Jack Ross verdict on Port Vale penalty appeal in Sunderland's FA Cup win

Jack Ross.
Jack Ross.
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Jack Ross admits Port Vale had a ‘decent claim’ for a penalty in Sunderland’s 2-1 FA Cup first round victory.

Sunderland raced into a 2-0 lead after just 19 minutes at Vale Park thanks to goals from George Honeyman after just 36 seconds, before Lynden Gooch added a second.

Port Vale halved the deficit 35 minutes in through top scorer Tom Pope before the game’s pivotal moment in the second half, when Luke Hannant got free in the box.

Jack Baldwin went for the last ditch challenge, Hannant going to ground and Vale adamant that a penalty should have been given.

Referee Anthony Backhouse waved play on and Sunderland were able to clear their lines.

Ross said: “I’ve not seen it (penalty incident) again, but from pitchside I thought it was a decent claim.

“I don’t always get it right from pitch-side though, and that’s been the case with ones I thought we should have had as well.

“On first shout though, I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had pointed to the spot.”

Ross made just one change to the team that beat Plymouth Argyle 2-0, Josh Maja named on the bench with Jerome Sinclair in from the start.

On Maja not starting, Ross said: “The team was selected to start the game. It’s a big pitch here and in fairness to the players, the things we had done in prep for this game, they did

brilliantly in the first half-hour.

“They were perfect almost in the manner they played the game, and Jerome played his part in that.

“When Josh came on, I thought he helped us gain control of the game again. That’s the advantage of having players in the squad who can do jobs.”

Sunderland, on the back of a seven-game winning run, are next in action on Tuesday night when they travel to Morecambe for the final Checkatrade Trophy group game.