SUNDERLAND (4-2-3-1):

8 McLaughlin: Positioned himself superbly to make key second-half saves from Cook and Ferrier

7 Matthews: Booked for a petulant handball, got forward well first half but was pushed back after the break

7 Baldwin: The pick of a backline that came under the cosh in the second half - gave his all

6 Flanagan: Found Cook a handful after the interval and came off second best in their duel

6 James: Solid defensively but Sunderland needed him to offer more going forward

6 O’Nien: Failed to make the same impact on starting as he did from the bench against the same opposition last week

6 Power: Seems handcuffed by worry despite his third red being rescinded, needs to play his natural game

7 Oviedo: A late replacement for Maguire, he looked lively, creating Sunderland’s goal and another first-half chance

6 Gooch: Could not replicate his display from a week ago, was shackled by hosts now well aware of his threat

8 MCGEADY: Clever positioning and a cool finish for the opener, unlucky not to grab a second

6 Maja: One first-half chance apart, looked off the pace for a second week running at the Banks’s Stadium


5 Sinclair (for Oviedo 63): Struggled to make an impact off the bench

Mumba (for Gooch 75)

(not used): Ruiter (gk), Ozturk, Bainbridge, Hackett.

WALSALL (4-3-3):

Roberts 7; Devlin 7, JOHNSON 8, Guthrie 7, Leahy 6; Osbourne 6, Dobson 6, Kinsella 6; Gordon 6, Cook 8, Ferrier 6 (Ginnelly 88).

Subs (not used): Dunn, Edwards, Ronan, Morris, Kouhyar, Parker.

Man Of The Match: AIDEN McGEADY – Continued his scoring spree – six goals in the last seven games now – and always worried Walsall when on the ball.