SAFC U21 0-4 Aston Villa U21
Sunderland’s Under-21 side suffered defeat on Monday night in their first home game of the Premier League 2 season, going down 4-0 to Aston Villa.
Declan Frith and Brad Young hit two apiece for a Villa side who looked strong throughout, as several young Lads made their debuts for the U21s.
John Hewitson took the reins for the contest in DH5, as only four players who started the season opener at Norwich City began on the night. Harrison Bond, Harrison Sohna, Caden Kelly and Michael Spellman all featured, as Nathan Newall captained the side.
Callum Wilson and Max Thompson made full debuts, whilst fellow new arrivals Tom Chiabi and Owen Robinson came on for their U21 bows.
Villa winger Frith took just seven minutes to fire in two very similar finishes, first latching onto a ball in behind to roll past Bond, before finishing off a strong move from George Boateng’s side.
Young added a third shortly before half-time, creating space for himself on his right foot before lashing a strike into the bottom corner from just inside the area.
The closest the Lads could muster in the first half came via Ethan Kachosa, who struck the post from a tight angle after being played in by Thompson, originating from a fine Wilson long pass.
Just four minutes into the second half, Villa added a fourth, as Seb Revan’s wild shot skewed into the air on the edge of the six-yard box – though alert to it first was Young, who headed into the roof of the net.
Villa managed out the game from there on in, though Sunderland did create chances in the dying embers – the pick of them coming as substitute Ben Middlemas fired against the bar in the final minute of stoppage time after Oliwier Zych had saved from Kelly.
Hewitson said of the performance after the final whistle: “When you concede two goals early on against a team like Aston Villa, you’re always going to give yourself a major mountain to climb.
“We changed things slightly at half-time to try and give ourselves more defensive stability, and it helped to an extent, but then again we gave away another sloppy goal straight after half-time.
“We have more experience in the U21 squad now. The one out-of-jail card I would give is that until now, a lot of these lads haven’t played too much together yet, with some having been in Canada and some with the first team. But we have to learn from tonight ahead of Derby on Sunday.”
The challenge of a visit to Derby County comes next up for the U21s in the East Midlands on Sunday afternoon, on matchday three of the PL2 season.
SAFC U21: Bond; Wilson (Robinson 74’), Jessup, Johnson, Newall ©; Trialist A, Sohna (Chiabi 64’); Kachosa, Kelly, Spellman; Thompson (Middlemas 85’).
Subs not used: Cameron, Bainbridge.