Kimpioka on target in narrow loss

Colin Rsler of Manchester City and Benji Kimpioka of Sunderland in action during the Checkatrade Trophy Quarter Final match between Sunderland and Manchester City Under 23s at the Stadium Of Light in Sunderland, UK on Tuesday, January 22, 2019. (Photo by Mark Fletcher/NurPhoto)

Sunderland U23 1-2 Aston Villa U23

Sunderland under-23s suffered a narrow defeat at the expense of Aston Villa in the Premier League 2 at the Stadium of Light this evening.  

First-half goals from Jacob Ramsay and Ben Guy put the visitors ahead before Benji Kimpioka responded on the stroke of half-time, but it was not enough for the young Black Cats. 

Elliott Dickman made two changes from the defeat at West Brom, with debutant Cieran Dunne and Kane Evans coming in for Owen Gamble and Williams Kokolo. 

Sunderland’s first chance came after just two minutes when Kimpioka dispossessed Mungo Bridge, before rounding the keeper and seeing his effort cleared off the line. 

Villa responded well when Tyreik Wright was sent through one on one, but Sunderland stopper Anthony Patterson rushed out to make the block. 

The visitors then took the lead in the 25th minute when Jacob Ramsay slotted home from six yards after good work by Dominic Revan down the right. 

It was almost an instant reply for Sunderland when Daniel Neil’s header went narrowly over the bar from Dunne’s cross. 

But Villa doubled their lead when Ben Guy found space in the Sunderland box, and slotted into the bottom right corner. 

The Lads halved the deficit on the stroke of half-time though, Kimpioka weaved past two Villa defenders and managed to squeeze the ball through Viljami Sinisalo’s legs and into the net. 

Jack Diamond looked bright throughout and came close early in the second period for the hosts, firing narrowly wide from 20 yards after making room for the shot with a neat dribble. 

Patterson prevented the visitors from restoring their two-goal cushion midway through the second half when he was once again on hand to deny Wright at his near post. 

Dickman’s side were pushing for the equaliser and thought they had levelled proceedings just ten minutes from time, when Kimpioka’s effort flicked off Bali Mumba and into the net, but Mumba was deemed to be in an offside position. 

Sunderland continued to pile forward in search of a leveller, but Jack Bainbridge saw his header saved deep into injury time. 

The result leaves the Black Cats with one point from their opening four Premier League 2 games. 

Sunderland U23: Patterson, Mumba, Evans, Sammut, Taylor, Bainbridge ©, Diamond, Neil (Gamble 72), Kimpioka, Hackett (Greenwood 59), Dunne 

Subs not used: Edmundsson, Connolly, Abdelkader 

Aston Villa U23: Sinisalo, Revan, Walker, Suliman, Bridge, Birch, Wright (Vassilev 72), Guy (Brunt 56), Archer, Ramsay, Tait

Subs not used: Searle, Rowe, Odutayo 

Attendance: 349

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