Two second half goals were enough to secure victory for Sunderland against Barnsley at the Academy of Light on Tuesday afternoon.
Jack Diamond struck on 70 minutes for the hosts, before Benjamin Mbunga-Kimpioka lashed home for Elliott Dickman’s side eight minutes later.
Despite the defeat, the Reds can take plenty of positives from their performance with sustained periods of possession, intricate passing and movement, and a well-organised defensive display.
In an even first half, the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock was when Dylan Mottley-Henry raced clear down the right flank and crossed brilliantly for Trialist, who was just unable to get enough purchase on the ball to divert his header towards goal.
Sunderland rarely threatened, but Will Smith had to be at his best to thwart Luke Molyneux with a perfectly timed tackle inside his own area after the winger had cut in from the right wing.
Ten minutes after the interval, the Reds had a strong penalty appeal for handball turned down by the referee and, from that decision, the Black Cats broke and almost opened the scoring as Molyneux burst into the box but was denied by a fine save from Trialist.
But, 20 minutes from time, Sunderland capitalised on a loose ball in midfield and Jack Diamond drove clear of the Barnsley backline before calmly converting into the bottom corner.
It was almost 2-0 moments later as Lee Connelly latched onto a neat through ball and rounded the on-rushing Trialist, but saw his effort thunder off the post.
The hosts continued to create chances and were rewarded with a second goal when Mbunga-Kimpioka crashed home from close range to all-but seal victory.
Barnsley pressed forward for a way back into the game and had an excellent opportunity to halve the deficit, but Trialist was denied by a flying save from Max Stryjek six minutes from time.
From the resulting corner, Smith rose highest but his header was straight into the arms of the Black Cats goalkeeper.
Louis Wardle then burst forward from left-back and his long-range effort deflected narrowly over, with Stryjek backpedalling nervously.
But the young Reds could not find a way through, and the hosts held on to claim their fourth victory in five pre-season games.
SUNDERLAND XI: Stryjek, Hunter, Kokolo, Taylor, Bainbridge, Mumba, Connolly, Hackett, Molyneux, Shields, Mbunga-Kimpioka
Subs: Young, Patterson, Diamond, Bale, Gamble, Connelly, Storey
REDS XI: Trialist, Trialist, Wardle, Smith, Fielding (Trialist, 46), Otim (Greenfield, 79), Barnett (Rangel, 79), Mottley-Henry, Berkovits (Chisholm, 52), Walsh, Trialist (Trialist, 71)
Not used: Kendrick