Sunderland AFC 2-1 Plymouth Argyle
Sunderland secured yet another home win on Saturday afternoon, emerging victorious by a 2-1 scoreline over Plymouth Argyle at the Stadium of Light.
Dan Neil netted his third of the season just four minutes into proceedings, before Nathan Broadhead continued his excellent form with a finish to double the lead.
Dan Scarr’s header pulled one back for the visitors in the second half, but the Lads saw the three points out with a great show of organisation.
Lee Johnson named an unchanged side for the second game running, and also listed an identical substitutes’ bench to that which was part of Tuesday’s 5-0 rout of Morecambe.
Sunderland wasted no time and flew from the blocks, racing into a two-goal lead inside 13 minutes. The first arrived via the tidiest of corner routines, Alex Pritchard feeding Callum Doyle at the near post – who in turn laid off Neil for a swift finish inside the box.
Not too much sooner was it two. A confident Sunderland side had their tails up, and more great play saw Leon Dajaku get in behind to pull back a square pass. Broadhead arrived, and duly dispatched the shot to put the Lads firmly in the ascendancy.
The first half in its remainder was not to see too many more chances, though Mike Cooper in the Plymouth goal was forced to deny Broadhead his second of the game shortly before the break.
The second half was a more open contest, with Elliot Embleton introduced at the break and creating himself a chance, which he arrowed over the crossbar from inside the area.
Argyle clawed a way back in it midway through the second half, a corner delivery from the left finding the head of Scarr, who rose highest to nod past Thorben Hoffmann.
Broadhead twice tried a whipped effort towards goal as the Black Cats looked to restore the two-goal buffer, but both strikes wound up just past the post.
Substitute Aiden O’Brien then came within a whisker of a goal late on, getting beyond Cooper but seeing his shot blocked on the line by an Argyle body.
It was a case from there on of digging deep and remaining disciplined for the Lads, which they did with determination to see out three very welcome points.
SUNDERLAND AFC: Hoffmann; Wright ©, Flanagan, Doyle; Dajaku, Neil, Winchester, Gooch (Embleton 46’); Pritchard (O’Brien 76); Broadhead, Stewart.
Subs not used: Patterson, Alves, Younger, Dunne, Kimpioka.
Plymouth Argyle: M. Cooper; Wilson, Scarr, Gillesphey; Edwards, Camara (Randell 70’), Houghton (Jephcott 87’), Mayor, Broom (Ennis 60’); Garrick, Hardie.
Subs not used: Burton, Agard, G. Cooper, Law.