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CAT'S GREAT; New-boy Stewart lights up stadium.

Byline: IAN MURTAGH at the Stadium of Light

SUNDERLAND 2 WIGAN 1 McGeady 17 pen, Stewart 53 Edwards 15

CHARLIE WYKE endured a miserable afternoon on his return to the Stadium of Light as Lee Johnson's Sunderland came from behind to win.

Wyke (below) scored 31 goals for the Black Cats last season before joining

Wigan but was eclipsed by Scot Ross Stewart.

The former Ross County striker won a first-half penalty before heading in Elliot Embledon's 53rd minute corner.

And how the Mackem faithful enjoyed rubbing Wyke's nose in it with chants of "Charlie, what's the score?" and "You're just a s*** Ross Stewart!"

"We had to nullify Charlie but Roscoe gives us something different," said Johnson. "And getting off the mark in our first game is a great confidence boost.

"Both teams went for it and we played some wonderful football, but they are a good side as well so I've to give my players credit.

"There were signs of real quality in the way we wanted to play. I think our crowd appreciated it."

A hatful of chances were created at both ends in a frenzied first half after kick-off was delayed 15 minutes by traffic.

The two teams made up for lost time though, peppering both goals regularly.

Sunderland somehow survived an eighth-minute barrage, with Tendayi Darikwa being denied by keeper Lee Burge before, Will Keane and ex-Black Cats' Max Power saw goalbound efforts blocked.

But Wigan were not to be denied as Gwion Edwards fired them into a 15th-minute lead.

The raucous 31,000-plus crowd were silenced, but within two minutes Sunderland were level.

Jack Whatmough brought down Stewart and Aiden McGeady converted the penalty.

The Black Cats continued to look the more likely scorers after Stewart's goal and Wigan rarely threatened after falling behind.

Wigan boss Leam Richardson said: "We started well and imposed ourselves quickly but the penalty turned the game." SUNDERLAND: Burge 6; Winchester 6 (Diamond 76), Flanagan 6, Doyle 6, Neil 5; Evans 7, O'Nien 7; Gooch 7, Embleton 7 (Wright 86), McGeady 7 (O'Brien 74, 5); Stewart 8.

Unused Subs: Patterson, Pritchard, Grigg, Hawkes.

WIGAN: Amos 6; Darikwa 7, Whatmough 5, Long 6, Pearce 6; Naylor 6 (Cousins, 88), Power 7; Lang 6, Keane 6 (Jordan Jones 67, 5), Edwards 7 (Humphrys 79); Wyke 6.

Unused Subs: Jamie Jones, Massey, Aasgaard, Robinson. MAN OF THE MATCH: Ross Stewart Won a penalty, scored the winner and threatened throughout. REFEREE: Robert Madley 7

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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:IAN MURTAGH at the Stadium of Light
Publication:The People (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 8, 2021
Words:412
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