Premier Reserve League North
Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground

(Meyler 36, Gardner 44, Noble 48 54 65 88)

(Vermijl  14, M.Keane 58, W.Keane 64)
08/12/2011 20:40, Report by Adam Marshall
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Res: Sunderland 6 Utd 3

Warren Joyce's Reserves produced an entertaining tussle with Sunderland in testing conditions but the Black Cats emerged victorious 6-3 in front of new first-team boss Martin O'Neill to maintain a 100 percent record at home.

Ryan Noble scored four times for a side containing several first-teamers but the Reds took the lead and threatened to make a remarkable comeback at one stage, only for the North-East side to come out well on top in gale-force wind up on Wearside.

United edged in front when Michele Fornasier's sweeping pass allowed Marnick Vermijl to control beautifully and cut inside onto his left foot before burying a finish past Trevor Carson and in off a post. Will Keane nearly doubled the lead when lashing a left-footed shot against Carson after a deft touch took him past Matt Kilgallon and Sean McGinty's header also worked the home keeper.

But the Black Cats felt they should have had a penalty when Jordan Cook tumbled under Scott Wootton's challenge and their pressure paid off when David Meyler bundled the ball home at the second attempt. Just before half-time, a generous free-kick, awarded when Vermijl was harshly penalised, saw Craig Gardner's wind-assisted set-piece fly past a wrong-footed Tomasz Kuszczak.

The game went goal crazy in the second period with prolific marksman Noble turning sharply to fire home after a mistake by Wootton and then supplying a sharp finish to a Gardner through ball to make it 4-1. However, John Cofie made a swift impact after coming off the bench, displaying great skill on the right to prod through to Michael Keane and the defender drilled a precise shot past Carson.

Showing real spirit, the Reds pulled another goal back when Cofie released Will Keane and the young striker, impressive all night in attack, dinked a delicate finish over the advancing Carson for 4-3. But the Wearsiders took the wind out of the visitors' sails seconds later by making it 5-3 as Noble glanced in an expert header to register his third treble at this level in the past couple of weeks.

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Premier League