Match Reports

Albion 1-2 Sunderland

An image of John Swift scoring a penalty against Sunderland

Sunderland came from behind to beat Albion 1-2 at The Hawthorns on Sunday afternoon.

John Swift’s spot-kick during first-half stoppage time had put the Baggies ahead, but a Dennis Cirkin brace in the second period earned Tony Mowbray’s team all three Sky Bet Championship points.

Carlos Corberán’s men have a chance to bounce back this Wednesday when they travel to Sheffield United.

The boss made one change to his XI, replacing the injured Nathaniel Chalobah with Okay Yokuslu.

And Albion tried to make a fast start within a rousing Hawthorns atmosphere – Jayson Molumby in the thick of it, seeing a venomous low shot blocked and having an early penalty shout waved away.

It was the Irishman who rescued the Baggies down the other end, too, brilliantly diverting Joe Gelhardt’s volley over the crossbar after Sunderland had seen out the early pressure and begun creating chances of their own.

Alex Palmer was then forced into action twice, first to deny Amad Diallo when the forward was through on goal, before spectacularly tipping Jack Clarke’s curling effort past the post.

Yet as half-time approached Albion managed to navigate that tricky period and earn a penalty – Swift getting brought down by Luke O’Nien in the box.

The attacking midfielder dusted himself down, stepped up and smashed the ball straight down the middle to hand the hosts a half-time lead.

An image of Albion's players celebrating John Swift's goal against Sunderland

The Baggies could – and probably should – have doubled their advantage straight after the interval, the Sunderland defence standing firm despite successive shots from Molumby, Karlan Grant, Conor Townsend and Darnell Furlong.

And they were soon made to rue those misses, Cirkin guiding in Lynden Gooch’s cross to hand the Black Cats an equaliser.

Albion attempted to bounce straight back and would have nabbed a second had Anthony Patterson not kept out Wallace’s poke and a Townsend header.

It looked like the hosts found their winner 10 minutes from time, Yokuslu excellently converting a volley only to see the assistant referee flagging to indicate the ball had gone out of play beforehand.

Instead, Sunderland found the third and final goal of a pulsating clash to steal the victory, Cirkin finishing well inside the area to leave them jubilant and, sadly, Albion empty-handed.

Albion: Palmer; Furlong, Ajayi, Pieters (Bartley 90), Townsend; Yokuslu (Gardner-Hickman 85), Molumby (Rogic 90); Wallace, Swift (Faal 90), Grant (Albrighton 83); Thomas-Asante.

Substitutes: Griffiths, Livermore.

Attendance: 24,764