Sunderland returned to winning ways in League One as the beat Bradford in another eventful game. Three goals, featuring one from Josh Maja, a missed penalty and two sendings off contributed to an exciting but nervous game for fans.
The three points takes the Black Cats up to third in the table. They are now one point behind Peterborough in second while Bradford drop into the relegation places.
Josh Maja, McLaughlin and Baldwin are Sunderland Heroes at Bradford
Sunderland manager Jack Ross made two changes to his side from that which began in midweek. In came Reece James for the suspended Bryan Oviedo and Lee Cattermole replaced Dylan McGeouch after serving a one-game ban.
Magic Josh Maja Scores Again
Josh Maja scored to keep his excellent goalscoring record going. The young striker scored his ninth goal of the season to give Sunderland the lead.
It was a somewhat fortunate goal for him but one which he would no doubt love more of. Lee Cattermole’s volley towards goal was turned in by Maja’s chest. The 19-year-old has been in fine form this season and is being rewarded by the goals he is scoring.
Jack Ross and Sunderland will be eager to tie down the striker to a new contract as soon as possible.
Baldwin Nets Instant Reply
Bradford City came at Sunderland in the second half and got the equaliser in the 52nd minute. Defender Anthony O’Connor got the goal, however, the Black Cats hit back at their hosts immediately.
An Aiden McGeady free-kick on 54 minutes was not dealt with by the home defence. Jack Baldwin was on hand to fire Sunderland back into the lead with a half-volley on the turn.
Baldwin produced another excellent display at Bradford. He has been an excellent signing by Jack Ross. At just £200,000, he is possibly the EFL signing of the summer.
Power Off Again
Max Power was sent off the second time in his short Sunderland career. The midfielder only returned in midweek after serving a suspension. He was given the captaincy and performed well with the armband.
Power was once again captain for this game; however, he, Jack Ross and the fans will be desperately disappointed in his latest red card. It will mean that the midfielder will miss the next four games as a result.
The red card came about as Power kicked out at a Bradford player. Not only did Power see red but also conceded a penalty.
Jon McLaughlin Saves the Day
Goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin once again came to the Black Cats rescue. The Scottish international has been in fine form this season. This form has seen him recalled to the Scotland squad for their upcoming games.
After Power conceded the penalty and was sent off, Sunderland could have gone on to either draw or lose this game. However, McLaughlin was equal to the Bradford players spot kick, keeping the visitors lead intact.
After last season where Sunderland’s goalkeepers performed disastrously, it has been a relief to fans and players to have a number one who they can rely upon. McLaughlin signed on a free transfer after leaving Hearts and has so far been an excellent signing by Jack Ross.
Sunderland have begun this month undefeated and are third in the table. They have no fixture next weekend due to international call-ups. It is a long season in League One and Jack Ross and the fans will be happy with their performances so far.
Players such as those mentioned above plus the likes of Lee Cattermole and Chris Maguire are giving everyone at Sunderland hope that they can get promotion at the first attempt.
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