Sunderland’s Carabao Cup win over Bury won’t live long in the memory for most – but for goal hero George Honeyman it is a night he will never forget.
The 22-year-old academy product scored his first ever goal for Sunderland AFC, dinking the ball over Joe Murphy in the 69th minute to seal victory and progression to the second round.
A trip to League Two Carlisle United awaits in the next round of the competition.
The game against Bury wasn’t much to write home about but Honeyman added a moment of brilliance midway through the second half, a goal worthy of winning any game.
One-on-one, the midfielder dinked the ball over Murphy with superb composure to finally give the visitors the lead. Honeyman celebrated with the 1,000-strong Sunderland support behind the goal at Gigg Lane.
“I absolutely loved it. To score a winner for my first goal, it is very special,” said a beaming Honeyman.
“I’ll never forget it. I know lots of people probably will, but I’ll never forget it.
“It’s not often that you score the winner, so I’m just really, really happy.
“I heard someone say that teams from the Championship who have got to the quarter-final have always been promoted, or something like that, so, if we can go on a cup run, let’s hope that can work for us.
“It’s good just to get a winning mentality in the club. We just need to keep it going into Sunday against Norwich City.
“We knew it would be tough, that they would be hard-working and run us close. We knew it wouldn’t be an easy game, but we hoped our quality would see us through and in the end it did.”
There was initial confusion over whether striker James Vaughan, on as a second-half sub, had nicked the goal on the line, but it was Honeyman’s goal – to his relief.
Vaughan’s wait for his first Sunderland goal continues.
“I just like to get on the ball and try and make something happen, it was the perfect weighted pass just to let it run across me,” said Honeyman.
“Then I saw the keeper steaming out and it was just instinct to put it over him. I’m just glad – I think it was Vaughany trying to nick it on the line!
“I would have throttled him if he’d nicked it!
“I’m just happy we won and got into the next round of the competition.
“That last 10 felt like another 45 minutes – it was tough.
“If we’re being honest, we should have been three or four up, we had chances.Wahbi [Khazri] was unlucky with his slip and there was one or two others.
“We need to be more clinical I think, but it’s only the second game of the season.”
Simon Grayson has put a lot of faith in Honeyman since taking charge this summer and the boss was delighted to see the academy product score the winning goal.
Grayson saidd: “George scored a good goal.
“It started outside the dug-out, followed his pass, good play to spot him and then he applied a great finish.
“I was delighted for him to see it hit the net.”