Football returned for Sunderland, after a weekend off with the international break. Jack Ross will definitely have identified it away as a much-needed opportunity to rest following our 3-0 defeat to Peterborough in our last league game.
It was a display that everyone will want to forget but also a display that will definitely have helped the players realise that this division isn’t a walk in the park by any means. Sunderland travelled to the Wham Stadium for the second time this campaign, having already been victorious 3-1 against Accrington in the League Cup last month. As a result, most Sunderland supporters were feeling confident heading into the game and anything but a win would be considered a failure by most.
Jack Ross opted for three changes in the starting line up from the side that disappointed against Peterborough with Denver Hume, Chris Maguire and George Dobson all returning.
The return of Chris Maguire would be vital for Sunderland, having already shown his quality this season to maintain royalty status in red and white. This meant that Max Power and Conor McLaughlin were both dropped to the bench, with Charlie Wyke missing out due to a suspension.
In terms of attacking threat, Accrington were already aware of how important it would be to keep a close eye on Aiden McGeady having experienced his quality first-hand in our recent meetings. Unfortunately for them, Aiden McGeady would cause them a few problems once again!
Sunderland fell behind with the home side taking an early lead as Jordan Clark latched onto a through ball and calmly took the ball around Jon McLaughlin to make it 1-0 to Accrington. Although it was a perfectly executed pass, it was so easy for Accy to get from one side of the pitch to the other and take the lead; there’s definitely still work to do defensively!
However, Sunderland didn’t dwell on it and the travelling supporters soon had something to cheer as Denver Hume delivered a brilliant cross which Lynden Gooch met with a flying volley. This equaliser came inside ninety seconds of us falling behind. Sunderland wouldn’t stop there though, with Aiden McGeady continuing his brilliant form against Accrington by placing his shot precisely in the top corner after just under half an hour played. It was a typical Aiden McGeady finish, and it wasn’t long before Marc McNulty was able to add a third for the visitors.
George Dobson fed the ball through brilliantly to Chris Maguire, who was able to square it to Marc McNulty for a gift of a goal, on his birthday. Luke O’Nien almost added another before the break as his header struck the post, meaning that the score remained 3-1 to Sunderland at half time. As long as there were no serious slip-ups in the second forty-five, it was almost definitely going to be another three points for Jack Ross’ men.
The game restarted and the travelling supporters were hoping to see Sunderland add more goals, but that wasn’t to be the case. It seemed to be a calm and collective approach of just keeping the ball moving so that Accrington couldn’t spark a comeback. Although it may not have been the most entertaining of displays in the second half, it was definitely effective and guaranteed that all three points would be returning to Wearside. Other than a couple of half chances, it seemed to be relatively comfortable, with the game ending in a convincing 3-1 victory for the lads; another successful trip to the Wham Stadium.
Overall, it wasn’t the most impressive performances by any means, but it was good enough to seal the win and give us a confidence boost for a very tricky fixture on Tuesday night. Sunderland host promotion rivals Rotherham. We now sit in a healthy fifth position in the league table after playing our first seven league fixtures.
More importantly, with takeover talks almost finalised it is a very exciting time to follow Sunderland Football Club.