Sunderland got back to winning ways with a 1-0 victory over Swindon town at the SOL on Tuesday evening thanks to another goal from Charlie Wyke. Despite dominating much of the game Lee Johnson’s side struggled to create many clear-cut chances but Wyke’s header sees the lads move up to fourth in the table after surviving a late scare when the visitors hit the bar in the last minute of injury time.
Lee Johnson made two changes to the side drew at Crewe on Saturday with Carl Winchester and Jordan Jones replacing Connor McLaughlin and Aiden O’Brien. McLaughlin wasn’t named on the bench either so was assumed injured with Max Power dropping into defence to cover right back. Despite his wonder strike which salvaged a point at the weekend Chris Maguire also had to make do with a spot on the bench.
Swindon got the game underway kicking towards the North Stand and the visitors won an early free kick in a dangerous position after Winchester was penalised for fouling Scott Twine. Twine took the free kick 25 yards from goal and forced Lee Burge into a decent save low to his right before Burge showed courage to deny the follow up taking a whack in the process.
At the other end Aiden McGeady and Jordan Jones combined down the left flank but McGeady’s cross was plucked out of the air by the keeper. On the right-hand side Lynden Gooch did well to intercept a pass and break forward but his low cross was hacked away. Sunderland then produced a good passage of play down the right with several passes strung together before Winchester swept a shot wide of the post from the edge of the box.
Jordan Jones then went close with a shot from the angle of the box with the keeper touching it behind for a corner. Jones delivered a dangerous corner into the box with Dion Sanderson and Luke O’Nien trying to get onto the end of it though Swindon scrambled the ball clear. Sunderland went even closer just before the 20 minute mark after Lynden Gooch did brilliantly on the right flank. Gooch skinned his man on the right wing before finding Charlie Wyke in the six-yard box but Wyke’s side footed effort was off target.
The opening half an hour was all Sunderland with the lads playing some decent stuff in and around the Swindon box but not being able to find a killer pass. Swindon did have a rare venture forward and Twine won another free kick a long way from goal after a challenge from Jordan Jones. Twine got up to take the set piece and tried an audacious effort about 35 yards from goal with a dipping shot Lee Burge had to gather.
Five minutes before half time Sunderland won a free kick in a dangerous position when Charlie Wyke was fouled trying to hold the ball up. Jordan Jones took the free kick, but his shot hit the wall and deflected behind for a corner which McGeady took but it evaded everyone and went out for a throw in. There was one-minute added time at the end of the first half and we won a free kick midway in the Swindon half which McGeady swung into the box, but the keeper gathered meaning it was goalless at the break.
Neither side made any changes at the break and Sunderland restarted the game and immediately went on the offensive but Max Power’s cross from the right was easily cut out. Ten minutes after the restart after a sluggish start to the second half Sunderland forced a corner when McGeady’s dangerous cross was turned behind. However, Jones’ corner was easily cleared by Swindon.
We forced another corner as the tempo of Sunderland’s play continued to improve with Lynden Gooch forcing the keeper into a good stop with a powerful left footed effort. Though Swindon again cleared Jones’ corner the lads kept on the pressure with Luke O’Nien just failing to nod Aiden McGeady’s driven cross into the path of Charlie Wyke in the box.
Lee Johnson made a double change with half an hour remaining with Aiden O’Brien and Chris Maguire replacing Lynden Gooch and Jordan Jones. With 20 minutes remaining Sunderland finally took the lead through Charlie Wyke. Wyke did well to win a free kick in a dangerous position on the right wing after he span his man before being upended. Chris Maguire whipped the free kick into the box for Wyke to thump a header into the bottom left hand corner of the net.
At the other end Swindon caused a moment of panic for Sunderland when Twine played Hope into the box with Burge doing well to deny him before the rebound was put wide. Sunderland should have doubled their lead with ten minutes left to play when they hit the visitors on the counterattack. Charlie Wyke surged forward into the Swindon half with Chris Maguire and Josh Scowen racing to join him but Wyke’s pass to Maguire was behind the midfielder forcing him to check his run and Swindon eventually cleared.
After Aiden O’Brien volleyed a cross into the ground making a save easy for the keeper Sunderland found themselves on the backfoot in the closing stages of the game. The lads seemed to go to pieces slightly at the back with some last ditch defending required to preserve the lead with Power doing well to recover and concede a corner after he slipped over. Lee Johnson made another change with Jack Diamond replacing Aiden McGeady.
There was four minutes added time, but Sunderland should have sealed the victory before then when Maguire seized the ball and broke into the box, but he chose to shoot rather than pass to Diamond with the keeper equal to his effort. Lee Johnson made fourth change at the death with Dan Neil replacing Josh Scowen as the lads looked to hang on to the lead, but it was the crossbar Sunderland would be grateful to.
Chris Maguire conceded a cheap free kick outside the box around 35 yards from goal in the final minute of injury time. Having not been shy of trying his luck from range all evening Swindon forward Scott Twine tried another daring effort from the free kick and his shot crashed off the bar with Lee Burge beaten. A real let off.
Final Score: Sunderland 1 Swindon Town 0 ALS Man of the Match: Dion Sanderson