Sunderland edged out AFC Wimbledon thanks to a stunning second half strike from Aiden McGeady.
The first half started with a good tempo to the game but faded as the half went on as Sunderland struggled to create any momentum. The second half was a similar story however, McGeady scored a stunner which was the only moment of true quality in the match. The victory has lifted Sunderland into fourth, three points from the promotion spots in which could be a key three points in was what was a closely fought game.
With the January transfer window over Sunderland returned to League One action to face Wimbledon who sat bottom of the table.
Jack Ross made a few changes to the side with Grant Leadbitter making his return to the Stadium of Light. Lewis Morgan was a late starter as Lynden Gooch dropped out of the starting line-up, Adam also Matthews made a start in place of Luke O'Nien
George Honeyman was back in the starting 11 following a time out with injury and captained the lads. New signing Will Grigg was out with an ankle injury but was serenaded by the home faithful prior to kick off.
Sunderland’s first chance fell to Honeyman who jinked his way past a defender but shot low and wide of Aaron Ramsdale in the Dons goal.
Wimbledon out of nothing almost scored from the halfway line as Anthony Wordsworth’s ambitious effort had Jon McLaughlin scrambling and he had to tip it wide of the post. From the corner, Adedeji Oshilaja flashed a shot over as the defender just couldn’t keep his effort down from ten yards out.
The game started at a quick pace and was end to end stuff, Morgan almost made it a debut to remember as he cut inside and fired just wide as Ramsdale looked beaten.
Sunderland looked very shaky at the back and after a scramble in the box, it fell to William Nightingale who headed just wide. The lads looked lost at sea at times as they struggled to clear the ball.
As the game went on Sunderland struggled to find any rhythm in their play and often Charlie Wyke was an isolated figure at the top of the pitch.
Sunderland had failed to have any shots of note in the first 15 of the second half as Wyke was withdrawn for Kazaiah Sterling for his debut.
The lads were dominating the ball but struggling to create and get Honeyman and Sterling in areas where they could do damage.
What Sunderland had been crying out for was one moment of quality. Aiden McGeady capitalised on a poor touch from Tenai Watson and cut inside to fire a rocket of a shot into the top right corner.
It had been an off day for the Irishman, but he’s capable of moments of genius to win matches which was desperately required in this match.
Morgan was a real bright spot for Jack Ross’ men and was always looking to attack his full back and had a great opening game on the wing.
With just under 20 minutes to play Wimbledon came back into the game and were gifted silly free kicks around the box which thankfully for Sunderland came to nothing.
Wimbledon should have scored as Scott Wagstaff went through and goal and looked to be fouled but he stayed on his feet however, he couldn’t beat McLaughlin who saved well.
Sunderland sat back and let the Dons get back into the game- which bemused the fans as they wanted the lads to get on the ball and look for a second.
McGeady almost made It two late one from a short freekick as he cut inside from the right and tried to curl it in the left corner, but it was well saved by Ramsdale.
Full Time: Sunderland 1-0 AFC Wimbledon
ALS Man of the Match: Lewis Morgan