Sunderland 3-1 AFC Wimbledon
Chris Maguire scored a hat-trick as Sunderland defeated AFC Wimbledon to pick up their fourth straight win.
The Scot broke the deadlock inside the opening 10 minutes after a route one ball found it’s all the way through to Maguire who confidently finished.
Kwesi Appiah then stunned the Stadium of Light to level after a barge of pressure from the Black Cats had come to nothing.
The Lads restored control of the fixture in the second 45, with Maguire slamming home a deflected second to chalk up his third goal in as many games.
But the 30-year-old wasn’t done there as he headed home a third to seal his hat-trick and all three points for the Lads.
From there Sunderland could so easily have added to their advantage, but most importantly it’s another three points on the board.
Momentum was bubbling away nicely ahead of kick-off as Sunderland prepared themselves to go in search of their fourth straight win in all competitions. Victories over Accrington Stanley, Portsmouth and Rochdale had changed the complexion going into this one, and Jack Ross made just one change as he brought in Denver Hume for Conor McLaughlin at left back.
Slow starts have often been talked about this season, with Sunderland falling behind in three of their first four league games.
However, the Black Cats flew out of the traps and into the lead after just eight minutes when Jon McLaughlin’s route one ball was enough to unlock the Wombles’ backline.
Maguire was alert to the lofted ball down the middle, he slipped in between Wimbledon’s backline and cleverly clipped the ball over the on-rushing Nathan Trott.
It was the start Sunderland craved and from there every player stood tall as they went in search of getting a second and really seizing full control.
Charlie Wyke and Max Power were wasteful with cross from the right before Maguire snapped at a shot from distance as Wimbledon only half cleared Grant Leadbitter’s corner from the right.
And the visitors made the hosts pay just after the half-hour mark when Appiah stooped low to head home a leveller from six yards out.
It took Sunderland ‘til the second 45 to compose themselves, but when they did there was only ever going to be one outcome.
Initially, Aiden McGeady teased the Wombles’ backline as he fed Lynden Gooch who saw his effort blocked behind for a corner.
Grant Leadbitter then saw his set-piece headed away to Maguire on the edge of the box. The Scot, like he did with his first, composed himself well before firing the ball into a crowd of bodies.
The ball deflected home and Sunderland had their lead back with little over 10 minutes of the second 45 played.
From there, it was a barge of pressure from Jack Ross’ side. Wyke saw his effort blocked from the edge of the box before Will Grigg did so well to beat two before putting his effort just the wrong side of the post.
But Sunderland stuck with it and eventually a third came through Maguire who headed home for his hat-trick to secure the points.
Sunderland: J. McLaughlin, O’Nien, Willis, Ozturk, Hume, Leadbitter, Power (McGeouch, 67), Maguire (Dobson, 81), Gooch (Grigg 58), McGeady, Wyke
Subs: Burge, Flanagan, C. McLaughlin, Embleton
AFC Wimbledon: Trott, O’Neill, McDonald, Thomas, Wagstaff, Harigan, Appiah, Folivi (Connolly, 63), Guinness-Walker, Kalambayi (Nightingale, 61), Reilly (Pinnock, 78)
Subs: Tzanev, Roscrow, McLoughlin, Pigott.