match report: Sunderland 1-0 Harrogate Town

Sunderland rounded off their pre-season campaign with a 1-0 win over Harrogate Town on Saturday.

After a quiet first half, Will Grigg’s 84th minute strike was enough to see off the League Two side and make it three wins out of three in pre-season.  

Phil Parkinson included Lee Burge between the posts after missing out against Carlisle United last week, while Charlie Wyke led the line after his second-half brace.

As for the opposition, Jon Stead returned to Wearside and started up front for the EFL newcomers.

There was little in the way of clear-cut chances in the opening stages, with both sides looking to get the ball down and play at a blustery Stadium of Light.

It took until the 20th minute for either ‘keeper to be called into action, when Burge denied Jack Muldoon from distance.

On the stroke of half time, Lynden Gooch spurned the best opportunity when his goal-bound effort was somehow blocked by Ryan Fallowfield.

Luke O’Nien tested Harrogate’s stopper on the hour mark after a free-flowing move.

And shortly after, Gooch once again went close when he rounded the ‘keeper one on one, but saw his effort cleared off the line.

Sunderland continued their pursuit of an opener in the closing stages and 15 minutes from time, substitute Aiden O’Brien went inches away when his fist-time strike hit the woodwork.  

And with less than 10 minutes remaining, second-half substitutes Dan Neil and Grigg combined and the latter slotted home to claim the victory.

Next up for Sunderland is Hull City in the Carabao Cup on Saturday in their first competitive game for over five months.

Sunderland AFC: Burge, Willis (McLaughlin 45), Wright, Flanagan, O’Nien, Hume, Scowen (Dobson 74), Power, Maguire (O’Brien 67), Gooch (Neil 78), Wyke (Grigg 67).

Substitutes: Matthews, Feeney, Leadbitter, Diamond, Taylor

Harrogate Town: Cracknell, Fallowfield, Burrell, Smith, Hall, Thomson, Falkingham, Kerry, Walker, Stead, Muldoon

Substitutes: Trialist, Trialist, Kiernan, Emmett, Beck, Kirby, Lokko

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