Morecambe in five-goal mauling at Sunderland
Morecambe suffered their heaviest defeat of the season as they conceded five goals without replying at the Stadium of Light.
Two goals from Nathan Broadhead and efforts from Ross Stewart, Alex Pritchard and Leon Dajaku gave the home side a comfortable win.
Shrimps boss Stephen Robinson made three changes to the side that beat Buxton in the FA Cup with recalls for Callum Jones, Aaron Wildig and Jonah Ayunga, with Shane McLaughlin suspended and Toumani Diagouraga and Wes McDonald dropping to the bench.
Robinson’s side soon found themselves on the back foot with Cole Stockton producing a superb goalline clearance from Broadhead after just five minutes.
The home side were not to be denied for long, however, as they took the lead on 13 minutes when Lynden Gooch produced a superb cross from the left-hand side which was met by Stewart, whose effort squeezed past Letheren.
Four minutes later the home side doubled their lead when Sunderland again found an opening down the left with a cross finding Broadhead unmarked six yards out to head past Letheren.
Midfielder Dan Neil went close to making it 3-0 with a shot from 25 yards that curled just past the left-hand post before Morecambe found some openings of their own.
A pinpoint cross from Alfie McCalmont presented Wildig with a golden chance but he failed to find the target from six yards out, and Stockton had a goal disallowed for offside after a low cross from Greg Leigh.
The next goal was all important and Sunderland grabbed it on 56 minutes when Pritchard produced a fine finish after some excellent approach play and Broadhead added his second 12 minutes later.
Morecambe looked for a consolation with Stockton finally forcing Thorben Hoffman into a save before Sunderland capped off a poor evening with a fifth goal three minutes from time.
Leon Dajaku’s shot took a heavy deflection off Anthony O’Connor to loop over Letheren into the net.
Sunderland: Hoffmann, Wright, Flanagan, Doyle, Gooch, Winchester (Embleton 58), Neil, Dajaku, Broadhead (Kimpioka 75), Pritchard, Stewart (O’Brien 75). Subs not used: Patterson, Alves, Younger, Dunne.
Morecambe: Letheren, McLaughlin, O’Connor, Delaney, Leigh, McCalmont, Jones (Diagouraga 46), Wildig (Phillips 64), Ayunga, Stockton, Gnahoua (Duffus 46). Subs not used: Andresson, McDonald, Cooney, Wootton.
Referee: O Yates.