Sunderland AFC U23 0-2 Burnley U23
Sunderland Under-23s suffered defeat on Monday night as an Owen Dodgson double secured three points for Burnley in the Premier League 2 at the Stadium of Light.
Dodgson struck twice in the second half to tilt the contest Burnley’s way, after a first half in which the Lads dominated chances but could not find a way to break the Clarets’ resistance.
A strong line-up was named for Sunderland which included the likes of Danny Batth, Elliot Embleton and Leon Dajaku, whilst Thorben Hoffmann started in goal.
Cieran Dunne, Tyrese Dyce and Benji Kimpioka all returned from their respective injuries on the night, whilst Vinnie Steels continued his comeback with another 45 minutes.
Burnley ‘keeper Sam Waller was on hand early on to prevent the Black Cats flying out the blocks, as he denied Trialist with a close-range header from Kimpioka’s flick as he met Ethan Kachosa’s delivery.
He then kept out another header from skipper Sam Wilding shortly after stopping Dajaku’s powerful drive from the right-hand side.
Lewis Richardson forced Hoffmann into a routine stop half an hour in as Burnley registered their first attempt, Sunderland seemingly in the driving seat as the first half finished goalless.
The second 45 minutes however saw the visitors raise their game and clinically take their two best opportunities.
After a reaction save from Hoffmann to thwart Dan Sassi from inside the six-yard box, followed by Embleton’s cross-shot free-kick from the right-hand side being taken in by Waller, left-back Dodgson put Burnley in front by latching onto a tidy pass and firing into the net left-footed from 18 yards out.
Steels was next to register an attempt on target as he cut inside onto his left foot and saw Waller get behind his shot, following a strong tackle and neat long pass from Arbenit Xhemajli.
But Dodgson netted his and Burnley’s second with a side-footed finish after getting in behind, as the away side robbed Sunderland of possession inside their own half.
A number of set-pieces followed for the Lads, but Burnley remained resolute to limit any real threat and were able to see the result out.
The match rounds off March for the Under-23s, who next head to Norwich City on April 1 in a bid to reignite their form as the run-in closes in.
SUNDERLAND AFC U23: Hoffmann; Kachosa, Batth, Xhemajli, Dunne (Dyce 62’); Wilding ©, Scott; Dajaku, Embleton, Trialist; Kimpioka (Steels 46’).
Subs not used: Carney, Sohna, Jessup.