That lone goal, which was timed on fourteen minutes, was mainly the result of Isak Hansen’s positive run forward that had the Sunderland defence retreating. Fernandez, who had joined in the attack, took a short pass from the former Tromso midfield player before crossing into the area. The ball struck a group of players and looked goal-bound but was blocked on the line before McNeill followed up to thump home his 20th goal of the season.

United ran out 6-0 winners against Sunderland in the home game at the Aon Training Complex earlier in the season, after also being just one goal in front at half-time, but that certainly didn’t look like being repeated in this meeting. And that appeared even more unlikely when, with twenty minutes left on the clock, Sunderland’s skipper Josh Baggs headed his side level from Caden Kelly’s corner.

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