Match report: Lads clinch late win at the SoL

Sunderland AFC 3-2 Shrewsbury Town

Nathan Broadhead scored a dramatic last-minute winner against Shrewsbury Town on Saturday to extend Sunderland’s unbeaten run to nine.

The Lads roared into a two-goal lead at the Stadium of Light, with Elliot Embleton and Broadhead scoring inside the opening 15 minutes.

Alex Neil’s side dominated the opening period and claimed 71% of the possession, but Shrewsbury started to creep forward as the half wore on and Ryan Bowman had a strike ruled out for offside.

The visitors pulled one back within five minutes of the restart and former Black Cat Tom Flanagan, who joined the Shrews in January, blasted home to complete the turnaround on 58 minutes.

Ross Stewart clattered the crossbar 14 minutes later and forced a fine save, as the Lads rallied and went in search of a winner.

And their persistence was rewarded in added time through Broadhead, who connected with Jack Clarke’s cross to score his 11th goal of the campaign and seal a vital three points.

After making a late impact in each of the Black Cats’ previous two games, Embleton was handed a start at the Stadium of Light and he didn’t disappoint.

Broadhead thundered a free kick against the wall, but the danger wasn’t averted for the visitors and the midfielder arrowed a stunning half-volley into the top corner from 25 yards.

The Lads continued to fly forward and they doubled their lead with just 12 minutes on the clock, as Broadhead slammed a low finish beyond Marko Marosi.

Operating at wing back, Lynden Gooch curled a strike just wide with 27 minutes played, with Shrewsbury unable to retain possession during the opening half-hour.

Neil’s men dominated throughout the first 45, but the visitors fired a warning shot moments before the break when Bowman converted from an offside position and the linesman raised his flag.

The Shrews pulled one back following the restart, as Vela sent a cushioned finish into the bottom corner after being picked out by George Nurse.

Flanagan equalised before the hour mark, slamming a finish beyond Anthony Patterson after Pennington’s initial header dropped to the former Black Cat inside the area.

The Lads responded and went in search of a third, with Flanagan bravely blocking Carl Winchester’s effort before Stewart volleyed against the crossbar with 72 minutes on the clock.

Recently called up by Scotland for the first time, the Lads’ top scorer forced Marosi into a stunning save six minutes from time, as the stopper clawed a low finish off the line.

Neil’s side continued to surge forward and they were once again rewarded right at the death, with Broadhead bagging in the 92nd minute to send the Stadium of Light into raptures.

Sunderland AFC: Patterson, Winchester, Wright, Cirkin, Gooch (Roberts 79), Matete (Neil 86), O'Nien, Embleton (Evans 62), Clarke, Broadhead, Stewart.
Subs not used: Burge, Batth, Xhemajli, Hume.

Shrewsbury Town: Marosi, Bennett (Daniels 37), Pennington, Flanagan, Nurse, Leahy, Vela, Fornah, Whalley, Udoh (Pierre 79), Bowman.
Subs not used: 
Burgoyne, Bloxham, Caton, Craig, Janneh.

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