U21 Report: SAFC U21 1-1 Derby County U21

SAFC U21 1-1 Derby County U21


Sunderland U21s were left frustrated after drawing 1-1 against bottom of the table Derby County on Monday evening. 


After a goalless first forty-five minutes, Harry Gardiner’s close-range strike give Sunderland a deserved lead, but Sonny Blu Lo-Everton bagged a point for the visitors in the final minute of normal time.  


Sunderland created the first opportunity of the match inside the opening 15 minutes, Caden Kelly’s dinked ball over the Rams defence was met by the boot of Gardiner but his effort from a narrow angle sailed over the crossbar. 


The visitors came close five minutes later after some neat build-up play by Kido Taylor-Hart, his cutback was met by the advancing Osazee Aghatise’s but the striker failed to force Adam Richardson into a save.  


Derby came within inches of breaking the deadlock on the half hour mark, Taylor-Hart’s strike rattling Richardson’s crossbar from 25-yards out. 


Gardiner almost put the hosts ahead five minutes before the interval, after controlling the ball and turning his man with a slick first touch inside the Derby box, the forward forced Harry Evans into a low fingertip save to keep the scores level. 


The Black Cats came out firing after the break, an unmarked Gardiner poking Ellis Taylor’s cross from the left past Evans from just five yards out on 51 minutes. 


Derby had their goalkeeper to thank again minutes later as Sunderland went in search of a second goal, Isaac Lihadji this time forcing Evans into a full stretch save to push the ball away from danger. 


Sunderland continued to cause Derby problems; Kelly skipped past his man after taking a short corner but his driven cross eluded everyone inside The Rams box before rolling out of play. 


The visitors grabbed a late equaliser against the run of play, Lo-Everton reacting quickest from close range to fire the loose ball past Richardson as the match entered stoppage time. 


The draw leaves Graeme Murty’s team in ninth spot and stretches their unbeaten run to four matches. 


SAFC U21: Richardson, Wilson, Johnson, Crompton, Taylor ©, Scott, Middlemas (Sohna 46’), Lihadji (Burke 68’), Kelly, Watson, Gardiner. 


Subs not used: Young, Jessup, Fieldson. 


Derby County U21: Evans, Odurom, Grewal-Pollard (Kelly-Caprani 79’), Bates (Solomon 79’), Brailsford, Robinson (Hawkins 88’), Taylor-Hart, Ibrahim, Vigar, Lo-Everton, Aghatise (Oseni 88’)


Subs not used: Robert. 


Image: Ben Cuthbertson

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