Louis Laing blow takes shine off Sunderland reserves win

INJURY BLOW ... Sunderland's Louis Laing.
INJURY BLOW ... Sunderland's Louis Laing.

A NASTY-looking injury picked up by Louis Laing in the closing stages of Sunderland’s Under 21 victory at Stoke City last night put a dampener on the 1-0 win – defender John Egan netting the winner for the visitors.

The extent of the knock on the 19-year-old who had to be replaced by Billy Knott in the 88th minute of the game will be assessed today, but it is hoped it is not too serious.

A posse of lower league clubs have inquired about the availability of the ball-playing centre-half for a loan spell, but Laing has been an integral part of the club’s new Under 21 development squad so far this season.

Laing’s injury took some of the shine off an excellent display and a first victory of the season for the Under 21 squad.

Coach Kevin Ball was pleased with what he saw, but felt his side could have won by more as they extended their unbeaten run to four games.

“We played very well and created chances, but we didn’t put them away,” he observed.

“At 1-0 it’s always tough but the goal itself was a great piece of play.

“We played some lovely football and created some good chances, while Stoke had their opportunities as well, and Jordan Pickford made one or two good saves.

“We’ve been teetering on the edge of getting that win.”

“It’s nice to have done that.

“We deserved it because of the work rate and the effort the players put in.”