UNDER-18s coach David Lee had no complaints after seeing his Wanderers side lose at home to Sunderland on Saturday.
While the 4-1 scoreline may have flattered the Black Cats, Lee felt the better team won as north east opposition got the better of the young Whites for the second time in four FA U18 Premier League matches.
Sunderland, who put seven goals past Lee and Tony Kelly’s side in November, looked in the mood to inflict more punishment against Wanderers and went ahead after just 10 minutes at Lostock.
Defender Joshua Robson pounced to score after Whites stopper Harry Campbell was unlucky to see the ball roll away after his superb outstretched save deny Martin Smith.
The Whites responded quickly, though, and Jimmy Ball equalised with a far-post header from Elliot Newby’s deep corner.
It remained level until just before half-time when the visitors regained their advantage.
Rees Greenwood turned Ball before advancing and firing home past an unsighted Campbell to make it 2-1 at the break.
The second half began with Wanderers having chances to level again but just before the hour mark, Sunderland made it 3-1 after an uncharacteristic error from Campbell.
Robson’s point-blank shot caught out the young keeper and the ball looped over him for substitute Jordan Blinco to score from virtually on the goal line.
The Whites pressed in search of a way back into the game but got caught on the counter attack and when left-back Jack Greenhaugh caught Greenwood in the box, the Sunderland man dusted himself down to score from the resulting penalty.
Coach Lee felt although the effort was there from his charges, they were just second best.
He said: “It was an even tussle in the first half, with us working hard to stop a very good team.
“At 2-1 our goalkeeper made a costly basic mistake for Sunderland to score on the goal line.
“We then chased the game, and got caught on the counter attack.
“Overall, the players had a good go but we were beaten by a better team on the day.”
The U18s will look to bounce back at Wolves on Saturday.