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Player Ratings: Sunderland 2-0 Port Vale - O’Brien & McGeady goals send Mackems through!

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Sunderland deservedly won and go through to the next round in the Papa Johns Trophy, with Aiden O’Brien’s neat finish in the first half & Aiden McGeady’s penalty settling the tie. Here’s how Jimmy Lowson rated the lads...

Sunderland v Port Vale - Papa John’s Trophy Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Remi Matthews: 7/10

Continuing on from Saturday night, Matthews didn’t have a memorable save to make. Matthews did his other jobs to a high standard, kicking well and commanding his box with authority.

Max Power: 7/10

Once again offered great energy and enthusiasm as a right back, Power could have had an assist after an excellent low drive caused havoc in the Vale area.

Bailey Wright: 6/10

Was assured in possession all night, did get caught ball watching and forced into a needless booking.

Jordan Willis: 6/10

Looked understandably rusty at times, especially when he had time on the ball, but still showcased some of the technique and power that made him a fan favourite last season.

Callum McFadzean: 6/10

Was bright joining in attacks, thankfully didn’t have much defending to do.

Josh Scowen: 7/10

Linked play well, showed off his technical talents in a way he hasn’t in recent league games, carrying the ball forwards and playing out on the half turn.

Dan Neil: 7/10

Played one gorgeous defence-splitting ball through to Aiden O’Brien, once again looked at home in senior football showcasing his eye for a pass.

Elliot Embleton: 8/10

Just a delight to watch. His quick feet, pass selection in the final third and nonstop energy were excellent throughout.

Chris Maguire: 4/10

Played really sloppily and looked unbothered all game. His pass selection was poor, his touch wasn’t there, at times he was Port Vale’s best defender.

Lynden Gooch: 7/10

Looked confident and lively, released Embleton with a brilliantly disguised back heel that typified the American’s bulletproof confidence.

Aiden O’Brien: 7/10

Took his goal brilliantly, finishing early and accurately into the corner, O’Brien’s link up play was inconsistent. But, this was his most accomplished Sunderland performance in what feels like an age.

(SUB) Grant Leadbitter: 7/10

Played two or three excellent progressive passes after replacing Neil at half-time.

(SUB) Aiden McGeady: 7/10

Put in a peach of a cross to set up Wyke for what could have been a game-sealing second goal moments after coming on and looked a real threat throughout his 20 minutes of action. Capped off Sunderland’s progression to the last eight by confidently smashing home a penalty with the last kick of the game.

(SUB) Oliver Younger: 5/10

Other than being involved in a nasty collision with Tom Pope it’s hard to remember much Younger did in his 20-minute run out.

(SUB) Charlie Wyke: 5/10

Missed a golden chance to double Sunderland’s lead failing to direct McGeady’s inviting cross either side of Dino Visser in the Port Vale goal.

(SUB) Jack Diamond: 7/10

Won a penalty, caused havoc in a short 10-minute cameo.

Man of the Match

Elliot Embleton