Stewart hits treble at Priestfield.
11th September 2004
Sunderland claimed their first away win of the season in emphatic style as a Marcus Stewart hat-trick downed Gillingham 4-0 at the Priestfield Stadium.
Stewart’s treble, along with Stephen Elliott’s strike, earned Mick McCarthy’s side only their second win of the season, though they would go on to win the Championship by seven points come the end of the campaign.
The visitors were ahead after just four minutes as Stewart reacted first to Elliott’s saved effort, and was left the simple task of sliding the ball home from close range for his fourth goal of the season.
Sunderland’s lead was doubled on the quarter-hour as Julio Arca fed McCartney whose classy cross was met by a spectacular Ellliott diving header, which gave Steve Banks no chance.
McCartney was again the provider for the Black Cats’ third on 19 minutes; the Northern Ireland international whipped a fierce low cross which looked to be handled by a Gills defender, but dropped for Stewart who gleefully walloped the ball past Banks to make it 3-0.
Stewart grabbed his third after the hour mark as Leon Johnson’s back-pass fell short of Banks and Stewart raced clear before sliding the ball past the advancing Gillingham keeper right in front of an ecstatic travelling support.
Sunderland: Poom, Wright, Breen, Stephen Caldwell, McCartney, Whitehead, Robinson (Oster, 72), Whitley, Arca, Elliott (Lynch, 87), Stewart (Johnson, 75).
Subs not used: Collins, Myhre.