Cheltenham Town 2-1 Sunderland AFC
Sunderland fell to a 2-1 defeat to Cheltenham Town on Tuesday evening at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.
The Black Cats started well and they led just after the half-hour mark, as Alex Pritchard’s stunning free-kick found the top corner.
Elliot Bonds hauled the Robins level on 64 minutes when his strike deflected beyond Anthony Patterson, and Alfie May completed the comeback 12 minutes from time.
The Lads made five changes in Gloucestershire, as Patterson, Trai Hume, Jay Matete, Jack Clarke and Leon Dajaku were named in the starting XI.
Thorben Hoffmann and Lynden Gooch weren’t included in the matchday squad, as Carl Winchester, Dan Neil and Elliot Embleton were held in reserve.
Sunderland crafted the first opening of the encounter, as Clarke powered into the final third and hurdled several challenges before curling wide.
The winger continued to impress and with 11 minutes played he picked out Ross Stewart at the back post, but the striker’s header clattered the woodwork before an offside flag was raised.
Danny Batth and Callum Doyle marshalled the backline well and Patterson was relatively untroubled during the opening half hour, with Corry Evan firing wide after more positive play from Clarke.
The Lads opened the scoring with 32 minutes on the clock through Pritchard, who whipped a majestic 20-yard free-kick into the top corner.
Dajaku almost headed a pinpoint Hume cross beyond Owen Evans moments later, but the ‘keeper did well to turn the ball behind to prevent further damage before the interval.
The hosts rallied following the restart and they levelled on 63 minutes when Bonds’ strike took a wicked deflection and flew into the net.
Patterson denied May and Stewart slammed into the side-netting in the stages that followed, but May had the final say 12 minutes from time to condemn Sunderland to a third successive defeat.
Cheltenham Town: Evans, Raglan, Pollock, Boyle, Blair, Ramsey (Sercombe 73), Bonds, Colckett, Williams (Williams 80), May, Etete. Subs not used: Williams, Wright, Hutchinson, Flinders, Soule.
Sunderland AFC: Patterson, Hume, Bath, Doyle, Cirkin, Evans (Embleton 84), Matete, Pritchard, Clarke (Defoe 81), Dajaku (Roberts 75), Stewart. Subs not used: Carney, Winchester, Xhemajli, Neil.