Sunderland U23s picked up their first win since early 2019 today, and what a win it was - a rousing FOUR-NIL demolition of Newcastle United U23s on their own patch.
The return of Benji Kimpioka to the side for the first time since he signed a new deal saw the Sweden U21 international forward bagging a brace, perhaps reminding everyone of just how capable the lad can be when he’s motivated and eager to impress.
Also on the scoresheet was new recruit Joshua Hawkes, who we of course brought to the club from Hartlepool United over the summer. Josh made over sixty first team appearances for Pools - including some games in League Two - and was a regular scorer from midfield, so it’s no surprise to see his name amongst the scorers.
Also getting his name on the scoresheet is another young man with first-team experience elsewhere, Cieran Dunne. The young Scot signed back in 2019 from Falkirk, with whom he had made five appearances for in the Scottish Championship. Another one to look out for, perhaps.
It was Hawkes who opened the scoring for Sunderland, meeting a cross from the right-hand side with a sweet volley which hammered past Brown in the Newcastle goal to give the visitors the lead.
Having saw out the rest of the half one-nil up, Sunderland doubled their advantage after 66 minutes through Benji Kimpioka, lifting the ball over the onrushing Brown, who was powerless to stop his effort.
Just five minutes later it was three. Dunne - Sunderland’s captain on the day - put the game beyond doubt with a fine finish.
And then, in the 81st minute, Sunderland made it four, from the penalty spot thanks to Benji Kimpioka - rounding off what was an emphatic victory for the visiting Black Cats, who can now hope to kick on in the PL2 following years of disappointment and frustration.