Fletcher doubles up

by Stuart Vose

Striker beaming after netting brace at Wigan.

Deadly frontman Steven Fletcher was buzzing after taking his season's goal tally to 10 with a double at Wigan.

Fletcher plundered a pair of first-half goals to add to Craig Gardner's penalty as Sunderland turned a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 half-time lead.

Wigan will be glad to see the back of Fletcher, who also scored the winning goal against the Latics on Wearside earlier in the season.

Roberto Martinez's outfit pulled a goal back late on but Sunderland held out to seal their fourth win in six league games.

“It was good to get the victory,” Fletcher said afterwards. “I was glad to get the goals and the win has lifted us up the table, so we're happy.”

The game was locked at 1-1 when Fletcher popped up to fire his side ahead on the 20-minute mark, blasting in from close range after seeing a header saved by Ali Al Habsi.

And Fletcher beat the Wigan keeper again soon afterwards, launching an unstoppable shot into the top corner following a clever one-two with Adam Johnson.

“It was a good save by the keeper on my header [for the first goal], but fortunately the second ball came back to me and I managed to get it in,” he explained.

“For the second goal Johnno laid the ball back to me and I tried to aim for the corner.

“Luckily for me it went in the top corner so it looked better than what it was!

“The hat-trick would have been nice but I'm happy with two goals and the three points.”

Fletcher defended from the front in the second half as Sunderland soaked up the pressure to sneak home in front of almost 5,000 travelling fans as they went into a mini league break on a high.

“[Wigan] had a lot of the ball in the second half and kept it well,” the striker added.

“We had a few chances, though, but we're just pleased to win.

“We'll have a few days off to get our legs back now and then get back into training.”