ACCRINGTON Stanley suffered their third loss in a row as Sunderland came away from the Wham Stadium with a 3-0 win with goals from Aiden McGeady, Will Grigg and substitute Kazaiah Sterling.

This leaves Stanley two points above the drop zone - with one game in hand remaining.

The 1608 travelling Sunderland fans had plenty to cheer early on as the Black Cats took the lead inside the opening five minutes as talisman McGeady fired in a 25-yard screamer.

McGeady picked up the ball unmarked and smashed a right footed shot in to Dimi Evtimov’s right, top corner.

Within minutes, the Black Cats nearly doubled their lead as Lynden Gooch’s shot was spilled by Evtimov and Grigg’s follow-up was hacked off the line by Ross Sykes.

Sunderland were on the attack again in the 14th minute, this time Max Power played a one-two off Grigg.

Power found himself in the box and fired straight at Evtimov – should’ve been two.

The visitors could have been four up after 25 minutes of the first half as their latest chance gave McGeady the chance to double his tally.

His left footed strike on the edge of the box whistled just wide of the post.

Stanley looked to use the pace of Paul Smyth with balls over the top of the Sunderland defence and the Northern Irishman almost got in behind, but Luke O’Nien made the decision to pull him down.

Minutes before half time, the next chance fell to Lynden Gooch – Evtimov rushed out, but the American lifted it over him.

Gooch’s lob looked to be going in all the way until it struck the post.

The sickening blow came with the last kick of the half as Jon McLaughlin’s clearance dumbfounded the Stanley defence.

Grigg raced through and slotted beyond Evtimov with ease.

Stanley raced out of the blocks for the second half and substitute, Erico Sousa’s goal effort was blocked brilliantly by Tom Flanagan.

Charlie Wyke almost made it three as his headed effort went across the face of goal.

With 10 minutes left, Adam Morgan raced through on goal and unselfishly squared to Sterling.

The score could have been a lot bigger for Sunderland - who played some brilliant stuff at times.

Stanley: Dimi Evtimov 7, Callum Johnson 6, Mark Hughes 7, Ross Sykes 6, Ben Richards-Everton 5 (45’ Sousa 7), Janoi Donacien 6, Sam Finley (83' Brown) 7, Seamus Conneely 5 (45’ Barlaser 6), Billy Kee 6, Paul Smyth 7

Unused subs: Maxted, Wood, Rodgers, Armstrong

Sunderland: Jon McLaughlin, Luke O’Nien, Tom Flanagan, Jack Baldwin, Denver Hume, Dylan McGeough, Max Power, Lynden Gooch, Charlie Wyke (87' Leadbitter), Aiden McGeady, Will Grigg (70' Sterling)

Unused subs: Ruitter, Oviedo, Ozturk, Morgan, Dunne