The first of which fell to Lacey on the edge of the area, but his half-volley was met by the hosts’ goalkeeper Matthew Young. The Black Cats’ shot-stopper was on hand to keep us at bay once again, saving Ethan Williams’s low volley from range soon after.
Despite our dominance, it was Sunderland who struck first on the half-hour mark. Mitchell picked up the ball on the edge of the area and drove into the box, holding off the defenders, before firing low and hard beyond Elyh Harrison from close range.
Our young Reds went in search of an immediate equaliser, but had to wait 10 minutes before getting back on level terms. Fitzgerald’s bulldozing run into the box was met by a bit of luck, as the ball fell to him one-on-one with Young, with our no.7 showing great composure to finish.
Just before the break, Habeeb Ogunneye made a vital intervention to prevent Sunderland from restoring their lead by preventing the ball from reaching Jake Walters at the back post for a tap-in.
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