Report: An incredible comeback from the Lads

Sunderland Under-21s completed a sensational Premier League 2 second-half comeback to level the game 5-5 after being 0-5 down after 50 minutes at Eppleton CW.


Goals from Harry Gardiner, Harrison Jones, Tom Chiabi, Michael Spellman and Jewison Bennette sealed the Black Cats went into the international break with a point on the board.


Manchester United were coming off the back of a 10-1 victory over Stoke City in midweek with a mixture of first team and development players making Graeme Murty’s 16 man squad.


The visitors grabbed the opener with less than a minute on the clock. A threaded through ball found Joe Hugill and the former Sunderland man dispatched the ball past Bishop to give United an early lead.

Just two minutes later, the Lads nearly had their equaliser as Spellman played the overlapping ball to Huggins whose cross was inches away from Gardiner.

United doubled their lead with 15 minutes on the clock. Shola Shortetire took advantage of a deflected clearance, drove into the area, and finished past Bishop.

The Black Cats’ best chance of the first half was once again created by Huggins. The 22-year-old nicked the ball away from Hansen-Aaroen before crossing for Gardiner to head wide.

Ten minutes from time and United added a third. A defensive error allowed Hugill to run through on goal and dink the ball over Bishop for his second of the afternoon.

The Lads looked to claw one back with five minutes remaining. Chiabi won the ball back in midfield and fed Taylor to drive forward, cut onto his right foot and strike the crossbar from range.

Right on the half-time whistle, United added a fourth. A quick counterattack saw the visitors run right through the middle of the Sunderland defence, Shortetire picked up the ball, rounded Bishop and collected his second of the proceedings.

The visitors added a fifth at the start of the second half. Forson picked the ball up on the left side before cutting onto his right and burying the ball into the bottom corner.

A second-half resurgence started in the 52 minutes as Graeme Murty’s side would go on to grab three goals in the space of four minutes. The first came after a long-range effort from Huggins fell straight to the feet of Thompson who was able to fire past Harrison.

Just two minutes later, Harrison Jones picked up the ball outside the area and sent a left-footed effort flying into the top corner.

Then on 58 minutes, Spellman got in on the act! Bennette with a mazy run to get to the by-line, fire the ball across and Spellman slid-in to apply the finish.


72 minutes on the clock and Sunderland halved the deficit down to one. A first-time finish from Chiabi outside the area rocketed into the top corner.

And with last kick of the game, the Lads levelled in dramatic fashion! Bennette picked up the ball on right side, cut in on his left foot and fired home the equaliser.

A 10 goal thriller and a point apiece for a both sides heading into the international break. 

Sunderland AFC: Bishop, Huggins, Seelt (Crompton 45), Johnson, Taylor, Burke, Chiabi, Jones, Spellman, Bennette, Gardiner.

Substitutes: Young, Fieldson, Crompton, Bainbridge, Thompson.


Attendance: 573


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