Sunderland have made their third consecutive comeback to win their clash over Shrewsbury, with the side keeping their play-off dreams alive by the skin of their teeth in their ninth unbeaten league game to put them safely in sixth, now three points ahead of Sheffield Wednesday.
The hosts dominated at the Stadium of Light with 69% possession, seven shots on target and completed over 300 more accurate passes than their opponents this afternoon, but to say Shrewsbury put up a fight is an understatement even with the statistics stacked up against them.
Sunderland looked comfortable in the first half with Elliot Embleton earning his start in the team, and it certainly paid off for Alex Neil with the 23 year old opening up the scoring in the 4th minute of the game, shortly followed up by a 13th minute goal when Nathan Broadhead doubled the lead in front of the home fans.
The Black Cats managed to hold off the visitors well in the first half, but the game was definitely a tale of two halves as when the two side’s returned to action Shrewsbury were desperate to impose themselves and make a threatening response to their opponents, which they were highly successful in achieving.
In the 50th minute Josh Vela found the back of the net for Shrewsbury bringing the side back into the game, and with the glimmer of hope driving the 16th place side on, Tom Flanagan scored in the 58th minute to even out the score-line in the North East.
However, Sunderland have found recent glory in last minute winners, with Embleton scoring in the 89th minute against Oxford and Nathan Broadhead finding the back of the net to steal a win from Gillingham the week before, and yet again the Everton loanee provided when it mattered most in the second minute of added time to kill the game today and secure all three points.
One player who made the whole team tick this afternoon was Tottenham Hotspur loanee, Jack Clarke, who was crucial on the left side of midfield this afternoon and key in the final push that gave his team the win.
According to SofaScore, Clarke made three key passes, had 62 touches of the ball and was successful in four out his five dribbles, as well as sealing the win with the assist to Broadhead’s late goal, proving to be one of the most effective players on the pitch for Sunderland.
Alex Neil now boasts an impressive run since he joined the club 11 games ago, with 6 wins, four draws and only one loss, and he will surely be hoping his team continue to keep up their winning form by not only securing their play-off spot but also taking their chances to the next level by winning promotion to the Championship next season.