Accrington Stanley 1-3 Sunderland
Sunderland resumed their League One campaign with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Accrington Stanley on Saturday afternoon.
The Lads fell behind early on at the Wham Stadium, but Jordan Clark’s well-taken finish was emphatically cancelled out 90 seconds later, as Lynden Gooch volleyed home.
Aiden McGeady continued his scoring streak against Accrington shortly after, and the points were effectively sealed before the break thanks to Marc McNulty.
Victory lifted Sunderland up to fifth in the table, and two points off top spot with a game in hand over the early pace-setters.
Jack Ross made three changes from the side defeated at Peterborough United, as Denver Hume, George Dobson and Chris Maguire came into the starting XI, with Conor McLaughlin and Max Power dropping to the bench and Charlie Wyke missing out through suspension.
Accrington needed little introduction, with the Lads turning out at the Wham Stadium for the fourth time in 11 months – but they fell behind with five minutes played.
The Black Cats failed to intercept a through ball and Clark made them pay, latching onto it before rounding Jon McLaughlin and providing a cool finish.
However, home cheers were soon drowned out by a jubilant away end, as Sunderland struck back inside 90 seconds.
Denver Hume provided the assist, driving to the byline and picking out Gooch, who did well to adjust his body and lash a first-time volley into the corner.
The end-to-end action continued in the stages that followed, but Sunderland showed their class to edge in front and seal a commanding advantage before the break.
A typically sublime finish from McGeady followed, as the winger picked out the top corner, and with 35 minutes on the clock, McNulty added a third.
Just moments after Colby Bishop’s deflected effort struck the underside of the crossbar, Dobson broke up the play and fed Maguire, who showed real class to open the space and pick out McNulty for a tap-in.
And it could have been four before the break, with Luke O’Nien’s header deflecting against the post.
Sunderland quietened things on and off the pitch following the restart, frustrating Stanley by keeping the ball and remaining calm at the back.
The home side’s quest for a route back into the game led to half-hearted penalty appeals that were promptly ignored, before McLaughlin stood tall after Ross Sykes headed a dangerous ball back across goal.
Sunderland returned to Wearside with three points in tow.
Accrington Stanley: Evtimov, Johnson, Hughes (Alese 62), Sykes, Sherif (Diallo 62), Clark, Finley, Pritchard (Carvalho 88), Bishop, Charles, Opoku.
Subs not used: Bursik, Edwards, Barclay, Simpson.
Sunderland: McLaughlin, Willis, Ozturk, O’Nien, Hume, Leadbitter, Dobson, McGeady, Gooch, Maguire, McNulty.
Subs not used: Burge, C McLaughlin, Power, McGeoch, Flanagan, Embleton, Grigg.