Sunderland Halt Winless Run to Maintain Play-Off Challenge
Sunderland AFC remain in contention for the play-off places in the EFL Championship after bringing a tough run of form to an end.
Having suffered a heavy home to defeat to fellow Vertu Motors-backed outfit Middlesbrough in the final game before the international break, the Black Cats had hoped to bounce back on the trip to Stoke City.
An eighth goal for the season from Jack Clarke had brought Sunderland level following an early opener for Ryan Mmaee, but a second half header from Luke McNally was enough to end a three game winning run away from the Stadium of Light.
Despite giving a good account of themselves against table-toppers Leicester City, a 1-0 defeat at the King Power Stadium saw Sunderland slip down to ninth place in the table but the winless run would end once the team returned home to the North East.
Although Hwang Ui-jo put Norwich City ahead mid-way through the first half of the match, despite suggestions of an off-side in the build-up, Sunderland were in front by half time thanks to goals from Trai Hume and Dan Neil – the latter scoring after fine work down the wing from top-scorer Clarke.
He then made it nine for the season from the penalty spot with ten minutes to go to ensure that Sunderland ended October just a point outside the top six.