Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Sunderland Reserves 1, Aston Villa Reserves 1

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Sunderland Reserves 1, Aston Villa Reserves 1

Article excerpt

Only a last-gasp injury-time equaliser prevented an inspired young Sunderland side from beating league Premiership Reserve League (North) leaders Aston Villa at Durham last night.

Seven of the Sunderland team were current members of the Under-19 side but they nearly claimed a notable scalp.

The first half was largely nondescript but sometimes burst into life.

Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor was through and slipped the ball past Sunderland keeper Ben Alnwick only for Pat Collins to race back and stop the ball crossing the line to enable a grateful Alnwick to collect.

But Sunderland's Grant Leadbitter, who showed some masterly touches throughout replied with a 30-yard piledriver which was finger-tipped around the post to safety by Villa keeper Wayne Henderson.

It was almost constant Sunderland pressure in the second half.

On 51 minutes, John Toft cut in from the left and hit the bar with a right-footed drive and on the hour, a Pat Collins header was saved on the line with Chris Kingsberry just unable to force the ball home. …

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