Rochdale 1-2 Sunderland
Sunderland’s unbeaten start to the campaign continued on Tuesday night, as Jack Ross’ Lads defeated Rochdale at the Crown Oil Arena.
Aiden McGeady’s second goal of the season edged the Black Cats in front, however, the home side quickly struck back to ensure it was honours even at the break.
The Dale picked up where they left off following the restart, but despite building up a head of steam, they were caught cold on 56 minutes.
Will Grigg’s introduction turned the tide and the striker’s header engineered the attack, with Charlie Wyke delivering the knockout blow to ensure a third successive win.
The Lads made one change from the side that defeated Portsmouth, as Wyke led the line in Marc McNulty’s absence.
Clear-cut chances were limited in the opening 15 minutes, but Rochdale edged the play as Luke O’Nien received an early yellow card before Ian Henderson fired into the side-netting.
The Dale continued to enjoy more time on the ball, but they drifted off just before the half-hour mark and paid a heavy price.
A towering header from Wyke found O’Nien and the full-back supplied an unmarked McGeady, who duly punished the home side.
The lead lasted just five minutes, though, as a calm finish from Camps found the corner.
Rochdale picked up where they left off following the restart, with Rathbone forcing Jon McLaughlin into a smart save at his near post.
On 50 minutes, the Scotland international was called upon again to deny Camps, and as the Lads struggled to find their rhythm at the other end, Ross switched things up and Grigg replaced Lynden Gooch.
Within seconds of his introduction, the Lads led.
After Grigg’s knockdown, O’Nien shifted to the byline and sent a looping ball towards the back post, which was headed down by McGeady and slotted home by Wyke.
The Black Cats were denied a third soon after, with Robert Sanchez producing a cracking double save to thwart Grigg before stopping Wyke from doubling his tally.
Ross’ men remained a threat on the counter, and relatively untroubled at the back, as three points returned to Wearside.
Rochdale: Sanchez, Norrington-Davies, McNulty, O’Connell, Dooley, Williams (Done 82), Camps, Rathbone (Andrew 69), Morley (Ryan 64), Henderson, Matheson.
Subs not used: Delaney, Keohane, Magloire, Wade.
Sunderland: McLaughlin, Willis, Ozturk, O’Nien, C McLaughlin, Leadbitter, Power (McGeouch 65), Gooch (Grigg 55), Maguire (Embleton 88), McGeady, Wyke.
Subs not used: Burge, Flanagan, Dobson, Hume.