Report: Accrington Stanley 2-1 Sunderland AFC

Accrington Stanley 2-1 Sunderland AFC


Sunderland contested their penultimate pre-season friendly on Saturday afternoon, as they were edged out 2-1 by Accrington Stanley at the Wham Stadium.


Ross Stewart’s penalty on the stroke of half-time capped a dominant half for the Lads in Lancashire, before Sean McConville responded with another penalty after the break. Korede Adedoyin hit the winner for the hosts as they raised their performance in the second half.


In the opening minutes the first chance fell Sunderland’s way, as Stewart beat the offside line to reach a sparkling ball over the top from Patrick Roberts, but dragging his shot wide of the post.


Stewart was to be denied by Lukas Jensen a quarter of the way through the game, after cutting inside his marker and firing a low drive which the goalkeeper stopped down low to his right, also remarkably thwarting Jack Clarke from the rebound. As Clarke recovered possession, his cross to Roberts saw his fellow winger fire over the top from 10 yards.


Shortly before the Lads’ triple golden chance, Accrington themselves worked their best opportunity of the first half when Joe Pritchard arrowed a strike inches wide of Anthony Patterson’s top corner.


As Alex Neil’s men continued on the front foot, a free-flowing spell of possession on the half-hour mark resulted in Roberts’ dipping strike being tipped away for a corner, from which Jensen denied Stewart’s header from Alex Pritchard’s delivery.


And a deserved opener waited until first-half stoppage time to arrive, but did in the form of a penalty kick, as Clarke was scythed down by Harvey Rodgers. Stewart stepped up, and side-footed low into the bottom-right corner to give the Lads the lead at the break.


The second half began at a steady pace and was absent of too many chances, but Clarke and Roberts both went close along with Jensen doing well to palm away Pritchard’s free-kick 30 yards from goal.


Accrington’s forays forward became slightly more frequent as the hour mark came and went, and their tenacity in the press saw them win a penalty of their own, two front men dispossessing Bailey Wright and drawing a foul from the centre-half. Sean McConville duly dispatched the kick to equalise.


And with 16 minutes left, Stanley made the most of their upturn in performance as they edged in front, substitute Korede Adedoyin finishing from close range after the Lads failed to clear their lines.


Adedoyin almost had a second minutes later, but was denied by an excellent low reaction from Anthony Patterson as the home side grew in confidence.


The closest the Black Cats could muster in the closing stages was a low shot from Elliot Embleton, on from the bench, which was taken in by Jensen with two minutes remaining.


Defeat it was in Lancashire, but another beneficial 90 minutes for many of the side before the final pre-season contest on Monday with Hartlepool.


Accrington Stanley: Jensen, Clark (Longelo 49’), Sangare (Perritt 27’), Rodgers (O’Brien 83’), Procter, Coyle (Conneely 74’), Whalley (Leigh 57’), Hamilton (Pell 67’), Lowe (Trialist A 57’), Pritchard (Martin 67’), McConville © (Adedoyin 67’).


Subs not used: Savin, Nolan.


SUNDERLAND AFC: Patterson; Gooch (O’Nien 67’), Wright, Ballard, Cirkin; Evans ©, Neil; Roberts, Pritchard, Clarke (Embleton 75’); Stewart.


Subs not used: Richardson, Batth, Alese, Matete, Hume, Diamond, Taylor.


Attendance: 1,782 (1,050 SAFC fans)

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