Black Cats sink Brighton
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Sunderland proved too strong for Brighton to record a 2-0 victory.
Sunderland proved too strong for Brighton to keep the Stadium of Light faithful happy by recording a 2-0 victory.
Crowd favourite Julio Arca broke the deadlock after 64 minutes and a Liam Lawrence penalty clinched the points for Mick McCarthy's men.
After leaving out the man whose goal earned three points at basement side Rotherham United on Monday, Dean Whitehead, The Black Cats started well and were unlucky not to earn a penalty when Lawrence was felled by Danny Cullip.
Marcus Stewart and Stephen Elliott threatened Michel Kuipers's goal but Thomas Myhre had to be on his toes to keep out Darren Currie and Charlie Oatway as the first half drew to a close.
Eventually, the home side's pressure paid dividends when Kuipers parried a shot by Lawrence and substitute Michael Bridges hit the bar with the rebound. The ball fell kindly for Arca, who gleefully accepted the opportunity to score. However, he was booked for his over-elaborate celebrations.
Elliott spurned a glorious opportunity from an Arca cross but Lawrence sealed the victory after being up-ended by England Under-21 international Dan Harding inside the box.
The former Mansfield Town star took the spot-kick himself to register his first goal since his summer move to Wearside.