Sunderland secured their place in the League One playoffs with a victory over Morecambe on the final day of the season.
Sunderland got the early goal within 10 minutes through Nathan Broadhead and that was enough to go 1-0 up at the break. There were few highlights in the second half, but it didn’t matter as Sunderland secured the three points.
Alex Neil made three changes for Sunderland, including a return to the starting 11 with returns for Alex Pritchard, Elliot Embleton, and Patrick Roberts. Aiden McGeady made a return from injury onto the bench.
Going into the final day, both teams had it all to play for at the other ends of the League One Table.
The first ten minutes was a cagey affair, but with Sunderland’s first attack Corry Evans played a good ball to Broadhead who dropped a shoulder and was through on goal, he gave the keeper the eyes and slotted it home to give Sunderland a crucial lead.
Despite the goal, Sunderland hadn’t really got going and had struggled to retain possession. While the score line was ideal, the lads needed more control.
Sunderland were dealt a huge blow as Broadhead was taken off with an injury 25 minutes in and replaced by Jack Clarke.
The lads had grown into the game and were starting to control possession, but that final ball was lacking.
With Plymouth three down and with 10 men, Sunderland were all but guaranteed a playoff spot, but Neil will have been hoping for a stronger performance going into the playoffs.
The home side started the second half the better, Sunderland were sloppy in possession and couldn’t find any rhythm.
Sunderland had a rare foray forward as Clarke and Stewart combined well for the winger to find the big Scot in the box but his deflected effort spun just wide.
Sunderland worked it brilliantly up the field and Pritchard played a lovely through ball to Patrick Roberts, but it was well saved by Trevor Carson.
It had been a stop-start and slow game with few chances, but with less than ten to play, Sunderland were in the playoff positions.
It was a drama free match with both sides achieving their goals, which was staying up for Morecambe and securing a playoff position for Sunderland.
Full Time: Morecambe 0-1 Sunderland.
ALS Man of the Match: Corry Evans
Sunderland: Patterson, Wright, Batth, O'Nien, Gooch, Evans, Embleton, Roberts, Pritchard (Neil 82’), Broadhead (Clarke 26’), Stewart (Matete 73’)
Subs Not Used: Hoffmann, Xhemajli, McGeady & Hume