Tonight, Scotswood played host to the first Tyne-Wear derbyin seven years, as the newly promoted Newcastle Blue Star faced off against Sunderland’s under-21s side, with the Black Cats coming away with a 7-2 victory.
‘The Star’ kicked off their pre-season campaign last Saturday, coming out on top against Percy Main in a 4-1 win. Meanwhile, Sunderland defeated local rivals Gateshead and South Shields on Saturday, with several of their youngsters featuring for the first team.
With hundreds of fans descending on Scotswood it was the away side who started the brighter of the two, controllingmost of the ball.
This early pressure soon resulted in a goal when some smart link-up play outside the box led to Sunderland’s number seven firing home from close range, in the 7th minute.
Blue Star however soon responded with a goal of their own when Michael Richardson’s looping cross found Ryan Carr in the box, who chested the ball home, in the ninth minute.
The home side’s joy was short-lived however as Sunderland soon regained the lead only two minutes later, after the Sunderland number 11 fired into the bottom corner.
Sunderland continued to dominate possession throughout the half, with Blue Star aiming to catch the Wearsiders on the break, nearly doing so in the 33rd minute when Dan Lanning’s long-range effort nestled off the crossbar.
Both sides had more chances before the break, but the score remained 2-1.
Making several changes at the interval, the youthful Sunderland side were straight out of the blocks and grabbed a third at the start of the second half, when Sunderland’s number 10 was slotted in behind the Blue Star backline and fired past Oliver Walker, in the 49th minute.
The visitors soon added a fourth just four minutes later, as a scramble on the edge of the box eventually resulted in the Sunderland number nine slotting home into an empty net.
The home side made several changes following the fourth goal and got themselves back into the game, grabbing a goal from a corner in the 58th minute.
With the game becoming more stretched as the minutes wore on, Sunderland’s fitness levels started to show as they bagged themselves a fifth goal in the 84th minute - with number 16 bundling his effort into the back of the net from close range.
The Black Cats did not stop there however, grabbing a sixth and seventh goal before the full-time whistle, with number 17 arrowing a beautiful volley into the top corner, in the 88thminute - followed by number 10 scoring from a rebound in the 90th minute.
It was a valiant display from ‘The Star’ but Sunderland’s quality shone through, with Graeme Murty’s men coming out on top as 7-2 victors at Scotswood.