With Lee Johnson’s Sunderland side heading into Tuesday night’s League One clash on a run of seven games without defeat in all competitions, the 40-year-old Black Cats boss would have undoubtedly been hoping for yet another dominant display against a mid-table Cheltenham Town side.
And, with goals from Bailey Wright, Luke O’Nien, Leon Dajaku and a brace from Ross Stewart sealing a 5-0 win at the Stadium of Light, it would be difficult to argue that a dominant performance is not exactly what the Sunderland side provided their manager.
Indeed, as is to be expected after such a result, a number of Johnson’s players turned in extremely impressive displays against the Robins, with Aiden McGeady, Carl Winchester and Bailey Wright all receiving SofaScore match ratings of 8.0 or higher, however, it was undeniably centre-forward Stewart who ran the show against the Robins.
Having already been one of Sunderland’s best performers in the league prior to Tuesday evening’s fixture, scoring five goals over his eight League One appearances, Stewart once again demonstrated exactly why Johnson put so much faith in the 25-year-old’s ability to replace the Mackems’ top goalscorer of last season, Charlie Wyke.
The player Chris Strain dubbed an “athletic” striker also won all eight of his duels – a 100% success rate – drew three fouls for his side and completed both his one attempted long ball and his one attempted dribble.
These returns saw the Scot receive a SofaScore match rating of 8.6 on the night, with no player from either side earning a higher rating for their efforts.
As such, should Stewart be able to keep up this goalscoring form, as well as his overall level of performance, for Sunderland going forwards, he will undoubtedly play an influential role in the club’s promotion push – something which, at present, appears to be in extremely good shape, with the Black Cats topping the League One table.