Here’s what the Echo was reporting on SAFC 10 years ago today.
ELL GIVES ‘EM HELL
Striker Stephen gets Lads back in business (Sunderland 3 Colchester 1)
Sunderland returned to winning ways this afternoon with super striker Stephen Elliott putting them on their way with goals either side of the break.
After a frustrating opening 45 minutes in which Sunderland attacked rarely and Colchester not at all, Elliott grabbed his team’s opener on the stroke of half-time with a lovely turn in the box on the right of goal and a low shot right in the left-hand of Colchester goalkeeper Aidan Davison’s goal.
If that was not enough of a demoralising goal for the visitors seconds before the break, worse was to follow in the 53rd minute when Elliott grabbed his second – clipping the ball home at the near post after excellent work by Chris brown and Dean Whitehead down the right.
Sunderland lived dangerously in the last half hour, giving away possession far too cheaply and they were punished in the 79th minute by substitute Chris Iwelumo who fired home from ten yards after a goalmouth scramble.
The Wearsiders could easily have lost it in the closing stages with Jamie Cureton, in the 8th minute, and Kem Izzert, in the 88th, both missing what were virtually open goals.
But Roy Keane’s men made certain of all three points on the stroke of full-time when Graham Kavanagh found fellow substitute David Connolly in the area and the striker coolly took his time before placing a low shot into the bottom right hand corner for this first goal in red and white.
LAWRENCE IS SHOWN THE DOOR
Winger joins Stoke
Liam Lawrence’s Sunderland career is over.
The winger joined Stoke City on loan last night with a view to a permanent move being completed during the January transfer window.
He becomes the seventh player to leave the Stadium of Light on loan under manager Roy Keane, and the second to join Stoke after Rory Delap also moved to the Potters – only to break his leg against Sunderland last month.
The clubs were locked in talks last night and completed the deal shortly before 10pm. Stoke boss Tony Pulis was anxious to press through the switch in time for Lawrence to play for his new club at Hull today.
Pulis had been looking for cover on the flank after allowing Luke Chadwick to join Norwich City early this week.
He said: “I think Liam is a quality player and he’s obviously a replacement for Luke. I am hoping he will come in and do a similar job to what Luke did.
“Liam was promoted as a champion with Sunderland from this division and I think he has got his best years ahead of him. I have seen a lot of him over the years and her has got decent qualities.
“He is a good crosser of the ball and will get a goal.”
Lawrence started five of Keane’s 13 games in charge of Sunderland but was dropped from the squad for last weekend’s 1-1 home draw against Southampton.
He joined the Black Cats from Mansfield Town in July, 2004, a tribunal deciding that the Staggs should receive £325,000 compensation plus a further £50,000 when he makes his senior international debut.
A sell-on clause means Mansfield will pocket a quarter of the fee that Stoke pay for the former Nottingham Forest trainee.
Lawrence won a Championship medal with Sunderland in 2005 and played 29 games in the Premiership last Season, but has struggled for form this season.
Dean Wright was preferred on the right flank last weekend, but Liam Miller has also played in that position for Keane.
In all, Lawrence made 80 appearances for Sunderland, scoring 10 goals.
Delap, Clive Clarke (Coventry), Jon Stead (Derby), Neill Collins (Wolves), Tommy Miller (Preston) and Kevin Smith (Wrexham) have also left Sunderland on loan since Keane’s arrival.
Coventry hope to extend Clarke’s initial one month loan until January.