Sunderland Under-23s began the Premier League 2 campaign in fantastic fashion tonight, coming from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1.
A strong Black Cats side featured four first-team squad regulars – midfielder Jack Rodwell, centre-back Papy Djilobodji, keeper Robbin Ruiter and fit-again left-back Bryan Oviedo.
Though Elliott Dickman’s lads fell behind late in the first half at Eppleton CW, they rallied strongly in the second half to secure all three points with efforts from Ethan Robson and substitute Denver Hume.
The lively Lynden Gooch was just wide for Sunderland with a curling effort in the 16th minute, and was denied by a fine save from Brandon Austin after brilliantly creating an opening five minutes later.
Spurs went ahead in the 35th minute when Kazaiah Sterling got on the end of a header from Oliver Skipp, surged into the danger area and slammed home a shot from 12 yards.
Home striker Andrew Nelson fired over the top early in the second period, with Gooch replaced by Luke Molyneux at the break.
Austin kept out a Robson free-kick before Spurs went even closer, with Japhet Tanganga rattling the bar with a header after getting on the end of a Will Miller centre.
Sunderland drew level in style with Robson driving home a fine 20-yarder in the 70th minute, after the visitors lost possession needlessly in midfield.
The Black Cats sensed blood and snatched victory with a second goal in the dying minutes as sub Hume did well to create space for a shot before hitting a low cracker beyond Austin from just outside the box.
Sunderland U23s: Ruiter, Love, Oviedo (Hume 62), Beadling, Djilobodji, Embleton, E Robson, Rodwell (Bale 62), Nelson, Gooch (Molyneux 45), Diamond