Burton Albion 2-1 Sunderland
Sunderland suffered their first defeat of the Sky Bet League One season on Saturday, as Burton Albion claimed three points at the Pirelli Stadium.
The Brewers started on the front foot and Jamie Allen struck the opening blow, with a simple finish handing the home side the lead with 20 minutes played.
Things didn’t get much better for the Lads, as Kyle McFadzean’s header added a second and Charlie Wyke was stretchered before the interval.
Aiden McGeady and Chris Maguire injected fresh energy into the Lads’ attacking play following the break, with the latter dispatching an unstoppable strike to reduce the deficit, but Burton held out to secure victory.
After back-to-back draws in Sky Bet League One, Jack Ross went all-out-attack as Lynden Gooch, Jerome Sinclair, Josh Maja and Charlie Wyke started against the Brewers.
Bryan Oviedo returned to the starting XI after representing Costa Rica on international duty, and there was further firepower on the bench, as McGeady was named in the squad for the first time this season.
But despite being in the midst of an injury crisis, it was the Brewers who started on the front foot.
The home side piled on the pressure early on, forcing Wyke into a couple of critical clearances before Gooch eventually thumped the ball to safety.
Sunderland’s first chance arrived on 15 minutes as Oviedo drove down the wing and fizzed the ball into the box, but Maja was unable to keep his effort on target after the ball dropped kindly.
Five minutes later, Ross’ side were made to pay.
Marvin Sordell was the creator, crossing the ball towards the near post where it deflected into the path of Allen for a simple finish, as the Lads fell behind for a fifth consecutive game.
Jon McLaughlin was forced to deny Stephen Quinn soon after, and the Brewers remained a threat as Jack Baldwin’s midriff felt the full force of a venomous strike from McFadzean.
But there was no stopping McFadzean’s second attempt of the game, as a careless foul led to the defender sending a pinpoint header into the top corner.
Sunderland were dealt another blow ahead of the interval, as Wyke was stretchered off following a heavy collision with Burton goalkeeper Dimitar Evtimov.
The Lads needed a response following half-time, but it was the Brewers who burst out of the blocks and cranked up the heat.
And after Clough’s side missed multiple chances to add to their lead and kill the game off, Aiden McGeady’s introduction breathed fresh life into the Black Cats’ play.
Maguire dispatched a stunning 25-yard strike to pull one back after coming off the bench, with McGeady sending an effort whistling wide as Burton were pegged back.
Evtimov was then forced to deny Oviedo before the rebound was scrambled clear as George Honeyman looked to bounce, but it was a day to forget for the Red ‘n’ Whites as Burton claimed three points.
Burton Albion: Evtimov, Allen, McFadzean, Turner, Fraser, Akins, Templeton (Sbarra 87), McCrory, Sordell (Fox 80), Quinn, Boyce.
Subs not used: Campbell, Hesketh, Harness, Hutchinson, Cole.
Sunderland: McLaughlin, Baldwin, Loovens (O’Nien 85), Matthews, Oviedo, Cattermole, Honeyman, Gooch, Sinclair (McGeady 51), Maja, Wyke (Maguire 43).
Substitutes: Ruiter, Ozturk, Flanagan, Hume.