Sunderland AFC 3-0 Millwall
Sunderland picked up where they left off in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday afternoon, claiming three points with a 3-0 win over Millwall.
Second-half goals from Amad, Alex Pritchard and Ellis Simms sealed the victory at the Stadium of Light, which elevates Tony Mowbray’s side from 15th to 10th in the league table.
Aji Alese and Lynden Gooch returned from their respective injuries for the Black Cats on Wearside, both given a starting berth.
Former Sunderland Academy graduate George Honeyman returned to the Stadium of Light and had the first half-chance of the game after 15 minutes, seeing a shot from 10 yards blocked by Corry Evans.
From the resulting corner, Anthony Patterson was called into his first action to claim and hold Jake Cooper’s acrobatic volley.
Millwall would carve another chance out when Tom Bradshaw looked to send a looping header over Patterson, but for Danny Batth’s crucial intervention.
Sunderland’s first attempt came just before the half-hour, when Pritchard drew a foul just outside the area. He took the free-kick himself, but saw a low shot blocked by Bradshaw.
Amad was next to go close, opting to take a touch rather than hit Jack Clarke’s deflected cross first time, enabling the Lions’ defence to recover and clear.
Simms then saw an effort taken in by George Long, following a well-played Pritchard pass.
The final chance of the first half came in four allotted added minutes, as Zian Flemming picked up Patterson’s stray pass and fired just wide.
In the second half, Pritchard tested Long before the deadlock was broken, Amad yet again proving crucial.
Pritchard got clear down the left before picking out Ellis Simms, his flick edging towards goal. Amad made sure by finishing from close range, sending the Lads into the lead.
Millwall sought an immediate response and twice came close, Batth crucially cutting out Danny McNamara’s excellent curled ball in, before Dan Neil headed Flemming’s nod towards goal off the line.
But it was to be Sunderland’s day, emphasised but some great play from Pritchard who turned scorer for the second. Taking his time and creating space just inside the area, his driven shot found its way in as Long was unable to get enough behind it.
The Lads looked much improved in the second half and managed the remainder of the match excellently, Elliot Embleton, Patrick Roberts and Dennis Cirkin all introduced to tide the game over.
Chances dried up thanks to the discipline of Mowbray’s men to stand firm against Gary Rowett’s Play-Off hopefuls, and there was still time for a third in the dying seconds, Simms taking it on well to round Long and roll it over the line.
The Lads now return to the top half ahead of the next contest in nine days’ time at home to West Bromwich Albion.
SUNDERLAND AFC: Patterson; Gooch, O’Nien, Batth, Alese; Evans ©, Neil; Amad (Roberts 74’), Pritchard (Embleton 63’), Clarke (Cirkin 80’); Simms.
Subs not used: Bass, Dajaku, Ba, Hume.
Millwall: Long; McNamara (Evans 83’), Cresswell, Cooper, Wallace (Malone 83’); Mitchell, Saville (Shackleton 67’); Voglsammer (Bennett 67’), Flemming, Honeyman (Styles 67’); Bradshaw.
Subs not used: Bialkowski, Hutchinson.