Tony Mowbray praised “super talent” Jack Clarke after his double helped Sunderland to a 3-1 victory at Blackburn.

The Black Cats rode their luck early on and needed two brilliant heroic blocks from Dan Ballard to save certain goals.

It gave Sunderland and Clarke the platform to flourish. He won and converted the opener – a calm finish from the penalty spot – and although Harry Leonard’s header pegged them back, Dan Neil restored the lead before half-time.

Dilan Markanday hit the woodwork in the second half, but a composed Sunderland looked increasingly dangerous. It was typified by the imperious Clarke, who rounded off the scoring by nonchalantly rolling in from close range.

After their third successive win, Mowbray challenged “amazing” Clarke to keep working hard. He said: “I was extremely unhappy with him for half an hour. He was right in front of me and he wasn’t listening!

“He was amazing tonight. Scored two great goals, earned the penalty, he stuck it away, which shows the confidence level he’s got to stand up and take the penalty, and the composure for his second goal.

“But not just the goal. The more the game went on, the more this team knows to give it to Clarke who can run it 40 yards up the pitch, he can cut inside, pass it to people in the box, he can shoot.

“He’s a super talent, he’s a great kid and I don’t apologise for shouting at him and telling him he has to work hard because all the best players work harder than anybody else and their talent shines through.

“That’s what he has to do, to learn to work really hard out of possession for the team.”

Jon Dahl Tomasson felt Blackburn should have been “out of sight” in the first half.

He said: “We are very disappointed with the result. If you look at those chances we created, we should at least have scored three or four goals in the first half.

“Also, the way we created it and the amount of big chances, we should have been out of sight in that way. We saw some excellent football.

“I think we gave three unnecessary goals away. Of course, sometimes when you chase the game in the second half, it was a little bit more open. But we conceded a penalty and I think that’s the first time they were in our box. Then a corner just before half-time.

“Second half, I think we started well. Dominant again, created chances again. When you look at those amount of moments, it is crazy that we didn’t get a result.

“The team have done a lot of things right. Of course, we need to be more clinical.”

Jack Clarke scored twice as Sunderland moved up to fourth in the Sky Bet Championship with an impressive 3-1 win at Blackburn.

The Black Cats had to weather a ferocious early Blackburn storm, but took the lead with their first shot as Clarke won and converted a 28th-minute penalty. Harry Leonard’s header drew Rovers level, but Dan Neil struck his second goal of the season in added time to give the visitors a half-time lead.

Dilan Markanday struck the post for Blackburn, but Sunderland were much more composed than the first half and in Clarke, boasted the game’s supreme performer. He duly made the game safe 12 minutes from time, superbly creating the chance to score his fifth of the season from close range.

It capped a happy return to Ewood Park for former manager Tony Mowbray, whose side made it three successive victories.

Blackburn raced out of the traps and were close to a spectacular opener when Leonard’s volley from a narrow angle sailed just over.

They should have been ahead in the ninth minute when Anthony Patterson saved from Sammie Szmodics and the rebound fell to Andrew Moran six yards out, but Dan Ballard produced a sensational block to deny Rovers a certain goal.

The defender repeated the trick three minutes later when he headed over a Szmodics goalbound effort as Blackburn’s onslaught continued.

Somehow, it was the Black Cats who took the lead in the 28th minute after Clarke nipped in ahead of Ryan Hedges as he tried to clear the ball and he kicked the Sunderland man instead.

Clarke picked himself up and calmly slotted his penalty straight down the middle of goal.

Rovers deservedly drew level seven minutes later when Callum Brittain’s sumptuous cross was headed beyond Patterson by Leonard at the back post. Ballard was off the pitch for the goal that looked offside, leading to Tony Mowbray being booked for his protests.

But the visitors regrouped and went ahead in the first minute of first-half stoppage time when a corner fell to Neil, who took a touch before firing a low left-foot drive beyond Pears into the bottom corner.

Patterson tipped a Lewis Travis effort behind after the restart before the imperious Clarke set up a chance for Mason Burstow to shoot straight at Aynsley Pears.

Substitute Markanday was inches away from an equaliser in the 70th minute when he did well to engineer space in the box before curling for the far corner, but his effort hit the post and fell safe.

It was fitting that Clarke sealed the three points for Sunderland in the 78th minute, effortlessly cutting in from the left past three defenders and Pears before casually rolling into the bottom corner.

Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray insisted his side looked good enough to beat QPR even without the sending-off of Jack Colback.

The Black Cats came from behind to win 3-1 at Loftus Road, where Kenneth Paal put the hosts ahead before Rs midfielder Colback was red-carded against his former club for a challenge on Jobe Bellingham.

However, Paal’s opener came somewhat against the run of play and Mowbray felt the visitors were superior prior to Colback’s dismissal.

They equalised in the seventh minute of first-half stoppage time when Jack Clarke’s effort was diverted in by QPR defender Steve Cook.

And second-half goals from Dan Ballard and Abdoullah Ba secured the points.

Mowbray said: “I think we started really well in the game, dominated, and then they scored. It wasn’t as if they were peppering our goal and giving us problems.

“We got the job done and I think we controlled the game and deserved it.”

QPR’s young Irish striker Sinclair Armstrong caused problems with his pace and power, but overall the home side struggled.

Mowbray added: “QPR spend a lot of time out of possession – their average possession is 33 per cent – so we knew we were going to have lots of the ball.

“It was about how we broke down their defensive block and we found a way to do that, which was pleasing.

“They are a team that are driven to be competitive and we were trying to control the game.

“But I thought we were OK in the first half and it seemed a matter of time.

“They were trying to score on the transition with Armstrong, who’s a hugely talented boy, but I thought we dealt with him really well.

“I just felt it was a matter of time before we scored and it was great that we scored before half-time.”

