It was a week of highs and lows for Sunderland. The Black Cats went from finding their killing instinct to demolish Cheltenham Town at the Stadium of Light to a hugely disappointing defeat at Portsmouth. Elsewhere, there is the latest injury news and the latest from Sunderland’s Academy and Ladies teams.
A Week of Highs and Lows For The Black Cats
Black Cats Demolish Cheltenham Town
Prior to the game, head coach Lee Johnson indicated that his team needed to find their killer instinct and finish off teams when leading. His players took note and produced one of the best performances seen at the Stadium of Light for several years.
Sunderland dominated the game from start to finish. Johnson made changes to his line-up and formation and it worked to perfection. Two goals from top scorer Ross Stewart and a header from defender Bailey Wright put the home side in a commanding position at halftime.
Two goals in two second-half minutes completed the rout but the Red and Whites could have easily scored more as they continued to create chances against a Cheltenham team unable to cope with Sunderland’s intensity and attacking play.
The result made it six straight home wins and put Sunderland top of the table.
A Day to Forget in the Rain at Portsmouth
Following the impressive performance in midweek, fans were hoping for more of the same as they travelled to Portsmouth. In poor conditions with the ball struggling to move on a waterlogged pitch, Sunderland struggled whereas Pompey adapted and won the game with ease.
Sunderland were 3-0 down at half-time as they struggled with the monsoon-like conditions. Midway through the second half, Portsmouth added a fourth goal to complete a humiliating defeat for Lee Johnson’s side.
This was a poor performance; however, it is their first of the season. Lessons will be learned and Sunderland have plenty of games coming up to put it right. Following the game, Lee Johnson was honest in his verdict of the game and his team.
He said: “They just played the conditions better than us, simple as that.
“They had more bite in the tackle, they had energy and cohesion in the press, and our quality was poor. Conditions were tricky but we talked about that and about how it would be a test for our young team, and today we were found wanting completely. We’ve had a good start but that doesn’t make today feel any better, you want to extend that run and keep winning games.”
Forward Nathan Broadhead, who impressed in the victory over Cheltenham but ultimately had to be withdrawn due to injury, is facing around a month on the sidelines. Broadhead, on loan from Everton, suffered a grade 1B hamstring tear.
Winger Aiden McGeady missed the defeat at Portsmouth following a knock to his ankle in the previous game. He was deemed unfit for the game but should be back for the next league fixture. Fellow winger Lynden Gooch is also on the road to a full recovery and is expected back this month.
Defender Denver Hume is nearing full fitness having not played a game since the end of last season. The left-back could feature in the Papa Johns Trophy game at Lincoln City on Tuesday.
Academy and Ladies Latest
Sunderland’s U23s returned to winning ways with an impressive victory at Wolves. Left-back Denver Hume started and played 60 minutes following four months out with injury. He helped his side secure a 3-1 win. A hat-trick from Will Harris gave the young Black Cats a moral boosting second win of the season. They once again travel to the midlands on Monday to face West Bromwich Albion.
Sunderland Ladies suffered their first defeat of the season after a narrow 2-1 defeat at Bristol City. The loss saw Mel Reay’s side drop to sixth in the table ahead of a derby against top of the table Durham next Sunday.