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Report: Under-18s beat Category One side Sunderland in a friendly

30 July 2023

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Fleetwood Town’s Under-18s came away victorious after their clash with Category One side Sunderland, beating them 2-1 on Saturday afternoon.

In the clash that took place at the Academy of Light, it was a tough start for Mark Yeates’ side who had to fight back from a goal down early on after the hosts caused problems in the opening 15 minutes.

It wasn’t long though before the young Cods settled into the clash and started to threaten the home goal with chances of their own and, with the newfound confidence, they drew themselves level soon after.

Liam Roberts was at the heart of the equaliser as a great run down the right from Trialist B led to a cross into the box, for Roberts, at the back post, where he shifted the ball onto his right foot and powered a strike into the top corner of the goal.

Yeates’ side were unlucky not to go into the break with the lead as just before the referee blew his whistle for half-time, young forward Dom Richmond had what seemed to be a certain goal denied only by the post, meaning the score after 45 minutes was one apiece.

The confidence in the Under-18s just grew from this point on and in the second half, after creating multiple chances, the winner came late on with a trialist able to poke home the winner from close range.

A set-piece from Crispin McLean was delivered into Theo Butterworth, who rose highest in the box, to head back across goal to Trialist A, who was there to finish off the chance, rounding off a brilliant performance from the side.

The Under-18s’ final pre-season friendly is set to take place on Tuesday 8 August against sister club Waterford FC, who will be flying over from Ireland to play the fixture at the club’s training ground, Poolfoot Farm, with the kick-off time yet to be decided.

Town XI: Belizia (GK), Eccles (Doherty 75'), Trialist A, Butterworth, Hughes, McLean, Trialist B (Elmore 75'), Namputu, Richmond (Daha 45'), Lane (Currie 60'), Roberts. 

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