Malc Dugdale says... Patrick Roberts v Crewe (H)
This was one of the first signs I saw that Roberts was a real package we need to hang on to. We were playing Crewe at home with the new gaffer looking to build a strong run to get ourselves well embedded in the playoff picture, with a couple of months to play.
Roberts brought the ball down just inside his own half after a lot of header tennis, laid it off to his recently joined comrade in arms Jack Clarke, and after busting his gut after his pass and making room in the box, Patrick slotted it past the keeper with ease and class.
If any goal told Alex Neil that Patrick Roberts was one for the future and better than league one by some way, this goal was that. Look it up and enjoy, it is mint, no other word.
An honourable mention goes to Clarke for his involvement in Roberts’ goal, and for his cracking goal against Fleetwood the same month. Like his mate Paddy, this really showed us the promise he had too.
Will Jones says... Dan Neil v Accrington Stanley (H)
I picked this goal purely on a sentimental basis.
Dan showed his heart, his style and his precision by putting this away early on at the Stadium of Light.
The way he took the ball down, turned to face the goal and finished it off in style was magnificent, especially for someone who had only made a handful of first team appearances.
In all honesty, if I take one goal pre-playoffs from this season, this is the one that will stick with me, because of how wholesome and beautiful it was, from the start to the celebration.
Jack Gingell says... Elliot Embleton v Shrewsbury (H)
I remember watching from the opposite end of the stadium and seeing Luke O’Nien and Elliot Embleton standing over the ball, hoping that O’Nien wouldn’t take it. Naturally, he stepped up to smash it straight into the wall, as per my fears. Typical of Sunderland to waste a dangerous free kick on the edge of the box, but then…. wallop!
An incredibly stuck first-time volley from Embo, showing his quality on the ball and in my mind our desire to not waste anything, which is illustrative of Alex Neil’s ethos since taking over as manager.
I can watch it again and again - it’s a thunderbastard right in the top bins.
Mike Dunne says... Patrick Roberts v Sheff Wed (P/O Semi 2nd Leg)
What a moment that was.
We weren’t creating much in terms of chances but you just felt we would get one opportunity and have to take it - and take it we did.
The cross by Jack Clarke was perfect, and Roberts finished it with confidence. It was a great team goal, but also a crucial one - probably the most crucial goal all season, really.
Matty Foster says... Elliot Embleton v Shrewsbury (H)
When thinking of the goal of the season, there was only one player that came to mind - Elliot Embleton. Then, it was deciding which one of his absolute pearlers to choose from.
There was his free kick against Cambridge at a seemingly impossible angle, then there was his curled effort against Wycombe earlier in the season.
But it simply doesn’t get better than his strike against Shrewsbury. You’re thinking we’ve spurned a decent chance from the free kick when it’s hit straight into the wall, but there was Embleton, on the half volley to launch it straight into the top bin!