Sunderland faced AFC Wimbledon away this afternoon and after a very hard fought game, the Black Cats came away with a 2-1 victory. Lee Cattermole, not known for his goalscoring, scored both goals as the Black Cats came from behind to win. Sunderland now have 13 points from a possible 15 so far this season.
Lee Cattermole Scores as Sunderland Stay Unbeaten
Sunderland came into the game full of confidence. Last Sunday they brushed aside Scunthorpe United 3-0. In midweek, the Black Cats fell behind to an early goal at Gillingham. However, they equalised quickly and ran out 4-1 winners. Manager Jack Ross named an unchanged side with Bryan Oviedo returning to the substitute bench after missing the Gillingham game through injury.
Disappointing First Half
Sunderland were below par in the first half of the game. AFC Wimbledon were the better team and deservedly went ahead, Joe Pigott scoring a volley after a good cross. Sunderland were struggling with the Dons’ physical presence and they came closest to scoring the second goal of the afternoon. Half-time could not come quick enough for Jack Ross and Sunderland. Ross, after a frustrating first half, took off Glenn Loovens and brought on Alim Ozturk.
Cattermole Takes Charge
Unlike previous seasons, Sunderland did not let their heads drop when behind. Although Neal Ardley’s side were still a threat, the away side began to grow into the game. Ross brought on Dylan McGeouch and Bryan Oviedo and the Black Cats began to control the game much more as a result.
On 66 minutes, Lee Cattermole equalised, scoring at the back post after Lynden Gooch’s cross. There was a nervous spell as it appeared that the linesman was unsure if Cattermole was onside. Eventually, the goal was given.
The Dons pushed forward and, for a spell, looked the more likely to get the winner; however, step forward Lee Cattermole. The midfielder is not a regular goal-scorer and when he struck a volley into the back of the net, many could not believe it. It was a goal to give the Black Cats another three points in their attempts to gain promotion at the first time of asking.
Cattermole Proving His Worth
During the summer it seemed as though the midfielder had played his last game for Sunderland. A transfer away from the club never materialised and Cattermole remained part of the squad. Jack Ross commented that the player’s attitude had been good and as long as he was at the club, he would be involved.
Against Luton away from home, he didn’t impress. However, at home to Scunthorpe, he appeared to be the Cattermole of old, stamping his authority in midfield and giving the opposition no time to settle on the ball. At Gillingham, he again performed well and scoring two today capped off an excellent week for himself and Sunderland.
New Attitude Shining Through
In recent seasons, when the team fell behind, it was almost certain that the game would end in defeat. New manager Jack Ross has installed a new attitude in the club; a never-say-die attitude and to fight for the points until the last whistle. Three of Sunderland’s games so far has seen the team trail. However, on each occasion, the Black Cats have emerged victorious. This attitude will prove invaluable as they look to return to the Championship at the first attempt.
Confidence is growing on and off the pitch. Sunderland are now a hard team to beat and are now taking chances when they come their way. It is all looking good on Wearside at the moment and there is no reason why they cannot continue their recent run. League One is a difficult league but Sunderland have, so far, adapted well and appear to have the quality both on and off the pitch to have a successful season.