Sunderland AFC 2-1 Manchester United U21
Sunderland made it two wins from two in the Papa John’s Trophy on Wednesday night, as a young team came out on top against Manchester United Under-21s at the Stadium of Light.
Stephen Wearne’s second-half winner proved decisive as he netted in successive senior games, with Tyrese Dyce’s debut strike opening the scoring before Zidane Iqbal’s leveller.
Lee Johnson fielded a very youthful side for the midweek clash, including four debutants – Dyce, Jacob Carney, Patrick Almond and Tom Scott.
A further three then made their senior bows – Ethan Kachosa, Caden Kelly and 16-year-old Zak Johnson – as the Head Coach granted a handful of opportunities.
An open first half saw the woodwork struck on three occasions – including by Kenton Richardson for the Lads with a well-taken volley – former Sunderland forward Joe Hugill hitting the post after rounding Carney just three minutes in.
Towards the end of the half, Alvaro Fernandez was denied by the upright following an excellent Ollie Younger block.
With a goal the only thing missing from a tenacious contest, the opener arrived just five minutes into the second half, as United goalkeeper Dermot Mee denied Will Harris – Dyce cleaning up the rebound and firing high into the net for a memorable debut goal.
A young squad of talented technical players, the visitors were not to be tamed easily and equalised just minutes later with an excellent finish, Iqbal taking a touch to dig out space and whipping a great hit into the far top corner from just inside the area.
Midway through the second half saw the crucial blow cast, and Wearne made it two goals in two professional appearances as he headed Ellis Taylor’s cross into the far corner, following good build-up play from Patrick Almond coming out of the backline.
Carney was forced into action twice in quick succession by his former United teammates – denying both Charlie McNeill and Iqbal once more – but the Lads saw out the win in organised fashion on a fondly remembered night for a host of young starlets.
SUNDERLAND AFC: Carney; Richardson, Younger, Almond, Hume © (Kachosa 71’); Scott, Sohna; Taylor (Kelly 90+2’), Wearne (Johnson 90+4’), Dyce; Harris.
Subs not used: McIntyre, Jessup, Ryder, Middlemas.
Manchester United U21: Mee, Hugill (Norkett 80’), McNeill, Wellens (Jurado 90+2’), McShane, Hardley, Hoogewerf (Forson 81’), Savage, Iqbal, Fernandez, Mather.
Subs not used: Vitek, Bennett, Ennis, Murray.