Sunderland AFC 5-0 Morecambe
Sunderland extended their unbeaten run to five games in Sky Bet League One with an emphatic win over Morecambe on Tuesday night.
Ross Stewart’s 11th goal of the season opened the scoring at the Stadium of Light, as Lynden Gooch provided his first assist of the evening.
The Lads doubled their lead with less than 20 minutes on the clock, with the American sending a pinpoint cross towards Nathan Broadhead to covert.
Morecambe had their moments, but the visitors were powerless to prevent the third following the restart, as Alex Pritchard dispatched his third goal in four games.
Broadhead bagged a fourth on 68 minutes and Leon Dajaku completed the scoring late on, as attention now turns towards Saturday’s Wearside showdown with Plymouth Argyle.
The Lads made a bright start to proceedings under the Wearside lights, with Pritchard dictating the play and forcing several aerial clearances in the opening five minutes.
Dajaku, who scored early against Oxford United last time out, also saw an effort cleared off the line, and Bailey Wright volleyed over as Lee Johnson’s side bossed the opening exchanges.
Morecambe fired a warning shot when Jonah Ayunga stole in behind the Sunderland defence, but the Shrimps found themselves 1-0 down when Stewart steered Gooch’s brilliant cross beyond Kyle Letheren.
Wave after wave of red and white attack continued to crash forward and a second arrived inside 17 minutes, as Broadhead headed home another pinpoint Gooch delivery.
Stephen Robinson’s side should have pulled one back on 23 minutes, but Aaron Wildig failed to convert with the goal at his mercy.
Cole Stockton, who travelled to Wearside as League One’s leading scorer, showed his teammate how its done two minutes later, albeit an offside flag brought an abrupt end to the visitors’ celebrations.
The Black Cats almost grabbed a third when Stewart fired wide, as the Shrimps failed to shackle Dajaku who continued to impress at right wing-back as Gooch starred on the left.
A third arrived within ten minutes of the restart, as Pritchard riffled a low finish into the net after fine build-up play from Dan Neil.
Johnson’s side refused to sit back despite a comfortable lead, and Broadhead grabbed his second following persistent play before the on-loan Everton man and Stewart were rested for the final 15.
Benji Kimpioka was one of those introduced and the academy graduate helped engineer the fifth, as Dajaku’s strike took a big deflection before bouncing into the net.
Victory saw the Lads move within two points of top spot, with Plymouth Argyle up next at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
Sunderland AFC: Hoffmann; Wright, Flanagan, Doyle; Neil, Winchester (Embleton 58), Dajaku, Gooch, Pritchard; Broadhead (Kimpioka 75), Stewart (O’Brien 75).
Subs not used: Patterson, Alves, Younger, Dunne.
Morecambe: Letheren, McLaughlin, O’Connor, Delaney, Leigh, Wildig (Phillips 64), Jones (Diagouraga 45), McCalmont, Ayunga, Stockton, Gnahoua (Duffus 45).
Subs not used: McDonald, Andresson, Cooney, Wooto