Sunderland U21s maintained their 100 per cent record as they beat Blackburn Rovers at Eppleton CW.
Second-half goals from Mikael Mandron, Adam Mitchell and a penalty from Alex Gorrin gave Kevin Ball’s side their third Barclays U21 Premier League win of the season.
The Black Cats were on top in the first half but could not translate their dominance into goals, with Adam Mitchell, Duncan Watmore and Liam Marrs all missing opportunities.
But Mandron made the breakthrough in the 51st minute, receiving the ball just inside the penalty area in a central position before turning and sweeping the ball beyond the keeper into the bottom left-hand corner.
Mandron could have doubled Sunderland’s lead two minutes later after working a shooting position inside the box, but his powerful drive went straight into goalkeeper Simon Eastwood’s midriff.
Sunderland did make it 2-0 in the 65th minute when Gorrin converted from the penalty spot after Anthony O’Connor had handled the ball.
Devarn Green pulled a goal back for Rovers three minutes later when he got in behind the defence and slotted low past Joel Dixon.
But Sunderland restored their two-goal advantage 15 minutes from time.
Carl Lawson’s shot from inside the area was stopped by Eastwood diving low to his left, but the rebound came out to Mitchell and he applied the finish.
SUNDERLAND: Dixon, Marrs, McNamee, Harrison, Ferguson, Watmore (Holland 82), Agnew (Cartwright 85), Gorrin, Mitchell, Lawson (Honeyman 80), Mandron. Subs not used: Burke, Robson
Booked: McNamee, Ferguson
BLACKBURN ROVERS: Eastwood, Henley (Jorge 32), O’Connor, Tumwa, Doyle (Preston 80), Payne, Daly, Hanley, Bauress, Wassi (Pero 63), Green. Subs not used: Raya, Vicars
Referee: N Sharp