Rees Greenwood, Sunderland

Sunderland Under 23s moved top of Group H in the Premier League Cup with a commanding 3-0 away win against Hull City Under 23s on Thursday evening.

Andrew Nelson’s early strike put the Black Cats in the driving seat before Rees Greenwood’s second half double ensured Elliott Dickman’s side took all three points back to Wearside.

Dickman made four changes to the side that lost 2-0 Swansea City in the Premier League 2 last weekend with Michael Woud, Alex Storey, Chris Allan and Greenwood replacing Max Stryjek, Adam Bale, Josh Maja and Luke Molyneux.

Jon Beale made three changes following the Tigers’ 3-0 Professional Development League defeat at Barnsley as Keane Lewis-Potter, Will Mannion and Greg Luer made way for Dan Batty, Charlie Andrew and Tom Powell.

Hull spurned the opportunity to take an early lead as Powell fed in Tyler Hamilton before the midfielder cut inside and fired inches wide of Woud’s far post.

The Tigers were left ruing that miss 10 minutes in as Elliot Embleton’s corner was headed past goalkeeper Andrew and in by Nelson to put the visitors ahead.

Hull remained undeterred despite the setback and pushed forward in search of an equaliser, with Hamilton ending a mazy run by firing straight at Woud as he looked to galvanise his side.

Embleton tried his luck at doubling the Black Cats’ lead in the first 45 but saw his 20-yard effort saved by Andrew.

It was Sunderland who struck again two minutes into the second half to extend their advantage as Denver Hume raced down the left-wing before pulling back to Greenwood, who smashed the ball into the roof of Andrew’s net.

Going two goals down so quickly after the break was a blow to a hard-working Hull side, and they found themselves three goals behind midway through the second half thanks to Greenwood once again.

Nelson latched on to a long ball before finding the Sunderland winger on the edge of the area and he duly obliged in beating Andrew to net his second of the game and put the result beyond all doubt.

Sunderland continued to dominate for the remaining 24 minutes of the game with Greenwood denied a hat-trick by a combination of Andrew and the post late on.

The Tigers failed to create any substantial chances on goal with Woud keeping a relatively comfortable clean sheet, saving easily from Brandon Fleming in the game’s latter stages.

Hull City U23: Andrew; Yates, Fleming, Batty, McKenzie, Ritson, Hamilton, Chadwick, Powell, Olley, Hinchliffe (Luer, 67′).

Sunderland U23: Woud; Beadling, Storey, Taylor (Gamble, 56′); J Robson, Hume, Allan, E Robson (Bale, 54′), Embleton (Wright, 72′); Greenwood, Nelson.

Goals: Nelson (10′), Greenwood (47′, 66′)