The story of the day as Aiden McGeady's brace fires Sunderland to encouraging pre-season win at Hearts

Sunderland continued their pre-season preparations with a friendly at Hearts this weekend.

Saturday, 17th July 2021, 5:51 pm

After a draw at Spennymoor Town a fortnight ago, followed by two behind closed doors fixtures against local opponents last weekend, the Black Cats headed to Tynecastle ready for a step-up in opposition.

Lee Johnson’s side have been based in Edinburgh for the majority of the week as part of a pre-season training camp and will hope to end a fruitful week with victory against the Scottish Premiership side.

The game could saw summer signings Corry Evans and Callum Doyle handed their debuts – while Aiden McGeady featured for the first time since penning fresh contracts.

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The story of the day as Aiden McGeady's brace fires Sunderland to encouraging pre-season win at Hearts

A number of the club’s promising youngsters were also be involved.

Phil Smith and Mark Donnelly were at the game for The Echo, bringing you build-up, team news, match coverage, analysis, insight, reaction and more from the pre-season fixture – which you can relive here.

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FT: Hearts 0-2 Sunderland AFC (McGeady 15, 42)

Last updated: Saturday, 17 July, 2021, 15:08

  • Sunderland travel to Tynecastle in their second public pre-season friendly.
  • Lee Johnson is again set to experiment with his squad ahead of the new League One season.
  • SAFC XI: Patterson, Winchester, Doyle, Flanagan, Dyce, Neil, Embleton, McGeady, Gooch, O’Brien, Stewart

The Sunderland squad are here!

And it’s pretty much as expected in terms of personnel - with no Alex Pritchard given his positive COVID-19 test.

New signings Corry Evans and Callum Doyle are here, along with youngsters such as Tyrese Dyce and Oliver Younger.

Will Grigg has also travelled, while Arbenit Xhemajli is here - but unlikely to play any part.


And here’s how Sunderland line-up for the friendly at Hearts: Patterson, Winchester, Doyle, Flanagan, Dyce, Neil, Embleton, McGeady, Gooch, O’Brien, Stewart

And on the bench: Burge, Grigg, Taylor, Richardson, Evans, Diamond, Younger, Wilding

It could be a 4-4-2 or a 4-2-3-1 for the Black Cats, but whatever the formation it looks like Carl Winchester is at right-back.

There’s a debut for Callum Doyle, with Corry Evans on the bench.

No place for Bailey Wright, Luke O’Nien or Alex Pritchard.

And here’s how Hearts line-up...

Confusingly, their goalkeeper is also called Ross Stewart!

Sunderland are out to warm-up!

Not that they need it today, the sun is beaming down on Tynecastle and it’s a lovely day!

Luke O’Nien - who isn’t named in the squad today - is involved in the early parts of the warm-up.

Not long to go now...

And Sunderland are going through the final stages of their warm-up.

As expected, the side are preparing in a back four with Carl Winchester on the right-hand side.

The owner is watching on today!

And he’s joined by sporting director Kristjaan Speakman.

The two teams have emerged from the tunnels at Tynecastle, and kick-off is just moments away!

Lynden Gooch is wearing the armband for the Black Cats today.

We’ll have all the big updates right here...

1 - Aaaaaand we’re off!

Hearts get the ball rolling in front of a vocal home crowd.

2 - A positive start from Sunderland

And we’ve already seen Callum Doyle’s quality, as he carried the ball out of the back well before playing a fine pass into the path of Ross Stewart.

The Black Cats then won a corner - prompting shouts of ‘useless’ from the home crowd - which went short to Gooch, but his delivery was blocked at the source.

7 - Hearts are growing into this

The hosts are starting to see more of the ball, but chances are still at a premium so far.

Gooch just managed to get to the byline and dink in a cross, which was claimed by Hearts ‘keeper Ross Stewart before Sunderland striker Ross Stewart can connect.

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