Match report: Lads run riot at St Mirren


Sunderland produced six of the best on Saturday, as the Lads riot on Jack Ross’ return to St Mirren.

Josh Maja opened the scoring and Lynden Gooch notched from the penalty spot before the break, with the duo netting again during a dominant second-half.  

George Honeyman got in on the act before time was up, but it was Luke Molyneux who completed the scoring as Ross’ men marched towards their final pre-season fixture.

The Sunderland boss made a host of changes ahead of the game, as Jon McLaughlin, Alim Ozturk and Lee Cattermole returned to the starting XI.

Ethan Robson missed out after picking up a knock at Grimsby Town, as Maja led the line flanked by Gooch and Chris Maguire.

Glenn Loovens didn’t feature after signing late on Friday evening.

After a gritty opening 10 minutes, Gooch fired the first warning shot at St Mirren’s backline.

The USA international picked up a cracking position on the edge of the box, but he was unable to get hold of the shot and it bobbled just wide of the post.

McLaughlin, who played in Scotland for Hearts last season, was called into action soon after, but he stood up to the test and produced an impressive one-handed save to deny Danny Mullen.

The opener arrived on 22 minutes as Maguire repeated his midweek feat and supplied the assist.

Latching onto a long ball forward, the summer signing took the ball down with aplomb and teed up Maja who made no mistake, lasering a low strike into the bottom corner.

Ross’ men doubled their lead ten minutes later, as Gooch dusted himself down after being fouled in the box and slotted the resulting penalty beyond Craig Samson.

Sunderland picked up where they left off following the restart and they grabbed a third before the hour mark, as Gooch bagged his second of the day.

Maja and Maguire combined for the initial opening, with the latter denied before the relentless Gooch drove at his man and rifled the ball into the net.

St Mirren offered very little in the final third with McLaughlin confidently dealing with everything thrown at him, and the Lads added a fourth on 72 minutes.

A classy first touch from Maja saw the striker take down a long ball with ease, and he provided the finish to match as a 22-yard finish left Samson rooted to the spot.

Five minutes later the frontman turned provider, holding up the ball before picking out Honeyman who scrambled the ball into the corner.  

Molyneux grabbed a sixth late on after coming off the bench, as the Lads strolled to victory.

Sunderland: McLaughlin, Love (Hume 80), Matthews, Ozturk (Taylor 84), Flanagan, Cattermole (Mumba 74), Honeyman (Kimpioka 84), McGeouch (Hackett 84), Gooch (Molyneux 78), Maguire, Maja.
Subs not used: Stryjek.

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