Burnley 2-3 Sunderland U23
Sunderland Under-23s produced a memorable comeback on Monday night, clawing from a two-goal half-time deficit to beat Burnley 3-2.
The dramatic win - courtesy of Vinnie Steels' double against his former club before Sam Wilding headed the winner late on - secures a first three points on the board in Premier League 2 this season.
Elliott Dickman named a side with two changes to last week's defeat to Fulham, as Ollie Younger and the injured Stephen Wearne were replaced by Steels and Cameron Jessup.
Burnley started the match brightly and forced Sunderland's Trialist goalkeeper into a string of smart saves, Will Hugill and Sam Unwin with the pick of the early Clarets shots.
Harrison Sohna attempted to catch Burnley goalkeeper Sam Waller out from off his line early on, sending a 45-yard hit into the stopper's arms.
The opener arrived for the home side 27 minutes in, Owen Dodgson's free-kick from the left being met by Max Thompson. His diversion found Richard Nartey, who turned it over the line for 1-0.
Thompson forced Trialist into a stunning save on the volley soon after, and with the last action of the half, won a penalty from the goalkeeper's touch.
Dusting himself off, he confidently struck a side-footed hit with his right foot high into the right-hand corner for a heavy blow on the stroke of half-time.
Heading into the second half, the mountain was a sizeable one to climb but the spirit was immediately noticeable and the intensity was present from the first kick. It then took just three minutes after the restart for Steels to make an impact on his return to Burnley, turning and hitting a sweet volley from 10 yards into the roof of the net to halve the deficit.
The left-winger had been carving out opportunities down his flank in the first half, and his efforts were coming to fruition twofold in the second as he grabbed his second goal to equalise.
The Lads were looking increasingly dangerous on the break, and a swift one-two between Steels and Kimpioka saw the former find the bottom corner with a confident finish, setting up a wide-open final quarter of the contest.
Chances came at both ends - Nartey blazed over from six yards after a corner drifted deep, before Kimpioka played through Tyrese Dyce to be denied well by Waller one-on-one.
But the winning touch came five minutes from time, as Wilding met Sohna's corner from the left to send a looping header beyond Waller and into the top corner.
A fantastic comeback from the Black Cats, and one which will aim to build momentum ahead of Friday's return to Wearside against Norwich City.
Following the victory, Head Coach Dickman said: "In the second half, the Lads did everything we asked after a disappointing first half, and they deserve the victory.
"To come back like that showed great character from every single one of them. Coming to Burnley is tough - they make the game competitive with their style of play - so we had to match and then better it - which I felt we did a lot better after half-time.
"We have quite a few new boys into the building and it's going to take time to gel in any squad, but we're slowly getting there and I'm really pleased with the confidence this will give them."
SUNDERLAND AFC U23: Trialist; Richardson, Almond, Jessup, Newall; Wilding, Sohna; Dyce, Kimpioka, Steels (Scott 87'); Harris.
Subs not used: Bond, Fieldson, Kelly, Chapman.