Ryhope CW 1-3 Sunderland XI
Weirs 61 Diamond 30 Connelly 35,45
A Lee Connelly double and a Jack Diamond goal ensured a comfortable victory for Sunderland’s youngsters on Wednesday night against Northern League side Ryhope Colliery Welfare at the Recreation Ground in a friendly played just three miles south of Sunderland City Centre. Substitute Matthew Weirs did get one back for the spirited home side but it didn’t help them towards any kind of result.
Ryhope had a strong start to the game, and looked really up for it in the first half-hour.
Winger James Ellis executed Ryhope’s first chance of the game when he beat the Sunderland defence before his powerless effort did nothing to trouble visiting keeper James Talbot.
Ellis then had another chance for the hosts 12 minutes later, making a brilliant run on the left-hand side before his shot was saved by Talbot to his right and Josh Holme-Jackson, who made a similar run on the right-hand side, couldn’t quite latch on to score the rebound.
Ryhope were punished for their missed chances when Sunderland took the lead against the run of play in the 29th minute. Jack Diamond did brilliantly to get the ball onto his right-foot before burying it past keeper Jonathan Ball in the bottom-right corner roughly 25-yards out.
Diamond nearly had his second goal of the night in the 34th minute when he cut into the box from the left and his effort was pushed away and out for a corner by Ball.
Moments later Liam Connelly doubled Sunderland’s lead when he placed the ball past Ball from close-range when found in space in the box.
Ryhope came close just before half time when Ben Riding met the corner sweetly only for his diving header to be kept out brilliantly by Talbot.
On the brink of half time, Sunderland extended their lead to three goals thanks to Liam Connelly yet again. The former Queens Park man latched onto a brilliant ball and his powerful effort made it into the top corner.
Five minutes into the second half, Christopher Allan’s free kick was pushed away excellently by Ryhope keeper Ball.
Midfielder Allan continued to impress, and his next effort was blocked well by Ryhope’s Nathaniel Skidmore and went out for a corner.
Just moments later Matthew Weirs got a goal back for the hosts – putting the ball past the keeper on the end of a good ball from the left-hand side from close range.
Sunderland came close six minutes later with England U18 international Daniel Wright volleying just over the bar on the end of a great ball in from Josh Robson.
Substitute Sunny Best’s 74th minute effort went just over the bar for the visitors, and ten minutes later Robbie Dunne’s attempt at goal brought a brilliant save from Ryhope sub keeper Anthony Lowerson from close range.
The game ended 3-1 to Sunderland’s youngsters in a good run out for both teams at the Recreation Ground.
Ryhope CW: Ball, Cairns, Cox, Lay, Riding, Trewick, Wallace, Nicholson, Davies (c), Holme-Jackson, Ellis.
Subs used: Gordon, Bott, Skidmore, Melville, Weirs and Lowerson (GK).
Sunderland XI: Talbot, J Robson, Storey, Taylor (c), T Robson, Allan, Connelly, Wright, Diamond, Hackett, Kokolo.
Subs used: Patterson, Poame, Dunne, Young, Best, McAughtrie.