Sky Bet League 1
Sunderland 2-1 Walsall
Cattermole 33 Gordon 4
Sunderland came from behind to beat Walsall this afternoon in what was a dominant performance on the whole.
Josh Gordon put the visitors in front early on but the Saddlers were pegged back by goals from Lee Cattermole and Will Grigg.
Sunderland came into the game unbeaten in their last 18 games, sitting 3rd in League 1 while Walsall sat in 19th ahead of the game having won two of their last five games.
Walsall had the dream start to the game as just four minutes in they were in front. A free kick from the left took a touch off Gordon on its way into the bottom-right corner.
Ten minutes later, Sunderland had a goal ruled out for offside.
In the 21st minute, Jack Ross’ side came close when Aiden McGeady and Adam Matthews linked up well on the left before Lewis Morgan’s shot went just wide.
Moments later, Morgan had a powerful effort parried over by Walsall keeper Liam Roberts.
Sunderland equalised in the 33rd minute when Grant Leadbitter’s corner was poorly defended and Cattermole blasted it close range and it went in off the post beating the keeper.
Six minutes later, Grigg was picked out in space from a free kick and his shot was saved by the legs of Roberts.
Two minutes into the second half, Leadbitter fired just over the bar following a good pass by Luke O’Nien.
Five minutes later, McGeady had an effort on the edge of the box pushed just wide.
In the 71st minute, Sunderland took the lead when substitute Charlie Wyke latched onto a good ball and played through Grigg who cut in and buried it bottom-right with his left foot sending the crowd wild.
Walsall piled on the pressure towards the end with many men forward, but their only real chance came in added time when Gordon’s shot was blocked by O’Nien.
The result sees Sunderland just two points off an automatic promotion spot with a game in hand, while Walsall slip into the relegation zone.
Sunderland: McLaughlin, O’Nien, Baldwin, Flanagan, Matthews (Hume 67), Leadbitter, Cattermole (Gooch 62), McGeady, Power, Morgan (Wyke 71), Grigg.
Booked: Cattermole, Gooch and Leadbitter.
Subs not used: McGeouch, Ruiter, Sterling and Dunne.
Walsall: Roberts, Devlin, Scarr, Guthrie, Leahy, Kinsella, Dobson, Edwards (Oteh 88), Blackett-Taylor (Cook 73), Gordon, Ismail.
Booked: Guthrie and Gordon
Subs not used: Dunn, Fitzwater, Norman, Osbourne, Laird.