Jason Cummings strike in the first half gives Town the 3 points
Shrewsbury Town - 25 Max O’Leary, 2 Aaron Pierre, 3 Scott Golbourne, 4 Dave Edwards (OFF 67), 5 Ro-Shaun Williams, 6 Omar Beckles, 7 Shaun Whalley (OFF 81), 8 Ollie Norburn ©, 17 Donald Love, 28 Josh Laurent, 35 Jason Cummings (OFF 57)
Subs - 10 Fejiri Okenabirhie (ON 57), 21 Louis Thompson (ON 67), 22 Sean Goss (ON 81)
Subs not used - 1 Joe Murphy, 15 Brad Walker, 18 Luke McCormick, 19 Ryan Barnett
Sunderland - 16 Lee Burge (OFF 45), 3 Joel Lynch, 4 Jordan Willis, 6 Max Power ©, 7 Chris Maguire, 13 Luke O’Neil, 14 Duncan Watmore (OFF 59), 18 George Dobson, 19 Aiden McGeady, 22 Will Grigg (OFF 81), 33 Denver Hume
Subs – 1 Jon McLaughlin (ON 45), 10 Mark McNulty (ON 59), 31 Benji Kimpioka (ON 81)
Subs not used - 2 Conor McLaughlin, 8 Dylan McGeouch, 12 Tom Flanagan, 23 Grant Leadbitter
Referee – Jarred Gillett
Assistant Referees – Daniel Leach and Paul Hodskinson
Fourth Official – Mark Dwyer
Attendance – 8117 (1610 Sunderland)
A Jason Cummings strike in the first half secured Town three points. Town caused Sunderland to come crashing back to Earth after their mid-week goal fest.
Three changes to Town’s side as Dan Udoh and Ryan Giles are both missing with knocks. Scott Golbourne, Shaun Whalley and Jason Cummings all start. Town’s bench is a little different as Luke McCormick, Ryan Barnett and Sean Goss are amongst the substitutes.
It was clear and obvious that The Black Cats wanted to continue their form after their mid-week five-nil win over Tranmere. Sunderland had their first chance inside the two-minute mark after captain Max Power played in Denver Hume down the left who crossed a ball into the feet of Duncan Watmore, but he could only hit it well over Max O’Leary’s net.
Town’s first chance of the game came shortly after. Shaun Whalley battled against Hume down the right to force a throw in. Donald Love found Ro-Shaun Williams who had time and space, however striker Will Grigg tracked back and bought Williams down. As Town set up for their free kick deep in Sunderland’s half, Whalley stepped over the ball. Whalley found Aaron Pierre at the back post, Pierre’s head was landing at the feet of Jason Cummings as he set himself up for a volley, however Sunderland managed to clear the ball for a Town corner.
20 minutes into the game and Town were working well in Sunderland’s half. Captain Ollie Norburn was bought down after a late challenge. A well-worked training ground set-piece saw Town create a great chance.
Minutes later, Josh Laurent went on a dangerous run into Sunderland’s box and produced a brilliant cut-back pass that fell at the feet of Cummings. Cummings hits first time and curled it into Sunderland’s goal leaving Burge no chance.
Joel Lynch was the first player to receive a yellow card after holding Whalley’s shirt and pulling him by just shy of the 18-yard-box. Whilst the play was stopped, referee Jarred Gillett cautioned Norburn after a late challenge from the previous phase of play.
Town’s free kick had Whalley and Cummings both stood over the ball, Cummings stepped up and hit a curling effort that was dipping towards Burge’s bottom right corner. Burge did well to get down and deny Cummings his second goal of the game.
With half-time approaching, The Black Cats were desperate to even the scoreline. A through ball to Grigg, that looked to be offside wasn’t called and play continued. Grigg played a short ball back to Maguire who was on the edge of the 18-yard-box and his shot smashed against the inside of O’Leary’s right post. The ball bounced back into play and Town cleared their lines.
Half-Time – Shrewsbury Town 1 – 0 Sunderland
As both sides stepped out for the second 45 minutes of play, Sunderland changed goalkeeper Lee Burge as Jon McLaughlin replaced him.
The Black Cats came out second half wanting to equalise the scoreline. Sunderland’s first chance of the second half came as Golbourne gave away the first free kick of the second half. Maguire’s cross found Watmore at the back post but Laurent managed to nick the ball and break away.
Laurent ran from his own box to McLaughlin’s box whilst out-battling Hume. Hume slips over and referee Gillett quickly gives Sunderland a free kick and the play was instantly turned around. From McLaughlin’s free kick, Sunderland began to break. Luke O’Nein crossed into Maguire but Love managed to get in front of Maguire in order to stop a shot.
Town produced great play after Edwards, linked up with Whalley. Whalley saw Cummings and played a brilliant through ball but Jordan Willis was there just to pinch it off Cummings and clear it for a corner.
Sunderland were having many chances but couldn’t find an end product. The Black Cats began to put a lot of pressure on Town’s backline hoping to level the scoreline. A slow ball from Pierre was heading towards Golbourne down the left. Golbourne was waiting for it to reach him but Maguire nicked the ball and fired a shot straight at O’Leary.
O’Leary’s save was kept in by Watmore on the by-line. Watmore found Dobson who was waiting on the edge of the 18-yard-box, Dobson fired a shot but with many of Town bodies in the way, the shot was blocked.
Will Grigg became the closest player to score in a Sunderland shirt after a low cross was whipped in from the left. Grigg was inches away from getting his toe on the end of it but both sides saw the ball flash past O’Leary’s goal.
Town had their chances in the second half. Whalley produced a fantastic run down the left-wing after beating O’Nein in pace. Whalley crossed the ball to find Okenabirhie but Dobson cleared the ball with a diving header.
O’Nein had a great chance with only ten minutes remaining. After a deflected ball was floating high towards O’Leary’s back post, O’Nein managed to beat Whalley to the header. O’Nein’s effort looked to be going in the bottom corner. O’Leary got down well to put the ball behind for a corner.
Maguire stepped up and curled in the corner and the ball managed to fall to Captain Max Power. Power hit a rocket shot from the edge of the 18-yard-box. O’Leary again, was bought into action after making a world-class fingertip save to deny Power the equalising goal.
With four minutes added on, Sunderland continued to pile the pressure on Town. The Black Cats were hungry for that equalising goal, but Town were difficult to break down. A great chance for Okenabirhie after he chased down a loose ball against Willis. Okenabirhie was unlucky after losing his footing and sliced his shot wide of McLaughlin’s goal.
Town secured all three points after a great strike by Cummings and another clean sheet after O’Leary’s safe hands.
Full-Time – Shrewsbury Town 1 – 0 Sunderland