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Grimsby Town 0 Sunderland AFC 1 - Lynden Gooch header seals first win for Jack Ross

Lynden Gooch in action against Grimsby Town.
Lynden Gooch in action against Grimsby Town.
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Sunderland's pre-season is finally up and running, Lynden Gooch's header sealing a 1-0 victory over Grimsby Town.

Sunderland fully deserved the victory, Jack Ross securing his first win in charge at the third attempt following disappointing results against Darlington and Hartlepool United.

Gooch headed home in the 31st minute from Chris Maguire's cross and it proved enough to beat the League Two opposition at Blundell Park.

Ross made four changes to the starting line-up against Hartlepool United. Sunderland had Alim Ozturk, Reece James, Lee Cattermole and Jon McLaughlin all missing.

Maguire handed the chance to lead the attack, the forefront of a 4-3-3 formation with support in wide areas from Callum McManaman on the right and Lynden Gooch on the left.

Under-23 regular Brandon Taylor partnered Tom Flanagan at centre-back and looked composed throughout, with Max Stryjek given the gloves with Robbin Ruiter on the bench.

Sunderland were backed by almost 500 fans at Blundell Park and they watched on as Grimsby went close from the halfway line, Honeyman gifting away possession but the cheeky lobbed

effort from ex-Sunderland youth Cook drifted wide of Stryjek's right-hand post.

Stryjek would go on to have a very commanding half in the Sunderland goal, impressing as he confidently and regularly came for Grimsby balls into his area.

Clear cut chances were few and far between, Cook saw a free-kick sail just side for the hosts while Donald Love fired an effort over from the edge of the area.

Sunderland grew into the half and their hard work eventually paid off on the half hour mark, Gooch with his first of pre-season.

The forward nodded home after getting on the end of a deft Maguire cross from the left channel, James McKeown with little chance of saving it.

Sunderland ended the half on top, McManaman - who should have had a penalty after being wiped out 38 minutes in - was a constant thorn in the Town defence.

On several occasions he beat his man before whipping a ball into the area, the Sunderland attack failing to make the most of his delivery.

He will prove a huge asset in League One provided Sunderland can keep hold of him.

Another Sunderland player to impress was Maguire, playing as a No.9 but often coming deep to get on the ball. His 52nd minute cross headed wide by skipper Honeyman.

It was a big chance for Sunderland. Grimsby had an effort of their own two minutes later, defender Alex Whitmore with the volley at the back post from a tight angle, his effort sailing back

across goal.

The rhythm of the game was inevitably disrupted with half an hour to go when the hosts made their scheduled nine changes.

Sunderland replaced Stryjek for Robbin Ruiter on 66 minutes, with Adam Matthews also on for Hume.

And Ruiter was quickly called into action, the Dutchman reacting superbly to tip a Jake Hessenthaler effort round the post.

Ross brought on Josh Maja and Benjamin Kimpioka on for the final 20 minutes to bring some fresh energy in the final 20 minutes.

And it almost paid off, 18-year-old Kimpioka driving the ball forward before unleashing a low effort inches wide of the left-hand post.

Gooch went close with ten minutes to go, the striker pulling his shirt over his head in frustration after sending his effort wide.

He beat his fullback and got to the by-line but sent his effort wide. Honeyman sent another effort wide with five minutes to go as Sunderland looked to add to their lead.

Sunderland AFC: Stryjek (Ruiter, 66), Flanagan, Taylor, Love, Hume (Matthews, 66), Honeyman, Robson (Mumba, 59), McGeouch (Kimpioka, 74), Gooch, McManaman (Maja, 72), Maguire (Hackett, 85)

Subs Not Used: Molyneux, Storey, Kokolo.

Goals: Gooch (31)

Grimsby Town (starting XI): McKeown, Whitmore, Collins, Famewo, Clifton, Rose, Welsh, Woolford, Fox, Hooper, Cook.

Grimsby Town (After 60 minutes): Russell, Famewo, Whitmore, Davis, Dixon, Hall-Johnson, A Trialist, B Trialist, Hessenthaler, A Rose, Robles.

Referee: Eddie Ilderton

Attendance 1,776 (SAFC 439)