Darlington 1 Sunderland 0
An early goal gave Quakers victory over League One Sunderland at Blackwell Meadows.
Considering that Sunderland used their full first team squad and all their summer signings, Quakers will be very pleased with their all round performance.
Quakers took the lead after 8 minutes when Jordan Nicholson picked up a poor ball out of the Sunderland defence, ran into the area, and beat keeper Robbin Ruiter with a low left shot into the bottom right hand corner.
Quakers didn’t allow Sunderland any real chances until the 17th minute, when Alim Ozturk turned on a right wing corner and hooked a shot towards goal, but Luke Trotman cleared off the line.
But Quakers then had a good fifteen minutes in which they caused Sunderland problems, particularly when Luke Trotman dinked a great ball down the right for Harvey Saunders to run on to, and his low cross was well held by Ruiter low down.
Sunderland nearly levelled on 40 minutes with a header by Donald Love from a right wing corner that hit the post and was cleared.
Overall, Quakers played very well in the first half, asked plenty of questions of the Sunderland defence. Manager Tommy Wright would have been very encouraged.
Darlington 1 Sunderland 0
Quakers had some defending to do at the start of the second half as Sunderland looked more determined, and Ben O’Hanlon did well to block a Mumba effort.
But Quakers broke up the other end and Styche got through, and even though he managed to beat the keeper with his right foot shot, the ball came back off the post.
At that point, both sides made subs, with Sunderland replacing eight players, and Tommy Wright changing three.
Chances came at both ends. Josh Maja hit the bar from close range, then Harvey Saunders broke clear at the other end, but Ruiter saved well.
Stephen Thompson then had a looping header from a deep free kick well tipped over the bar by Ruiter.
Maddison then made two good stops, from a Maja header, and from an attempted chip by Callum McManaman, but Quakers held on for a very good win that puts them in the right frame of mind for the trip to Eindhoven on Saturday
Full time Darlington 1 Sunderland 0
Maddison, Trotman, O’Hanlon, Hughes, Burn (sub Collins), Galbraith, Nicholson (sub Thompson), Wheatley, Styche (sub Henshall), Ainge (sub Morrison), Saunders (sub Parnaby)
Subs: Glover, Bancroft, Thompson, Collins, Henshall, Vaulks, Parnaby, Morrison, Dunn, Abrol, Banks
Sunderland include several of their new signings:
Ruiter, Matthews, James, Flanagan, Ozturk, Cattermole, Robson, Mumba, Molyneux, Maguire, Forrester
Subs: Taylor, Stryjek, Love, Honeyman, Gooch, McGeouch, Maja, Asoro, McManaman, Hume, Nelson