Report: Sunderland AFC 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday

Sunderland AFC 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday


Sunderland will travel to Hillsborough on Monday night with a one-goal advantage following a controlled victory over Sheffield Wednesday on Wearside.  


Over 45,000 supporters created a deafening atmosphere throughout the encounter at the Stadium of Light, but the roof was well and truly raised after 45 minutes when Ross Stewart fired the Black Cats in front. 


Alex Pritchard struck the crossbar and forced Bailey Peacock-Farrell into action following the restart, with Dennis Cirkin heading off-target during a second-half siege. 


A bundle of energy throughout, Lynden Gooch fired inches wide with 70 minutes on the clock, as the visitors remained on the ropes.  


Stewart went agonisingly close to a second in the final minute of normal time, ensuring the Black Cats have work to do on Monday in South Yorkshire. 


Sunderland made two changes for the match-up, as Cirkin and Jack Clarke were named in the starting XI.


Elliot Embleton dropped to the bench and Nathan Broadhead missed out due to injury, as Barry Bannan was passed fit to line up at the Stadium of Light. 


Both sides crafted chances inside the opening five minutes on Wearside, with Patrick Roberts testing Peacock-Farrell moments after Lee Gregory prodded wide. 


Stewart and Danny Batth both narrowly missed out on connecting with a threatening corner soon after, as the Lads dominated the ball during the initial exchanges. 


Neil’s men remained in control of the ball for the duration of the first half, but Wednesday occasionally countered and brave goalkeeping from Anthony Patterson claimed a dangerous low cross. 


A looping ball at the other end almost caught Peacock-Farrell off-guard with 39 minutes played, with the stopper scrambling to turn Gooch’s cross behind. 


The Roker End responded with a defeating roar and seconds before the break, the Stadium of Light erupted. 


Sam Hutchinson failed to clear as the Lads countered and Stewart seized upon the opportunity, driving into the penalty area and tapping into an empty net after Peacock-Farrell saved the striker’s initial effort.  


Advantage Wearside at half time. 


The Lads burst out of the blocks following the restart and went in search of a second, but Wednesday clung on.


Pritchard struck the crossbar from 25 yards with the ‘keeper beaten all ends up, and Peacock-Farrell also denied him five minutes later from inside the penalty area. 


Chances continue to fall for the red and whites, as Cirkin headed over from eight yards and Roberts saw an effort blocked behind after he danced through the visiting defence. 


Wednesday regained a modicum of control in the stages that followed, but a wasteful header from Liam Palmer reminded the Lads that focus was required in the final stages. 


Patterson then failed to claim a searching cross and nerves started to jangle on Wearside, but calm goalkeeping settled any tension threatening to rise. 

Hesitant play from Peacock-Farrell opened the door for Stewart  in the 89th minute, but the Scotland international’s low drive whistled inches wide of the mark. 


90 minutes. 90 minutes remaining. 


Sunderland AFC: Patterson, Evans, Batth, Gooch, Cirkin, Evans, O’Nien, Pritchard (Matete 79), Clarke (Doyle 90), Roberts (Embleton 79), Stewart.

Subs not used: Hoffmann, Neil, McGeady, Hume. 


Sheffield Wednesday: Peacock-Farrell, Palmer, Storey, Dean, Hutchinson, Johnson, Byers (Dele-Bashiru 87), Luongo, Bannan, Berahino, Gregory.

Subs not used: Wildsmith, Hunt, Dunkley, Mendez-Laing, Windass, Paterson.

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