Sunderland AFC Under-23's will face a tough test in the second round of the Checkatrade Trophy, with the Black Cats facing a tough trip to the Midlands, to take on Wolverhampton Wanderers Under-23's.
Moving onto the next round
The young Black Cats have had a good run in their first inclusion in the trophy formerly known as the Johnstone Paint Trophy since the 1980's. They remained unbeaten inside 90 minutes ahead of their clash with Notts County on Wednesday night, with a penalty shootout defeat to Rochdale, and a 1-0 win over Hartlepool United.
However they looked to be heading to their second defeat, after Adam Campbell's 49th minute looked to have secured the win for the visitors. However late goals from Josh Maja and own goal from Haydn Hollis secured their passage into the next round.
Always in control
The Wearsiders were pretty dominant throughout the clash at the Stadium of Light, despite falling behind, and first-team coach Robbie Stockdale praised the side's style of play.
“We were always the team in control but we didn’t create enough chances,” Stockdale told safc.com. “We played some nice pretty football without any cutting edge."
"We spoke at half-time about the threats they pose, one of them was corners and they scored within five minutes," he assessed. “From there on we huffed and puffed and became a bit frustrated but it took two pieces of absolute quality to win the game."
Stockdale concluded: “It’s a fantastic learning curve for them and that’s why it’s such a huge benefit for us to be in the competition.”
Great to be back
The midweek clash allowed for a number of first-team players to gain some fitness during the international break. The likes of Sebastian Larsson and Jason Denayer all made their returns, along with keeper Vito Mannone, and the keeper shared his delight at returning to action.
“It feels great to complete 90 minutes and be back at the Stadium playing against a good team like Notts County,” he said. “It’s a good challenge and a good result in the end."
Mannone concluded: "I am happy, I wanted to play one full game and help the team to get the result; it is a good boost for myself really."
Sunderland U23's will take on Wolves U23's in the week comencing December 5.