U18 coach Craig Liddle was delighted with the impact made by winger Nathan Thomas as the Ingleby Barwick-born youth scored twice to continue his return to action.
Thomas netted both of the young Black Cats' goals in a 2-2 draw with Stoke City at the Academy of Light last weekend.
The youngster has missed a large part of the season due to a broken ankle and Liddle feels he has given the side 'something extra'.
"He's had a long time out and we've nursed him back in," he said.
"It was good to see him get two goals, he gives us something extra, he's quick, direct and he's a threat so it's great to have him back in the fold."
Liddle admitted a couple of individual mistakes cost his side the win but was pleased with the performance overall.
"Overall we're very positive; we dominated the game for the majority and played some real good football," he added.
"The two individual errors we can't do much about but they probably cost us.
"The only thing we can do is take the experience on board and learn from it."