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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 September, 2004, 16:20 GMT 17:20 UK
Sunderland 3-1 Preston
Stephen Elliott scored twice as Sunderland maintained their unbeaten home record in the Championship.

His opener came on 27 minutes after a shot by the influential Julio Arca had been spilled into his path.

The visitors equalised against the run of play, Richard Cresswell winning a penalty that Graham Alexander scored.

But Sunderland deservedly claimed the points thanks to a goal by Darren Carter on his debut and another tidy finish by Elliott on 52 minutes.

  • Sunderland boss Mick McCarthy:
    "It has been a good week for us, taking nine points from three games, and I have been very pleased with the performances.

    "I thought after we scored the third goal we were never in any danger.

    "It was important that we got those results because when you are losing it can have a negative affect on young players."

  • Preston caretaker boss Billy Davies:
    "I have been asked to do the job and will just take each game as it comes.

    "I have to work with the players I have and we all have a job to do - it's the board who make decisions.

    "We've got a small squad and have lost some key players through injury.

    "But you can't come to a place like Sunderland and have so many players not on top of their game."

    Sunderland: Poom, McCartney, Breen, Stephen Caldwell, Wright, Arca, Robinson (Lawrence 65), Carter, Whitehead, Elliott (Johnson 90), Stewart.
    Subs Not Used: Oster, Lynch, Myhre.

    Booked: Arca, Stephen Caldwell.

    Goals: Elliott 27, Carter 45, Elliott 52.

    Preston: Lonergan, Curtis, Lucketti (Davidson 45), Mawene, Alexander, Lewis, O'Neil, Etuhu, Skora (Smith 68), Cresswell, Healy (Lynch 69).
    Subs Not Used: McCormack, Ward.

    Booked: Healy.

    Goals: Alexander 39 pen.

    Att: 24,264.

    Ref: A Kaye (W Yorkshire).

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