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Abbott double inspires victory at Sunderland as Under-21s record perfect 10

Sunderland 2-4 Spurs (Premier League 2)

Fri 27 October 2023, 21:00|Tottenham Hotspur

George Abbott hit a brace as our Under-21s ran out 4-2 winners at Sunderland in the Premier League 2 on Friday night to make it 10 wins from 10 so far this season.

Abbott grabbed his first of the evening on the stroke of half-time, striking through a crowd a defenders to restore our lead minutes after Jude Soonsup-Bell's seventh-minute opener had been cancelled out by Michael Spellman. Despite battling it out in torrential conditions in the north east, the midfielder then enhanced our advantage on 69 minutes as he poked home from close range before Will Lankshear made sure of the victory seven minutes later, converting Jamie Donley's cross.

A late resurgence from the hosts saw Nectar Triantis reduce the Black Cats' arrears with four minutes to go but, by that point, the victory was already in the bag for Wayne Burnett's side.

Despite us ultimately prevailing, it had been a slow start from us at the Eppelton Colliery Welfare Ground as the hosts enjoyed a number of forays forward, but they were unable to show any potency in front of goal.

That, however, is exactly what Soonsup-Bell showed on seven minutes as, with our first attack of the game, he opened the scoring. Through slick, fluid play we moved the ball up the right channel - Jamie Donley to Lankshear, into Abbott who released Santiago before he cut the ball back to Soonsup-Bell who dinked home from close range despite the efforts of Triantis to clear.

Sunderland grew back into the game and, bar a curling Donley effort that was claimed by Matthew Young, had the best of the chances in the first period as we found difficulties with the conditions and the physical nature of the game. Spellman, Burke, Middlemiss and Gardiner all had good opportunities but all either failed to hit the target or beat Gunter. That was until the 42nd minute as Spellman cut inside and whipped the ball back across the goal and in off the post.

Despite that setback though, we still managed to go in ahead at the break as Abbott managed to find the back of the net. After a bit of pinball in the box, the ball eventually fell to the midfielder 14 yards out who drilled in through a crowd of players and into the bottom corner.

It was an important goal in the game as it changed the momentum of the play. After the break, we took charge of proceedings, dominating the ball and creating a number of chances, usually falling to Lankshear. The striker curled an effort onto the roof of the net, saw a header saved and then was twice denied by two superb last-ditch blocks. We also had an effort ruled out for offside.

It wasn't until the 69th minute that we finally made clear breathing space between ourselves and our north east opponents, and it was Abbott who delivered. In the right place at the right time, the midfielder pounced on a loose ball after Young had parried Santiago's drilled effort to prod home from six yards out. Then, just seven minutes later, we made sure of the win as Lankshear finally got the goal that his efforts deserved as he converted Donley's cross after he had been released by Charlie Sayers. It could have been even more on 83 minutes as Santiago rattled the post.

Yet it was the hosts who finished strongest as they searched for consolation. Having seen Jewison Bennette denied by Luca Gunter on 85 minutes with the goalkeeper producing an incredible stop, the Black Cats struck from the resultant corner. The Australian Triantis heading home. Bennette then had another effort two minutes later but, once again, it was well saved by Gunter as we claimed another three points to extend our lead at the top of the Premier League 2 table.

Sunderland 2-4 Spurs (Premier League 2)

Sunderland: Young, Taylor (c), Pye, Burke (Watson 66), Triantis, Fieldson, Spellman (Tuterov 78), Middlemas (Chiabi 78), Gardiner, Jones (Bell 78), Bennette. Substitutes (not used):, Richardson.

Spurs: Gunter, Lyons-Foster, Sayers (Ashcroft 78), Dorrington, Phillips, Craig (c) (John 78), Soonsup-Bell, Abbott, Lankshear (Cassanova 90+3), Donley (Kyerematen 78), Santiago. Substitutes (not used), Keeley.

Match data

Goals: Sunderland - Spellman 42, Triantis 86; Spurs - Soonsup-Bell 7, Abbott 45+3, 69, Lankshear 76

Yellow cards: Sunderland - Spellman 57, Burke 63; Spurs - Donley 26, Abbott 87.

Referee: John Mulligan

Venue - Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground

Weather: Heavy rain, 10 degrees