York City 3 Sunderland Reserves 0

Ryan Noble
Ryan Noble

HAVING shipped three first-half goals, Kevin Ball’s youthful side were unable to recover in a game described by their coach as a good learning curve for the players.

Just as they had been last season – when Steve Bruce took the senior squad to Bootham Crescent – York provided excellent pre-season opposition for the Wearsiders.

The Minstermen fielded the first team which won promotion back into the Football League last season and included former Sunderland goalkeeper Michael Ingham in their starting line-up.

And that strength proved too much for the visitors with summer signing Michael Coulson scoring either side of an Ashley Chambers goal and all three strikes coming inside the opening half-hour.

In the second-half York – in what was by some distance their best pre-season performance – could have added more goals, but Jason Walker, Coulson and Lee Bullock all hit the woodwork.

Ball said afterwards: “If we had been playing York’s Reserves I would have been very disappointed, but it was their first team.

“It was a fantastic test for us and I wanted the players to experience a game against league opposition.

“York could have come to play us up at the Academy, no problem, but I pushed to play at their stadium.

“I wanted the players to experience that type of football against league opposition, and ultimately if they want to play in our first team then they have to understand what I call the bread and butter side of things, where people really are playing for their living.

“I think the game brought home a few home truths for some of the boys and they have a lot of work to do.

“Once the season gets under way I want to see us playing against more teams like that – teams that are going to push the players because I want to see what they’re all about.

“I want to see those who are prepared to challenge themselves and say ‘I’ll have a go’.

“They might still lose, but I want them to get that experience.”

York City: Ingham, Parslow, C Smith (sub Challinor 75), Doig (sub Blanchett 75), Fyfield, Bullock (sub Platt 82), J Smith (sub Potts 67), McLaughlin, Coulson (sub Reed 76), Walker (sub Henderson 83), Chambers (sub Johnson 82). Sub not used: Musselwhite.

Sunderland: Wilson, Laing, Egan, Ferguson, Adams, Mitchell (sub Deacon 62), Reed, Gorrin, Lynch, Noble, Knott. Subs not used: Dixon, Joyce, Oliver, Callaghan, McGrath, Robson, Pickford.

Att: 1,055 (114 from Sunderland).