Tuesday 04 February 2014
Sunderland followed in the footsteps of the first team by completing a derby victory over Newcastle United in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League on Monday night, winning 2-0 against their local rivals at the Stadium of Light.
Jordan Laidler and Martin Smith produced second-half goals as Kevin Ball's side moved to within four points of leaders Fulham, whose away trip to Southampton was postponed.
Sunderland battled hard in the first half and, despite seeing more of the ball, struggled to break down an experienced Magpies' backline that featured Paul Dummett, Remie Streete and Massadio Haidara.
Early in the second period, however, Laidler twice sent shots narrowly wide but made amends from the penalty spot after Connor Oliver was brought to ground by Streete. Smith was then introduced as a 70th-minute substitute and the Redby-born youngster, who captains the Black Cats' under-18 side, marked his Stadium of Light debut with a goal when he raced on to Lynden Gooch's through ball and fired past Jak Alnwick.
Davide Petrucci's first-half free-kick earned Manchester United a narrow victory over Leicester City at the Ricoh Arena.
In Warren Joyce's 100th domestic match in charge, the Reds played well from the outset, with experienced figures such as Petrucci, Michael Keane and Jesse Lingard combining well with younger additions to the team.
James Wilson was inches away from a Reece James centre before Conrad Logan made his first real saves to keep out a Lingard snap-shot and a raking drive by Petrucci. The adventurous Saidy Janko carved out the opening for Lingard and another of the Swiss defender's runs led to Wilson being crowded out at the near post, but Petrucci broke the deadlock with a ferocious free-kick that dipped under the bar.
The Foxes improved after the break with Jeffrey Schlupp firing over and Ben Amos making a fine save from Joe Dodoo effort, but the champions held on for the three points that lifts them to seventh place in the standings.
First-half strikes from Craig Tanner and Jack Stacey sealed a comfortable victory for Reading over Aston Villa at their Bodymoor Heath training ground.
Tanner's spot-kick, his eighth goal five matches, and Stacey's superb individual effort were enough to hand the Royals three Barclays U21 Premier League points on a windy Monday afternoon against a Villa side featuring Gary Gardner and Joe Bennett.
The Royals were awarded the spot-kick after Gozie Ugwu was felled in the area and Tanner made no mistake from 12 yards, and after Villa had passed up a presentable chance to level the score when Calum Robinson curled an effort around the post, Stacey secured the points in style when he beat his marker, cut inside and curled a shot into the top right-hand corner from an acute angle.
James Alabi's late winner earned Stoke City's Under-21s all three points in against Middlesbrough on Monday afternoon.
Alabi prodded home an 85th minute winner at Boro's Rockliffe Park training ground to earn the win, after Stoke goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann had also saved a second half penalty.
The Potters had taken the lead in the third minute through Alex Grant before Bachmann thwarted Bradley Fewster's strike from 12 yards on the hour mark following a handball in the penalty area.
Middlesbrough, who welcomed back Stuart Parnaby and Seb Hines from injury, did go on to equalise through Wilson Kneeshaw but Alabi capitalised on a goal-line scramble to score the decisive goal that lifted the Potters up to 10th place in the table.
Tottenham Hotspur and Everton shared a goalless at Bishop's Stortford FC on Monday night.
Spurs were frustrated by an obdurate Everton defence and the woodwork, which was struck by both Souleymane Coulibaly and Laste Dombaxe, while goalkeeper Mason Springthorpe sprang to his side’s rescue to turn Harry Kane's piledriver around the post.
Jordan Archer was also in good form in goal for Spurs, and helped preserve a clean sheet by making saves in each half from Luke Garbutt and Joe Williams.
The result keeps both sides level on 15 points with the Blues one place better off in 14th with a game in hand over the north Londoners.
The match between Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers, which was scheduled to take place at Anfield, was postponed.
Monday 4 February
Aston Villa 0-2 Reading (Tanner and Stacey)
Leicester City 0-1 Manchester United (Petrucci)
Middlesbrough (Kneeshaw) 1-2 Stoke City (Grant, Alabi)
Sunderland (Laidler, Smith) 2-0 Newcastle United
Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Everton
Liverpool P-P Wolverhampton Wanderers
Southampton P-P Fulham
Barclays Under-21 Premier League fixtures
Wednesday 5 February
Manchester City v Bolton Wanderers, 7pm, Ewen Fields
Find out the full Barclays Under-21 fixture list here and view the table here.