Goals from Callum Slattery and Marcus Barnes helped Southampton’s U23s to victory at the Hetton Centre on Sunday.

The Saints got off to a flying start with Slattery firing Southampton ahead inside the first minute and the visitors dictated what was a largely uneventful half.

Sunderland started the second half on top, but Barnes made it 2-0 to Southampton just after the hour.

The hosts did create chances, but Southampton keeper Jack Rose was in impressive form, proving equal to everything.

Elliott Dickman demanded more from his side after Tuesday night’s defeat at Sunderland RCA, but Southampton were ahead just 56 seconds.

Will Smallbone played the ball into Slattery on the edge of the box, who fired past Max Johnstone.

Southampton should have made it two moments later, Johnathan Afolabi ran through one-on-one with Johnstone, but poked his shot just wide.

Sunderland’s first real chance came 14 minutes into the game, a cross from Luke Molyneux finding Dan Neil in the box, but the strikers header went just wide.

Smallbone then came close at the other end for Southampton but saw his curling effort go just wide of the far post in the last real chance of a largely uneventful first half.

Luke Molyneux came close to equalising for Sunderland in the 55th minute, with his shot from the edge of the box destined for the top corner before Rose tipped it behind.

Molyneux was involved again moments later, shooting from a tight angle, but Rose again was equal to his shot.

Southampton doubled their lead on 62 minutes, a corner from Smallbone finding the head of Barnes, who did well to flick the ball past Johnstone from close range.

Jake Hackett came close to pulling a goal back for the hosts on 76 minutes, but his shot from 20 yards was saved unconventionally by Rose.

There was still time for Molyneux to try his luck again, The winger shot from the edge of the box but saw his effort stopped by Rose’s feet.

Sunderland XI: Johnstone; Storey, Taylor, Bainbridge ©; Molyneux, Mumba, Kokolo, Hackett, Hunter; Neil (Connolly 76’), Kimpioka (Connelly 66’)

Unused subs: Patterson; Young, Bale

Southampton XI: Rose; Valery, Klarer, O’Driscoll, Vokins; O’Connor ©, Slattery; Barnes, Smallbone, Johnson; Afolabi (Tella 88’)

Unused subs: Ramsey, Parkes, Hamblin, Jankewitz