Fulham’s under 18s eased past Sunderland to seal a spot in the FA Youth Cup fifth round this evening.

Ali Melloul’s young Whites made the perfect start when winger Terrell Works fired them ahead in the very first minute. Callum Osmand seized possession from the home side, who were roared on by a boisterous home crowd at Eppleton Colliery, turned away from a defender and sent Works away down the right flank with a wonderfully weighted through ball. The winger raced into the area and coolly slotted a low finish past the advancing Daniel Cameron.

Sunderland were indebted to two goal-line clearances from Oliver Bainbridge for keeping them in the game on ten minutes before Works clattered the post after being teed up by the impressive Josh King. Osmand went close to adding to Fulham’s advantage in a strong start by the visitors but the Welshman’s shot was bravely blocked by a defender. Cameron then made a sharp double save, firstly keeping out a strike from Osmand before flying out of his goal to repel Aaron Loupalo-Bi’s effort from the rebound.

The hosts’ first real opportunity was a glorious one as Mason Catcher raced clear of the retreating Fulham back line only to be denied by a good save from Michael Allen. The Fulham keeper then got his angles right to save Cotcher’s free-kick with Henry Fieldson heading over from the ensuing corner. The visitors went in a goal to the good at the break but could have good reason to feel their dominance merited a far more substantial advantage.

In an end to end start to the second period, skipper Delano McCoy-Splatt sent a low free kick wide of goal before Cotcher tested Allen again from distance. But Fulham scored the vital second goal midway through the second half. McCoy-Splatt’s free-kick took a hefty deflection and fell kindly for Osmand, who finished clinically from seven yards. Sunderland sought an immediate riposte with Ben Williams heading narrowly over from a corner.

Fulham were always a threat on the break as the hosts pushed men forward in search of a way back into the tie. Works almost set up a third for Osmand, whose shot rolled agonisingly wide with Lemar Gordon screaming for a lay-off. Fulham’s two-goal cushion meant that miss was merely academic as the young Whites set up an intriguing fifth round tie at Southampton.

SUNDERLAND UNDER 18s: Cameron; Williams, Johnson, Fieldson, Bainbridge, Burke, Rigg, Moore, Middlemas (Waters 67), Watson, Cotcher. Subs (not used): Young, Bell, Cain, Dowling, Robertson, Ogusuyi.

FULHAM UNDER 18s: Allen; De Fougerolles, Slade, C. Robinson, Araujo; McCoy-Splatt, King, Works, Gordon; Loupalo-Bi, Osmand. Subs (not used): Conway, Amissah, Park, Gofford, De Jesus, Parker, Olyott.

GOALS: Works (1), Osmand (67).