Lads win Wear-Tyne derby – SAFC
Sunderland U21 2-1 Newcastle United U21
Zak Johnson’s late goal gave Sunderland a deserved 2-1 derby day win over rivals Newcastle in Premier League 2 on Monday.
In a tense first half that ended scoreless at the Academy of Light, Newcastle opened the scoring early in the second half through Josh Scott against the flow of play.
Jewison Bennette’s shot equalized for Graeme Murty’s side before Johnson’s header in the last five minutes was enough to seal the win.
Sunderland created the first opportunity of the game when Tommy Watson charged forward after pouncing on a loose ball in the visitors’ half midway through and his effort cleared Jude Smith’s latte.
Luke O’Nien almost caught Smith off his line a few minutes later with a bold attempt from inside his own half, but the keeper quickly backed away to snatch the ball from the air.
Caden Kelly’s shot from the edge of the area forced Smith to make the only save of the first half. Bennette initially hopped past his man on the left, but an unmarked Kelly couldn’t deflect his shot past the Magpies goalie.
Newcastle took the lead within five minutes of the restart; Scott deflected his shot from the host’s box into Carney’s top right corner.
The hosts leveled the game just after the hour mark, Watson’s defence-splitting pass selecting Bennette, who expertly sliced inside before rolling the ball into Smith’s top left corner.
Harry Gardiner almost put his side ahead, the striker landing at the end of Ellis Taylor’s cross, but his shot was deflected just wide of Smith’s near post.
Sunderland scored the decisive goal in the dying embers of the game; Johnson rose highest in the Newcastle box to hit Kelly’s corner with a powerful header.
Newcastle kept pushing in their quest for an equaliser, but Sunderland held on to take all three points and the right to the derby.
SAFC U21: Carney, Wilson (Jessup 60′), Johnson, O’Nien ©, Taylor, Rigg (Sohna 90+5′), Ekwah (Scott 60′), Watson (Chiabi 90+5′), Kelly, Bennette, Gardiner.
Subs not used: Richardson.
Newcastle U21: Smith ©, Carlyon, Bondswell, Hackett, Barclay (Stewart 67′), J Miley, Scott, L Miley, Parkinson (Ndiweni 75′), Huntley (Vilca 81′), Diallo.
Subs not used: Thomson, Crossley.