REPORT: Huggins and Ba secure three points

Sunderland AFC claimed all three points at the Stadium of Light with a 2-0 win over Watford in the Sky Bet Championship.

Tony Mowbray’s side secured back-to-back wins with Niall Huggins’ brilliant individual goal and Abdoullah Ba’s second half header.

The deadlock was broken just before the half time break as Huggins grabbed his first of the season. A mazy run past the Watford defence and a venomous strike secured the opener. Mason Burstow and Jobe combined with just under 30 minutes to play to tee-up Ba who headed home at the back post to seal all three points.

The Black Cats started the brightest with Ba causing the biggest attacking threat down the right-side. 15 minutes in and his cut-back found Jobe on the edge of the area but the strike was well blocked and cleared.

The visitor looked for a breakthrough 30 minutes in as Tom Ince dragged the ball onside before firing straight into the arms of Patterson.

Just before the break, the Lads broke the deadlock. Huggins picked up the ball from deep before driving towards the Watford defence and firing past Bachmann, striking the ball off the crossbar and into the net.

Tony Mowbray’s side looked to double their lead at the start of the second half as Ballard came close to repeating Friday night’s header with an effort just wide of the mark.

Just moments later, the second of the evening arrived. An attacking phase of play led to Burstow finding the cross, Jobe heading the ball back across goal where Ba was able to leap above his man and head home his second of the season.

Adil Aouchiche entered the action and very nearly added to the score line within two minutes of coming on. The Frenchman went in on goal and had his effort cleared off the line after an initial save from Bachmann.

The Hornets were reduced to ten men in the final moments of the game as substitute Ryan Andrews was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on Jack Clarke.

Sunderland will return to the Stadium of Light this weekend with Middlesbrough the visitors in Saturday’s early kick-off.

Sunderland AFC: Patterson, Hume, O'Nien, Ballard, Huggins, Neil, Jobe (Rigg 94), Roberts (Aouchiche 69), Clarke (Rusyn 89), Ba, Burstow (Hemir 89)

Substitutes: Bishop, Seelt, Triantis, Taylor, Rigg, Aouchiche, Bennette, Rusyn, Hemir

Attendance: 38,120

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