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YOUTH: Sunderland 2 - 2 United

Result from the Saturday afternoon friendly

10 July 2021

It was a trip across to the north-east for the young Blues on Saturday morning as pre-season friendly number two brought them up against Sunderland.

The Category 1 side had the better of the first half and they took the lead when they capitalised on a short spell of good pressure.

First-year Ryan Carr pulled the scores level just before the break, and it was the visitors who started to increase the pace as they got into the second period.

Chances were created, and Charlie Watt gave the Blues the lead when he slotted a well-taken penalty past the keeper.

But United were denied their victory when the Black Cats were also awarded a spot kick late in the day.

It ended all-square with neither side able to edge in front through the closing stages.

Under-18 boss Mark Birch said: "It was a scrappy first half but credit to the lads because they kept going.

"They got the reward for that with a goal just before the break, and we were able to have a few words about what we wanted to do next.

"I think we probably deserved to go ahead, and we played some good football leading up to our penalty.

"In the end we come away disappointed that we're not talking about a win."

On the fact that it was a second game in the space of three days for the lads, he commented: "That shows great character, doesn't it.

"They've taken it in their stride, got on with it and shown a superb attitude. We had three under-16 players involved, and they'll have learned a lot from it.

"The pleasing thing is that everybody wanted to be out there, they wanted to get on the ball and they wanted to work hard.

"It was a good morning and another solid display against strong opposition."

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