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Pools Beaten By Black Cats

23 July 2014

The introduction of Sunderland's Under 21 players on the hour mark saw a change in pace as the visitors grabbed three quick-fire goals.

Pools had equipped themselves well against a strong Sunderland starting eleven, enjoying their share of the ball and creating openings.

But when Gus Poyet changed the entire eleven on the hour mark, the Under 21 players showed their eagerness to impress, hitting three goals in 8 minutes to take a 3-0 victory.

It was an entertaining first half in this evening’s game and, despite the strong Sunderland side edging possession, Pools held their own and could have taken the lead early on.

With the ball flashing across the face of goal, Luke James stepped up to send it goalwards only to be denied by Pantilimon at the near post.

With fifteen minutes on the clock, it was the visitors who were in the driving seat as they enjoyed a period of pressure inside Pools’ box.

Steven Fletcher broke through to shoot on goal only to be denied by Scott Flinders with a decent block, while Adam Johnson skipped past Darren Holden to send his shot from the right just wide of the far post.

Fletcher went closest to opening the scoring after good work by Johnson set him up to shoot but the Sunderland striker saw his effort crash off the post.

Pools central defensive pairing of Matthew Bates and Neil Austin were strong, with Bates blocking well from Sebastian Larsson and the impressive Austin getting a few crucial challenges in to keep the scores level.

Luke James began to see more of the ball for Pools, enjoying space on the right and opening things up at the right end for his side. Despite the pressure though, there was no real test for Sunderland’s giant stopper Costel Pantilimon.

Colin Cooper brought on Jonathan Franks at half time and the former Middlesbrough an looked bright once more, using his pace well to push the team forward.

It was a more opening to the second half with pressure at both ends and, just before Gus Poyet changed his entire eleven, they went close to opening the scoring.

A lovely curling ball in from Larsson on the left just missed the head of Fletcher who threw himself full-stretch at the arriving cross.

On 60 minutes, Sunderland replaced their full eleven with Under 21 players, providing Pools with a different challenge. 

And the fresh legs showed for the visitors as they began to press the Pools back line. There was a lovely passing move to set-up the opener and when Mikael Mandron fed it back to Carl Lawson, he sent a lovely effort past Flinders from the edge of the box.

It was 2-0 just two minutes later as Lynden Gooch played in Andrew Cartwright and he pushed through the box to finish from close range.

And, with Sunderland’s young players looking strong and full of energy, it was soon 3-0 as Cartwright grabbed his second on 78 minutes, with his shot taking a deflection off Matthew Bates on its way past Flinders.

Sunderland controlled the remainder of the game, passing the ball about neatly and leaving Pools to chase in a game that saw Cooper’s men get another tough 90 minutes under their belts as they build towards the new season.

Full Time: Pools 0 Sunderland 3

Att: 5617 (3252 Sunderland)

Pools: Flinders, Duckworth, Austin, Bates, Holden, Walker, Parnaby, Miller, Compton (Smith 73), Harewood (Franks 45), James
Subs Not Used: Rafferty, Woods, Jones, Rowbotham, Hawkins,  Nearney, Richards

Sunderland (First 60 minutes): Pantilimon, Watmore, Ferguson, Roberge, O’Shea, Cattermole, Larsson, Ba, Fletcher, Clayton, Johnson
Sunderland (Last 30 minutes): Pickford, Cartwright, Robson, Harrison, Beadling, Agnew, Honeyman, Smith, Gooch, Lawson, Mandron

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