Sunderland moved into the quarter finals of the Checkatrade Trophy after a second half demolition of Newcastle U-21s
The first half was incredibly poor period of football where Sunderland couldn’t get anything going. The second half was a much different story, a Kelland Watts own goal got the ball rolling and Charlie Wyke scored to make it 2-0. Chris Maguire and Benji Kimpioka added the second and third respectively as Sunderland comfortably sealed out the game.
Sunderland met Newcastle u-21s in a mini Wear-Tyne derby at the Stadium of Light looking to progress into the Checkatrade quarterfinals.
Jack Ross made several changes with Robbin Ruiter, Alim Ozturk, Bali Mumba, Jerome Sinclair and Duncan Watmore all started.
In a big game, it was a lose-lose situation for Jack Ross’ men who were expected to beat Newcastle comfortably. However, the competition represents a great chance for Sunderland to get to Wembley and it would be great to say the team beat Newcastle on the way- even if it is only the under 21s.
Newcastle’s star man is Elias Sorensen who is one of their young prospects and the Danish striker has scored 11 in 12 Premier league 2 appearances.
The opening five minutes was a real scrappy affair with Sunderland just feeling out their opponents. The noise, however, was incredible, it may only be a Checkatrade game, but you could tell this game meant that little bit more.
The first chance of the game fell to Charlie Wyke who got on the end of a Dylan McGeouch cross to head towards goal, however the contact wasn’t powerful enough and was stopped by Nathan Harker in the Newcastle goal.
Newcastle had their first slighter after a mix up in the defence as McGeouch lost possession and the ball was played straight across the box by Callum Roberts, to the Scot’s relief the ball evaded everyone in the box.
Sunderland were really struggling to find a rhythm and create many chances, the team looked out of sync and it developed into a poor opening 30 minutes for the lads.
Mumba had the ball in the back of the net as he finished well from 18 yards, but the cross was adjudged to have gone out from the linesman. It was one a few times when Sunderland had moved the ball with pace and precision.
After a positive start, Sunderland faded and were clearly playing the occasion more than the game. Ross needed to get them in at half time and remind the team to knock it about and try to play our game.
Moments into the second period Sinclair almost made the breakthrough as he got through on goal, on the angle his shot crashed off the post as he was inches away from giving Sunderland the lead.
The Black Cats had come out the second in a much more positive manner, from a Chris Maguire corner Sunderland took the lead. The ball hit Kelland Watts and trickled into the back of the net as the lads finally got the breakthrough, as the goal draught from a corner finally came to an end.
Minutes after the goal Robbin Ruiter made a pivotal save from Watts who was looking to make amends. It was a great save as it was deflected by a red and white shirt.
The lads were looking to kill the game off and some great play between Wyke and Benji Kimpioka saw the former lay it off to Maguire whose shot was blocked six yards out.
From the resulting corner the unthinkable happened, Sunderland scored from another corner! Charlie Wyke who has been in desperate need of a goal headed it down and it bounced up and beyond Harker to double the lead.
Sunderland were playing with pace and looked finally like a team with confidence. It was the polar opposite to the first half. Clearly, Jack Ross’ team talk had worked.
The introduction of Kimpioka had worked wonders for the lads, his pace and unpredictability caused the Newcastle defence chaos in the second half.
Kimpioka had a great chance to extend the lead to three, he just couldn’t get any contact on a brilliant Sinclair cross who whipped it into the far post and found a free Kimpioka.
Sunderland put the icing on top of the cake with a brilliant finish from Maguire, the Scot rifled it in from the edge of the area to make it 3-0, a familiar score line in a certain fixture.
Jack Ross will no doubt have been incredibly pleased with the professionalism of his side, who had managed the second half brilliantly and were in complete control.
Benji Kimpioka had been brilliant since coming on and the teenager added a fourth late on, as he beat Harker to the ball to head home. He thoroughly deserved that goal and has surely stepped into the first team reckoning.
Final Score: 4-0
ALS Man of the Match: Benji Kimpioka