Report: Sunderland 3-1 Fleetwood Town

Sunderland AFC 3-1 Fleetwood Town 


Luke O’Nien returned to action with a bang on Tuesday evening, as Sunderland secured a 3-1 victory over Fleetwood Town at the Stadium of Light. 


Stephen Crainey’s side struck first on Wearside, as the Lads paid the price for a loose back pass and Ellis Harrison slammed home from 20 yards.   


The Black Cats ended the opening period on top and they reshuffled their pack ahead of the restart, as Lynden Gooch and Jermain Defoe were introduced.  


Elliot Embleton levelled with 55 minutes on the clock and after a brief flurry, the Cod Army quickly found themselves up against it heading into the final stages.  


O’Nien stole the headlines to seal a memorable return, striking in front of the Roker End with eight minutes remaining before Zak Jules was sent off.


Jack Clarke then rounded off the second-half comeback in added time, striking in a rocket from the edge of the area.


Alex Neil made three changes for the Stadium of Light match-up, as Patrick Roberts made his first start for the club and Embleton and Clarke also featured in the first XI.  


Nathan Broadhead wasn’t included in the matchday squad after making his comeback three days earlier, with Alex Pritchard missing out due to injury and Gooch dropping to the bench.  


Fleetwood were first to threaten under the Wearside lights, but Jay Matete read the danger excellently against his former club and powered back to deny Shayden Morris a clear sight at goal.  


The Cod Army did however lead soon after, with Harrison providing an emphatic finish on 28 minutes after seizing upon a loose back pass by Bailey Wright.  


Unable to continue with 41 minutes on the clock, the goalscorer was replaced before the break by Ged Garner.  


Sunderland’s best and brightest period of the first half came in five minutes of additional time, as goalkeeper Alex Cairns denied Embleton and Clarke. 


The Lads made a double change ahead of the second period, as Gooch and Defoe replaced Arbenit Xhemajli and Corry Evans. 


Both sides saw penalty appeals waved away following the restart, but Embleton scrambled the ball over the line to level with 55 minutes on the clock.  


Anthony Patterson turned a Danny Andrew free-kick to safety after the hour mark, as the Cod Army responded and applied pressure through a sequence of set pieces.  


Sunderland came through unscathed and Roberts took a seat after an eye-catching first start, with O’Nien making his comeback ahead of the final 20 minutes. 


And the returning midfielder had the final say on Wearside, slamming a finish beyond Cairns before erupting with joy in front of the Roker End after a four-month spell in the treatment room.  


Jules was dismissed for a second bookable offence late on before Clarke grabbed his first goal in red and white, as Sunderland claimed three points and extended their unbeaten run to four games.  


Sunderland AFC: Patterson, Winchester, Wright, Xhemajli (Gooch 45) Cirkin, Roberts (O'Nien 71), Matete, Evans (Defoe 45), Clarke, Embleton, Stewart.
Subs not used: Hoffmann, Neil, Doyle, Hume. 

Fleetwood Town: Cairns, Andrew, Jules, Harrison (Garner 40), Morris (Thiam 72), Johnson, Baggley (Hayes 52) Lane, Nsiala, Boyle, Johnstone.
Subs not used: O’Hara, Butterworth, Donaghy, Bird. 



Back to top