Report: Sunderland Under-23s 2-1 Blues Under-23s

Report: Sunderland Under-23s 2-1 Blues Under-23s

Blues Under-23s were beaten by Sunderland in the Premier League 2 on Monday night.

Josh Williams was on target for the visitors at the Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground but it was not enough for the points in Birmingham City's final away game of their maiden season at Category 1 level.

A brace in the opening 45 from Ellis Taylor, including a penalty, ultimately took the scoreline beyond the away side, although these counters were not in keeping with the pattern of a game that Blues dictated for large periods.

Williams' strike just seven minutes after the break, courtesy of fine George Hall build-up play, was well deserved, but could not be added to from any of the team's other ten attempts on goal.

Despite the outcome, Steve Spooner was able to identify numerous positives from the display in the North East.

He told "General performance, I was pleased with. We started slow, we didn't get up in a good rhythm to start with, but then we started progressing and creating goalscoring opportunities. We created chances from wide areas, good deliveries into the box, but we just failed to capitalise on that.

"We should have won that game by a few goals, with the opportunities that we created and the way we controlled the game.

"It was a good run from George Hall, who showed good skill and patience to square it back to Josh Williams to finish well. I then felt we would go on and win it.

"Although it was a 2-1 defeat, I was not too disheartened by the level of performance, it was just the final ball and finish."

The fixture was Blues' penultimate outing of the campaign and the Head Coach took time to reflect on events across the last nine months.

He said: "There have been some different games for us. Every game is a tough game. It didn't surprise me because of what we thought Cat 1 would look like.

"First-half of the season, we suffered from having to play a younger team and we had several injuries or players away with the First Team. Then, post-Christmas, with some players back from injury, we have been able to have a stronger more competitive side. I do not think we have always got what we deserved because we have not always put the ball in the back of the net.

"We always knew it would be a tough first season but, hopefully, we will be better for the experience when it comes to next season."

Blues round of their Division 2 term by hosting Nottingham Forest at St. Andrew's this Friday, kick-off 7pm.

Sunderland: Lee Burge; Triallist (Bainbridge 55), Triallist, Cameron Jessup, Ethan Kachosa, Harrison Sohna, Tom Scott, Triallist, Caden Kelly, Vinnie Steels (Gyimah 16), Ellis Taylor (captain).

Substitutes not used: Jacob Carney, Harrison Jones, Henry Fieldson. 

Booking: Spellman 9, Kelly 90.

Blues: Alfie Brooks, Marcel Oakley, Rico Browne, Renedi Masampu, Tate Campbell, George Hall, Jobe Bellingham, Remi Walker (captain) (Kyle Hurst 19), Alfie Chang, Josh Williams, Kieran Wakefield.

Substitutes not used: Kobi Brooks, Carsley, Soldevila.

Booking: Walker 12, Wakefield 26, Hall 82.

Referee: Steven Copeland.