Sunderland made it back-to-back wins against ten-man Ipswich as Charlie Wyke continued his brilliant form in front of goal.
Ipswich made a horror start as they went down to 10 men with Kayden Jackson’s dismissal, Sunderland made the breakthrough at the end of the first period with Charlie Wyke’s 15th goal of the season. The second half was a relatively tame affair and the lads deservedly drove back to the North East with the three points.
Lee Johnson made one change to the line-up that beat Shrewsbury at the Stadium of Light as Carl Winchester made way for Jack Diamond as Sunderland returned to 4-3-3.
It was a tale of two teams of two big underachieving clubs who both have set their sights much higher than League One.
It was an uneventful opening ten minutes, until a horror challenge from Kayden Jackson which saw the referee pull out his red card; with his studs showing, the striker scythed down the leg of Bailey Wright who thankfully was okay to continue.
Sunderland had their first opening 20 minutes in as Max Power’s ball in was met by Wyke who got a toe to it but couldn’t prod it towards Tomas Holy in the Ipswich goal.
Despite being a man up, the lads didn’t look like a team playing against 10 - Johnson’s men were very content to keep the ball and bide their time.
The lads had their first effort on target from a Leadbitter freekick which dropped kindly to Charlie Wyke who was denied by Holy who palmed the ball clear.
On the stroke of half time out of nothing, Sunderland took the lead – Power whipped in a wonderful ball into the man in form, Wyke, who applied a composed finish to give the lads the lead.
Two minutes into the second half, Jordan Willis met Leadbitter’s corner and should have done better, but his effort was straight at Holy.
Sunderland had started the second half well, and from range, Elliot Embleton saw his deflected effort whistle just past the post.
Sunderland were almost caught out from a poor Power pass; Lee Burge was alive to make a smart stop to deny Luke Thomas who should have scored.
The lads should have doubled the lead following some great work down the left, McFadzean cut it back to O’Brien whose effort was well blocked by Mark McGuinness.
Wright had been in the wars, and he took an accidental elbow to the head and was stretchered off as he looked dazed and bleeding from his face. Dion Sanderson came on to replace the Australian international.
With 15 minutes to play, Sunderland were in control. Ipswich were trying to create something of note but didn’t have the players up the field to create a many meaningful chances.
Sunderland managed to see out the game with little trouble and gained a big three points against a rival at the top of the table.
Full Time: Ipswich 0-1 Sunderland
ALS Man of the Match: Charlie Wyke
Sunderland: Burge; Power, Willis, Wright ‘Sanderson 65’), McFadzean; Leadbitter, Winchester (Embleton 46’), Scowen; McGeady (Gooch 79’), Wyke, O’Brien (O’Nien 88’).
Unused subs: Matthews, Maguire & Diamond