A brace from Lynden Gooch helped Sunderland to a pleasing 3-1 win over Lincoln City at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
Three goals in 10 minutes in the first-half put the Lads firmly in the driving seat as they made an electric start to the game.
Tom Flanagan opened the scoring in the 20th minute with a towering header, and it was quickly followed up by Lynden Gooch’s well taken double that gave the Lads a commanding advantage at the break.
The Imps did regroup though, and pulled one back midway into the second-half through Tyler Walker, but it proved to no avail for the visitors as Sunderland claimed all three points in Sky Bet League One.
Boss Phil Parkinson made one change from the draw at Fleetwood Town on New Year’s Day, with Flanagan replacing Joel Lynch in the heart of defence.
The Lads made a lightening start on Wearside and created two good opportunities with just three minutes on the clock to get the crowd rocking.
First, Chris Maguire weaved his way into the area and unleashed a left-footed drive that flew inches wide of the post.
Before Denver Hume whipped in a cross that could only be turned behind for a corner, with Charlie Wyke waiting to tap the ball home.
And it was a corner that paved the way for Sunderland’s opening goal in the 20th minute as they were rewarded for their bright start.
Maguire floated a corner into the six-yard box towards Flanagan and the Northern Ireland international did the rest, rising highest to power his header into the ground, and into the roof of the net.
The Black Cats doubled their lead just three minutes later when Gooch took advantage of an error by Lincoln ‘keeper Josh Vickers.
Maguire grabbed his second assist of the game as his intercepted Vickers’ clearance and headed across to Gooch, who nodded the ball into an empty net.
And the Lads didn’t stop there as Gooch grabbed his brace and seventh league goal of the season, after taking advantage of another defensive mishap.
Jon McLaughlin’s long punt forward cleared the Imps’ defence and found its way to Gooch, who raced onto the loose ball and calmly slotted home from inside the area to send the Roker End into raptures.
Lincoln regrouped at the break and came out for the second-half all guns blazing.
In the 46th minute half-time substitute John Akinde squandered a golden opportunity, when he failed to make contact with a dangerous cross from the right with the goal at his mercy.
The visitors did pull one back in the 66th minute though, when Hume was dispossessed by Harry Anderson; the referee deemed there to be no foul, and Anderson’s shot found its way to Walker who tapped in from close range.
Sunderland then began to assert their dominance on the game again, with skipper for the day Max Power rattling the crossbar with a trademark long-distance strike.
Luke O’Nein then saw a looping header drop just inches past the post, as the Lads comfortably saw the game out to seal all three points on Wearside.
Next up for the Black Cats is table topping Wycombe Wanderers at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
Sunderland: McLaughlin, Willis, Ozturk, Power (C), Maguire (Watmore 63), Wyke, Gooch (Leadbitter 90), Flanagan, O’Nien, Dobson, Hume.
Subs: Burge, C McLaughlin, McNulty, Watmore, Grigg, Leadbitter, Taylor.
Lincoln City: Vickers, Toffolo, Shackell (C), Payne (Akinde 45), Bostwick (Bolger 38), Walker, Grant, Morrell, Eardley, Anderson, Hesketh (Elbouzedi 78).
Subs: Smith, Bolger, O’Connor, Melbourne, Elbouzedi, Akinde, Chapman.