Sunderland made it into the top 10 Championship as they made a winning comeback after the World Cup was halted. Second-half goals from Amad Diallo, Alex Pritchard and Ellis Simms gave the Black Cats a 3-0 victory over Millwall.
The hosts effectively put things right with a flurry of two goals in the space of five minutes early in the second half, improving markedly after a slow start to claim what was only a second home win since august. The visitors should have scored in first-half stoppage time, but Zian Flemming put his shot wide after goalkeeper Anthony Patterson missed his clearance.
It was a crucial failure as Sunderland took the game into their own hands with two early goals after the restart. Diallo scored first, tapping home at the back post after Simms’ attempted backheel on Pritchard’s cross deflected into his path. Sunderland doubled their lead when Pritchard’s shot somehow slipped past George Long.
The Millwall keeper was again at fault as Sunderland netted a third goal in stoppage time, coming off their line in an unsuccessful attempt to reach a long ball over the top and allowing Simms to push the ball past him before to return to his place.
Leaders Plymouth suffered their first home league defeat of the season against Port Vale Friday night, but neither Ipswich Where Sheffield Wednesday could claim the win they needed to take first place.
Vale are ninth after their unexpected victory at Home Park, sealed by second-half goals from Tom Conlon and James Wilson. Ipswich leads Fleetwood from the second minute on Friday after Luke Woolfenden struck at Portman Road, but Cian Hayes equalized deep into added time.
Wednesday, third, could also have been in the lead with a win at Derby in a Saturday midday kick-off but were held to a goalless draw. In a game of few chances, Owls keeper David Stockdale denied David McGoldrick and Derby stopper Joe Wildsmith saved from Fisayo Dele-Bashiru in the second half.
Barnsley are fourth after winning 2-1 at Peterborough Friday night. Luca Connell’s opener for the visitors was canceled out by Jack Taylor’s header in the 21st minute, before Adam Phillips netted Barnsley’s second-half winner. Dion Charles scored in stoppage time to earn fifth place Bolt a point to Bristol Routeswho led thanks to the first goal of Josh Coburn.
At the other end of the table, green forest started from the bottom with a dramatic 2-1 win over Cambridge Saturday. Connor Wickham sealed the victory from the spot in the third minute of stoppage time, shortly after Saikou Janneh canceled out Josh March’s opener. Bradley Johnson’s late equalizer saved MK donations from the foot of the table as they earned a 1-1 draw with Burton.
Morecambe are now backing the division after their winless run stretched to a sixth game with Friday’s 1-1 draw at home to Outside. Cole Stockton’s 34th-minute goal was canceled out by Joshua Key two minutes later. In Friday’s other game, Alfie May’s 84th-minute goal gave Cheltenham a 1-0 win at Charlton.
In Saturday’s other games, Luke Leahy netted his fourth penalty of the season to score Shrewsbury on course for a 2-0 victory against lincolnwhile Ethan Hamilton’s long shot earned Accrington a late point at home for Oxford.
Leyton East restored their five-point lead at the top with a 3-0 win at home against Bradford. Charlie Kelman opened the deadlock after 24 minutes from Theo Archibald’s through ball and the hosts doubled their lead eight minutes later when Tom James found the top corner from 20 yards out.
Orient took the win in the 85th minute when substitute Ruel Sotiriou got on the scoresheet. The leaders reacted well after second place Stevenage came within two points with a 5-0 home win against Wheelbarrow Friday night. Jake Reeves, Jamie Reid, Dan Sweeney and Luke Norris were all on target for Steve Evans’ team.
Northampton are four points adrift in third place after being held to a goalless draw by Tranmere Saturday. Promotion seekers Mansfield picked up a 2-1 victory against the difficulties ColchesterLucas Akins returning home winner in stoppage time. Fifth place Carlisle were held 1-1 at home by sutton thanks to the equalizer of Will Randall.
Hartlepool remain rooted at the bottom after a 5-0 loss at home to Stockport. Kyle Wootton struck twice and Paddy Madden, Callum Camps and Will Collar also found the net as County Manager Dave Challinor inflicted a painful loss on his former club. Gillingham stay in the bottom two after Salford scored three second-half goals to bolster their play-off hopes with a 3-0 win at Priestfield.
New Crawley manager, Matthew Etherington, celebrated victory in his first game in charge with a 2-0 success against Swindon. Nick Tsaroulla opened the scoring via a 79th-minute deflection before Jack Powell scored from 40 yards out after a confusion in the Swindon defense.
Harrogate pulled away from danger and left Rochdale deep inside with a 4-1 away win. James Ball put the hosts ahead early on, but George Thomson quickly equalized from long range, and Luke Armstrong’s quick brace secured victory. Elsewhere, Ethan Chislett’s second-half strike was fired Wimbledon to a 1-0 win over Grimsby.
In other matches on Friday, Wallsall climbed to eighth place with a 2-0 win at Doncaster thanks to second-half goals from Tom Knowles and Danny Johnson, while Newport produced a late comeback to beat Crewe with Offrande Zanzala getting the winner.