Sunderland 2 Luton Town 1: Connolly keeps Keane on course for top half of the table
Monday 11 December 2006
Many of Sunderland's games this season might have been better viewed on Ceefax, and Roy Keane admits he has become a devotee of the BBC's information service.
"I've been studying the table and it'd be nice to get on that first page of Ceefax," said Sunderland's manager of four months. Only the top half of the Championship make it on to the first Ceefax page. Keane added: "I thought we'd managed it last week but we ended up going down a place despite winning. Then we made it after this win, but we have to wait for how West Brom do on Sunday to see if we stay there." Albion's draw with Barnsley means there is work still to be done.
Now unbeaten in six games thanks to goals at the start of each half from Daryl Murphy, against his former club, and David Connolly, Sunderland are making up for lost time after a wretched early season. They are three points off the top six, and Connolly said: "The play-offs are an obvious target but there's also second spot. Things change quickly if you keep winning and we're stringing a few together."
With Luton heading in the opposite direction after a single victory in nine games, it is fortunate Mike Newell does not share his opposite number's obsession with Ceefax. The Hatters, five points above the drop zone, are most definitely page-two material.
They took the lead on Saturday through Dean Morgan's angled drive, and it was an advantage that should have been restored when Rowan Vine wasted the contest's clearest opening just before the interval.
After that, only an outstanding display from the goalkeeper Dean Kiely prevented a heavier defeat. Newell said: "I won't blame anyone for missing chances. But it's no consolation saying we've done well if we don't end up with any points."
Goals: Morgan (4) 0-1; Murphy (10) 1-1; Connolly (53) 2-1.
Sunderland (4-4-2) Fulop; Whitehead, Varga, Caldwell, Collins; Elliott, Kavanagh, Miller, Wallace; Murphy, Connolly (Leadbitter, 78). Substitutes not used: Carson (gk), Nyatanga, Elliott, Yorke.
Luton Town (4-4-2) Kiely; Foley, Barnett, Heikkinen, Emanuel; Edwards, Bell, Robinson, Brkovic; Morgan (Boyd, 76), Vine (Feeney, 76). Substitutes not used: Beresford (gk), Perrett, Langley.
Referee: A Penn (West Midlands).
Booked: Luton Town Brkovic.
Man of the match: Kiely.
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