Stoke City: Sunderland big guns shoot down Stoke kids
STOKE City's development side remain bottom of their group in the Barclays Under-21s Premier League after suffering a 4-1 defeat to Sunderland on a wintry Wearside yesterday afternoon.
Their only consolation was a late Karim Rossi goal to deny Sunderland a clean sheet.
The home side held the upper hand for long spells after naming a far more experienced line-up than their young visitors.
While Stoke resisted the temptation to send the likes of Michael Owen north, Sunderland fielded Titus Bramble in defence and strike duo James McFadden and Fraizer Campbell in attack.
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And it was Bramble opening the scoring with the first-half's only goal when his shot was deflected past City keeper Daniel Bachmann.
Both sides upped the sedate tempo after the break, and it was Sunderland reaping the benefits when skipper Adam Reed buried a penalty following a trip on Campbell.
A close-range effort from Korean striker Ji Dong-won made it 3-0 before Campbell's efforts were rewarded with a sweet strike to complete the home side's scoring.
To their credit, and with the game long gone, Stoke's youngsters battled away for some late consolation, and Rossi popped up with the goods for his third goal of the season for the under-21s.
Sunderland: Wilson, Marrs, Ferguson, Reed, Bramble, Oliver, Mitchell, Gorrin, Dong-won, Campbell, McFadden. Subs: Laidler, Pickford, Harrison, Joyce, Deacon.
Stoke City: Bachmann, Keane, Clarkson, Dawson, Heneghan, Parry, Williams, Richardson, Alabi, Rossi, Musungu. Subs: Nardiello, Eve, Thomas, Glasgow, Campbell.