Accy (A) Report

Sunderland returned to winning ways with a comfortable victory in Lancashire to move the lads back into the League One playoff positions.

Stanley got off to the perfect start with Jordan Clark’s goal in the first five minutes, but Lynden Gooch, Aiden McGeady and Marc McNulty all scored in the opening period give the lads a comfortable lead going into the break. Sunderland saw out the game as the points travelled back up to Wearside.

Following the international break, Sunderland were back in action to face Accrington Stanley for the second time already this season.

Jack Ross made a few changes to the side which was comfortably beaten by Peterborough - Denver Hume was back in action replacing Connor McLaughlin at left-back, George Dobson made a welcome return to the 11 as he came in for Max Power and Chris Maguire returned from injury to replace Charlie Wyke.

Stanley have struggled this season and came into the game in 19th place with only one win to their name this campaign. The two sides met in the Carabao cup earlier this season and Sunderland were 3-1 victors with goals from Wyke, Marc McNulty and Aiden McGeady.

The hosts started the better and took the lead as Joe Pritchard floated a ball over the top to Jordan Clark who rounded Jon McLaughlin to score – a big wake up call for the lads who hadn’t got going.

Two minutes later, Sunderland responded in the best way possible as Hume brilliantly crossed the ball to Lynden Gooch who from 12 yards out acrobatically volleyed home - a magnificent strike from the American.

Despite levelling the scores, Sunderland looked nervy at the back. Every time Stanley went forward, they looked promising.

20 minutes in and Sunderland should’ve taken the lead, McNulty was played in behind by Maguire and the forward couldn’t tuck his effort into the far corner.

McGeady who had barely had a touch so far in the match showed what he is capable of. Lamine Sheriff accidentally played it into the path of the Irishman who took aim from 15 yards out and placed it perfectly into the top corner.

Sunderland looked like a different team to the opening ten minutes and were playing with confidence and fluidity in their attacking play.

The hosts came so close equalising as Bishop’s shot was deflected by Jordan Willis and it looped up and hit the crossbar.

Sunderland looked lively going forward and made it 3-1 as Chris Maguire did superbly to beat his man as he chopped inside to leave him in his wake and cut it back to McNulty who finished into an open net.

It was almost 4-1 from a corner as Luke O’Nien’s header was deflected and looped up and hit the foot of the post.

Going forward Sunderland’s performance was the best Sunderland have played in a long time and looked such a threat when the likes of Maguire, Gooch and McGeady were on the ball.

A few minutes into the second half Maguire took aim from 20 yards out and tried to curl it into the corner past Dimitar Evtimov, but his effort just whistled past the post.

The hosts almost clawed one back as the ball was played in and dropped to Clark whose shot struck his own man in the head as the ball was cleared.

Stanley weren’t out of the game and were pushing for that goal to get them back into it and nearly got it as Jerome Opoku was inches away from getting on the end of a header at the near post, but couldn’t stretch enough to turn it in.

The home team were pressing for a goal but weren’t really testing McLaughlin who had little to do in the game.

In an attempt to add some fresh legs, Dylan McGeouch and Will Grigg were both introduced to make sure the points would be heading home.

Stanley came the closest in the 82nd minute from a corner as it was nodded down to Dion Charles who backheeled it from close range but was denied by McLaughlin.

With moments left in the game, McGeady broke on the left hand side and laid it off to Grigg with the goal at his mercy but couldn’t beat Evtimov in the Stanley goal.

Full Time: Accrington Stanley 1-3 Sunderland

ALS Man of the Match: Chris Maguire