Sunderland’s impressive form continued on Tuesday evening as they comfortably beat Fleetwood Town 2 – 0 with an unspectacular but professional performance at the SOL. Goals from Aiden O’Brien and captain Max Power sealed a third league win in a row for Lee Johnson’s side who move up to fifth in the league table.
Lee Johnson made one change to the side that won emphatically at Burton Albion on Saturday with Callum McFadzean replacing Jake Vokins. Former Sunderland manager Simon Grayson was in the dugout for the visitors having taken over the Fleetwood hotseat last month.
The visitors got the game underway kicking towards the North Stand and won a couple of throw ins on the right-hand side one which was launched into the box, but Sunderland cleared. A couple of minutes later the visitors attacked down the left flank with Danny Andrews but his cross was put behind for a corner by Dion Sanderson. The corner was swung into the box towards the back post but Luke O’Nien was able to head it clear.
However, Fleetwood kept the pressure on Sunderland’s defence with the ball worked back down the right flank before being crossed to the back post. Kyle Vassell had been left unmarked in the box and he volleyed the ball back across goal on the stretch, but Harvey Saunders was unable to get a touch on it.
Sunderland had their first effort on goal after 17 minutes when Aiden O’Brien latched onto a loose ball before finding Aiden McGeady. The Irishman shifted the ball onto his left foot and unleashed a goal bound strike from 20 yards, but it was deflected wide for a corner which was cleared. The lads started to grow into the game and fashioned another chance with Aiden McGeady again instrumental but Wyke couldn’t get onto his cross from the left. A minute later McGeady found Max Power in a good shooting position but his low effort was just off target.
Fleetwood were defending deep and in numbers and Sunderland were having to be patient to try and breach their stubborn defence. Five minutes before the break McGeady forced the keeper into a decent stop at his near post before Dion Sanderson picked up a yellow card for a foul on Vassell. There was one-minute added time and Sunderland needed a good tackle from Dion Sanderson at the end of the first half to stop a run down the left from Vassell.
Neither manager made a change at half time and Sunderland restarted the game kicking towards the North Stand. We won a free kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the box after Charlie Wyke was upended controlling a pass from Max Power. Aiden McGeady took the free kick but blazed a powerful shot high over the bar and into the stand.
Five minutes later Sunderland went close to opening the scoring from an unlikely source when Connor McLaughlin combined with Charlie Wyke on the angle of the box. The ball sat up nicely for the defender who stung the palms of the keeper with a left footed volley. Sunderland were turning up the heat on the Fleetwood defence and should have opened the scoring when McGeady played Lynden Gooch into the area but the American was denied by the keeper.
The pressure from the lads eventually paid off and they took the lead with half an hour remaining through Aiden O’Brien. Aiden McGeady was again the architect as he clipped in great cross from the left corner of the box for O’Brien to thump a header into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
Lee Johnson made his first change of the game with 20 minutes remaining with Jordan Jones replacing Aiden McGeady. Jones was immediately in the thick of the action finding space in the box but unable to generate enough power with a header from McLaughlin’s cross to trouble the keeper. Johnson made his second substitution soon after with Carl Winchester replacing Lynden Gooch.
Jordan Jones had another effort on goal after he controlled a looping ball from the right before beating one defender and driving into the box. The winger then fired a low shot towards the near post, but the keeper was equal to it diving low to his right. Lee Johnson then made his final change of the evening with ten minutes remaining with Chris Maguire replacing the goal scorer Aiden O’Brien.
Sunderland doubled their lead and sealed the points through captain Max Power after Fleetwood conceded an unnecessary corner from an overhit back pass. Chris Maguire swung the corner in from the right wing towards the back post where Max Power had made a clever run to evade his marker before heading past the keeper.
The lads comfortably saw out the final stages of the game to seal a third league win a row.
Final Score: Sunderland 2 Fleetwood Town 0
ALS Man of the Match: Connor McLaughlin
Sunderland: Burge; McLaughin, Sanderson, O’Nien, McFadzean; Gooch (Winchester 72), Leadbitter, Power, McGeady (Jones 68); O’Brien (Maguire 78), Wyke.
Subs: Matthews (gk), Diamond, Vokins, Younger.