Sunderland managed a routine victory against Newcastle United U21s tonight at the Stadium of Light to progress to the next stage of the Checkatrade Trophy.
Goals from Charlie Wyke, Chris Maguire, Benji Kimpioka and an own goal put a hardworking Newcastle side away in the second half, though despite the opening 45 ending goalless it was never likely that the away side would trouble Robbin Ruiter in the Sunderland goal.
The game started competitively and with a high tempo, with both sets of fans in fine voice to get the occasion kick-started.
Sunderland got the first chance of the game after 12 minutes, when Charlie Wyke’s tame header was easily gathered by the Newcastle United goalkeeper.
Soon after came another half chance, as after a series of corners Alim Ozturk’s shot flew well wide after a decent opportunity presented itself to him.
The rest of the half was much of a muchness as Sunderland struggled to break Newcastle down - the names might have said Sunderland and Newcastle, but it certainly wasn’t being played like a ‘derby’ game in the opening 45.
Sunderland reemerged bright and hit the post inside a minute of the re-start through Jerome Sinclair when it looked easier to score.
The lads won a corner soon after and from it came the first goal - a cross into the area by Chris Maguire deflected off Newcastle’s Watts and into the net to open the scoring.
Sunderland should have had a second moments later when some lovely interplay between Benji Kimpioka and Charlie Wyke led to a strong chance for Chris Maguire, who should have done better when he missed.
From the resulting corner Sunderland got their second - a lovely header from summer recruit Charlie Wyke, who powered his effort off the ground and into the top corner.
The tempo of the game naturally lifted once Newcastle went behind, leading to a more entertaining affair as the second half progressed.
Sunderland remained on top though and scored a third through Chris Maguire with 12 minutes to go, a thumping effort from 25 yards across the goalkeeper to kill the game dead.
Not long before the end came our fourth - a header from Benji Kimpioka, who deserved a goal after coming on at the break and playing immensely well.
Robbin Ruiter, 6/10: Had absolutely nothing to do all night.
Reece James, 6/10: Comfortable.
Tom Flanagan, 7/10: Had Sorensen in his back pocket.
Alim Ozturk, 6/10: Coasted through without being challenged.
Luke O’Nien, 6/10: Like the rest of the defence he never had a great deal to do.
Bali Mumba, 8/10: Fantastic in the tackle and in possession.
Dylan McGeouch, 7/10: Steady away, kept posession ticking over.
Chris Maguire, 7/10: Not outstanding but good enough, and he scored a lovely goal.
Duncan Watmore, 5/10: Poor. His touch was way off and he never effected the game at all in the 45 minutes he was on the pitch.
Charlie Wyke, 6/10: Poor first half but a nice header for our second.
Jerome Sinclair, 6/10: Much better in the second half when he moved into a more central role.
(SUB) Benji Kimpioka, 8/10: Had a real impact on the game when he came on - pacy and strong. Deserved his goal.
(SUB) Luke Molyneux, 6/10: Industrious for the brief period he was on the pitch.
(SUB) Jake Hackett, 6/10: Tidy for ten minutes or so.
Man of the Match: Benji Kimpioka