Match Report: Lads lose out to Spurs in PL Cup

Sunderland U21s lost 2-1 against Tottenham Hotspur U21s inside a freezing cold Eppleton CW in the Premier League Cup.

Two early goals inside the opening five minutes from Jude Soonsup-Bell and Rio Kyermaten was enough for Tottenham to claim all three points. A late Harry Gardiner strike pulled one back for the Black Cats deep into stoppage time.

Mason Burstow, Nathan Bishop, Nector Triantis and Luis Hemir all started for SAFC U21’s as Graeme Murty named a strong line-up for their cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur.

The visitors took an early lead through Soonsup-Bell after just four minutes, the attacker intercepted Ben Middlemas’ clearance before advancing forward down the left and emphatically firing past Nathan Bishop from an acute angle.

Tottenham doubled their lead seconds later when Kyermaten picked up a loose ball on the edge of Sunderland’s 18-yard box before picking his spot to find the bottom right-hand corner.

Spurs continued to apply the pressure inside the hosts final third, Tottenham’s captain Matthew Craig’s fizzing attempt whistled wide of Bishop near post after collecting Brooklyn Lyons-Foster’s pass from the right.  

Sunderland created their first clear cut opportunity of the match on 20 minutes when Luis Hemir’s close-range shot was comfortably saved by Luca Gunter at point blank range.  

The hosts started to ramp up the pressure through Burstow in quick succession, firstly drilling his shot inches wide of Gunter’s bottom right-hand corner before forcing the goalkeeper into a neat save low down to his right moments later.

Sunderland U21’s finished the first half on top albeit behind when Michael Spellman was left unmarked inside the box, but his first timed effort sailed over Gunter crossbar.

Burstow should have reduced the deficit after returning from the interval, Luis Hemir’s threaded ball played the striker through on goal, but his shot curled the wrong side of Gunter’s far post.

Gunter was perfectly positioned again to maintain his clean sheet this time gathering Luis Hemir’s goal bound attempt 12-yard out. 

After comfortably controlling the opening stages of the second-half Tottenham jinked their way through Sunderland’s midfield and played Will Lankshear through on goal but Bishop remained alert to pull off a fine full stretched save.

The visitors continued to hang on to their two-goal lead as Sunderland went in search of a breakthrough goal, Spellman this time cutting inside and stinging the palms of Gunter from outside the area.

Sunderland continued to press as they looked for a way through a resolute Spurs defence and deservedly grabbed a consolation goal when substitute Gardiner poked home Harrison’s Jones’ cross deep into added time.

The defeat leaves Graeme Murty’s side second in the group with two matches remaining – meanwhile the visitors remain top and continue their unbeaten run in this season competition.

SAFC XI: Bishop, Crompton, Triantis (Wilson 62’), Fieldson, Bainbridge, Burke, Middlemas (Chiabi 76’), Spellman © (Ryder 80’), Jones, Burstow (Gardiner 62’), Hemir

Subs not used: Chibueze.

THFC XI: Gunter, Lyons-Foster, Robson (Linton 82’), Dorrington, Ashcroft, Craig ©, Soonsup-Bell (McKnight 76’), Kyermaten (Cassanova 76’), Lankshear (Williams 88’) Donley, Alonso.

Subs not used: Keeley.

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