Oldham Athletic FC 1 – 2 Sunderland AFC

Sunderland’s Max Power tussles with Oldham Athletic’s Davis Keillor-Dunn during the EFL Trophy match between Oldham Athletic and Sunderland at Boundary Park, Oldham on Tuesday 8th December 2020. (Photo by Eddie Garvey/MI News/NurPhoto)

Sunderland booked their place in the last 16 of the Papa John’s Trophy as Lee Johnson secured his first win as new boss.

Despite a delayed kick off time and some last-minute changes to the Sunderland team sheet after realising defender Dion Sanderson was cup tied, goals from Chris Maguire and Josh Scowen in the 30th and 64th minute cancelled out Bobby Grant’s 13th minute opener.

Johnson’s side started the brighter of the two sides with Conor McLaughlin’s cross almost finding a red and white shirt, but Oldham keeper Ian Lawlor dived to intercept. However, it was a similar image for Sunderland fans when after 13 minutes Grant’s long-range effort beat young keeper Anthony Patterson to give the home side the lead.

Sunderland regained control of the game with a new attacking intent led by wingers Jack Diamond and Maguire, and it was Maguire that equalised for Sunderland on the half hour mark after great work from Diamond from the right and his cross found Maguire at the back post who lifted it home for the away side.

Sunderland pressed for the winner and finally found it in the 64th minute when Grant Leadbitter’s free kick found Scowen who rose highest and headed home to put the visitors in the lead.

Sunderland looked to finish the game and press for a third, however, Oldham counter attacked, and Davis Keillor-Dunn’s effort forced Patterson into a fine one-handed save to maintain Sunderland’s lead.

The victory means Sunderland make it to the last 16 of the same competition they lost in the final to Portsmouth two years earlier at Wembley.