into the lead. Byers beat Stryjek to the ball and nodded into the back of the net to give the home side the advantage.
Incidentally, the Lads continued to grow into the game, but looked some way off getting an equalizer for the most part. Denver Hume might’ve been the one to get it, though, when he beat several Swansea players as he made a mazy run into the box - unfortunately he couldn’t cap off his move with a goal, as his eventual effort on goal was blocked.
Swansea were back on top and turning the screw as the game neared it’s conclusion, but ultimately they wouldn’t find the net again. The final whistle blew with the home side emerging narrow victors - a result which condemns Sunderland’s side to relegation.
FT: Swansea U23s 1-0 Sunderland U23s
Max Stryjek, 7/10: Made a great save on five minutes and was generally decent for the remainder of the game whenever he was called into action.
Owen Gamble, 6/10: Did alright, wasn’t as busy as his teammate on the opposite wing.
Denver Hume, 7/10: Most of Swansea’s attacks seemed to come down his flank but he did a pretty good job dealing with them. Looked capable whenever he was able to get forward too.
Adam Bale, 6/10: Held off the opposition well for the most part.
Brandon Taylor, 6/10: Same as above.
Alex Storey, 6/10: Offered the back line some extra support.
Jack Diamond, 5/10: Made similar contributions to Storey, but to a lesser extent.
Elliot Embleton, 7/10: Arguably our most threatening player going forward this evening.
Luke Molyneux, 4/10: Missed a great chance to put his side ahead and was generally quite wasteful in possession.
Bali Mumba, 5/10: Was seldom granted opportunities to get into the game.
Benji Kimpioka, 5/10: Same as above.
(SUB) Connor Shields, 5/10: Didn’t make much of an impact.
(SUB) Williams Kokolo, 7/10: Offered a fresh injection of pace that Swansea had difficulty containing.
(SUB) Lee Connelly, 5/10: Was most likely brought on along with Kokolo to put pressure on a tiring opposition - but he didn’t have the same effect as the lad above.
Roker Report’s Man of the Match: Denver Hume.