Middlesbrough U21 2-0 SAFC U21
SAFC Under-21s suffered defeat on Friday night in the Premier League 2, going down 2-0 to Middlesbrough at Heritage Park.
Calum Kavanagh and Hayden Hackney made the impact with the goals either side of half-time, as the Lads ended with 10 men following Edouard Michut’s second-half dismissal.
A handful of first-team players featured for John Hewitson’s side on the night in Bishop Auckland, with Alex Bass, Bailey Wright, Michut, Jay Matete and Leon Dajaku all in from the start to maintain match sharpness. Wright captained the side.
In a first half where chances were certainly at a premium, Boro did manage to draw first blood early on.
Joe Gibson managed to create space to strike a fierce shot just inside the area which had debatably bounced on the line after crashing against the underside of the bar. From the rebound, Kavanagh’s header did manage to cross the line, despite the best efforts of Bass to keep it out.
Spells of possession evenly came and went, with the only notable efforts a Hackney free-kick off target from distance, and a hooked volley on the turn from Dajaku as he met Nathan Newall’s pass. Max Thompson also forced a low save out of Oliver Swan, as he headed Callum Wilson’s cross towards goal.
The second half started with a Boro chance as Sonny Finch made space before firing inches wide, before Wilson headed Dajaku’s corner from the right wide.
Finch then forced Bass into his first major action, a smart save after the forward had been played in behind, before the crucial moment then struck.
Booked moments before for an alleged cynical foul, Michut was then penalised for a second yellow card for pulling back Gibson on the edge of the Sunderland area.
To make it a double blow, Hackney’s effort from the resulting free-kick managed to find its way past Bass and into the back of the net, doubling Middlesbrough’s tally.
From there, chances slowed down and Boro looked to see out the game in an organised fashion despite the Lads’ efforts to commit forward.
Matete’s smart long pass towards substitute Owen Robinson nearly saw him in on goal, but for a very tight offside flag.
Aside from that, the Teessiders remained largely untroubled in the latter stages and saw out their three points.
SAFC U21: Bass; Wilson (Robinson 66’), Johnson, Wright ©, Jessup (Pye 55’), Newall; Matete, Michut, Kelly; Dajaku, Thompson.
Subs not used: Richardson, Crompton, Chiabi.