QPR boss Gareth Ainsworth had no doubt that Colback’s sending-off was the turning point in the match.

Ainsworth said: “Jack’s a competitor and if you tackle hard in this day and age and miss your timing then the refs can come down with a red card. He’s been a victim of that.

“We had a plan put in place and looked very secure, but with 10 men it was always going to be difficult against a team that were one game away from the Premier League last year and have spent good money in the transfer window.”

Rangers were almost relegated last season, have won just once at home since last October and have lost all three of their home matches this term.

But Ainsworth is adamant there has been a marked improvement.

He said: “This place is different to what it was. I’ll tell you now: these boys empty the tank every single game.

“It was hard with 10 men. I’m not saying we definitely would have won with 11, but we had a plan.

“To get to half-time 1-0 would have been great. It’s a different team-talk at 1-0 up. After that I just wanted us to stay in the game.

“The third goal was really a killer. That kills us off.”

Sunderland came from behind to beat 10-man QPR 3-1 as Jack Colback was sent off against his former club.

Kenneth Paal put the hosts ahead but Colback was then red-carded and the Black Cats levelled after seven minutes of first-half injury time when Jack Clarke’s effort was deflected in by Rs defender Steve Cook.

Rangers battled hard but second-half goals from Dan Ballard and Abdoullah Ba secured the points for Tony Mowbray’s side.

QPR have won just once at Loftus Road since last October and have lost all three of their home games so far this season.

Paal opened the scoring for them with a crisp strike from just outside the penalty area after 12 minutes.

After Sunderland failed to properly clear Paul Smyth’s throw-in from the right, Ilias Chair teed up Paal, who sent a low left-footed shot beyond keeper Anthony Patterson and into the bottom corner of the net.

The goal came somewhat against the run of play, with the visitors having made a lively start.

Rangers survived an early scare when Ballard blazed over at the far post from Clarke’s left-wing corner, before Sunderland appealed in vain for a penalty when Clarke went down in the area as he tried to get between Smyth and Sam Field.

Paal’s opener – the left-back’s second goal of the season – galvanised Rangers but they suffered a major blow when Colback was dismissed nine minutes later.

Colback is a hugely unpopular figure among Sunderland fans, having left the club to join arch-rivals Newcastle in 2014, and they revelled in his straight red card for a challenge on Jobe Bellingham.

The Black Cats had a goal disallowed for offside soon afterwards when Bellingham headed in after being found by Alex Pritchard’s ball in from the left.

And an almost identical build-up then resulted in Bellingham missing a sitter as he failed to make contact when again found unmarked inside the area by Pritchard.

However, just as Rangers looked like getting to the interval in front, they conceded an equaliser. In attempting to head away Clarke’s shot from near the left-hand edge of the penalty area, Cook succeeded only in diverting the ball past keeper Asmir Begovic.

A second-half barrage from Sunderland inevitably followed and they went in front on 57 minutes courtesy of defender Ballard’s first goal for the club.

Pritchard exchanged passes with Patrick Roberts and was denied by Begovic but the loose ball rolled to Ballard, who had a simple tap-in.

Ba almost added a third when he fired against the outside of the post from an awkward angle after being set up by Bellingham.

But he made no mistake with an emphatic finish from Adil Aouchiche’s left-wing cross on 81 minutes.

Russell Martin believes Southampton’s heavy defeat at Sunderland is evidence that his side have not yet shaken off the hangover of last season’s relegation from the Premier League.

Saints suffered their first defeat of the Championship campaign as they were hammered 5-0 by the brilliant Black Cats at the Stadium of Light.

Martin’s side endured a horror start, going behind to Jack Clarke’s opener after just 52 seconds before Pierre Ekwah added a second for the hosts six minutes later.

Southampton then attempted to get some control of the game but conceded a third on the stroke of half-time, when former West Ham midfielder Ekwah hit his second.

Bradley Dack added a fourth immediately after the restart before 16-year-old substitute Chris Rigg rounded off the rout deep in stoppage time.

Martin said: “I feel really sorry for the supporters that came, they were amazing right to the end and we have to make sure this is the toughest day we have and we have to learn from that.

“Initially it’s really difficult to analyse because I’ll have to watch it back, but when you concede two goals early it completely changes the complex of the game.

“The one thing we spoke about is starting well. It’s a young team at Sunderland and when the wind is in their sails they’re very good but when they have a difficult start they can then find it tough to get the game back

“But the game just went for them. They had momentum after their start, brilliant momentum and we didn’t have enough of that.

“Everything they did well – they fought, they came out on top of duels, they worked so hard – we didn’t, we went in self-preservation mode, which I think is still a hangover from last season.

“It’s the first defeat but the manner of it really hurts.”

The win extended Sunderland’s unbeaten run to three games and Tony Mowbray was delighted after what he says has been a “tough week” off the pitch due to transfer speculation surrounding a number of his players.

The Black Cats lost Ross Stewart to Southampton on deadline day but also had interest in a number of other key players, including Ekwah, Clarke, Patrick Roberts and Dan Neil – who all stayed at the Stadium of Light.

Mowbray said: “The result is important for the team and the spirit.

“It’s been a tough week in the build-up to it in terms of speculation around a lot of our players. In training yesterday, there were rumours about certain clubs looking at certain players and it disrupts young footballers.

“I can see them talking to each other, and yet they showed great professionalism today. We all turned up and did what we hoped we could do.

“I’m happy with the day and happy for the fans. On paper this is a really difficult game. I looked at their squad on the back of the programme and just saw name after name after name of really experienced high quality footballer.”

Sunderland made four deadline-day additions, including the loan signing of Chelsea forward Mason Burstow.

Mowbray said: “We have some extra attacking players now and they might watch that game today thinking how do they get in that team, but that’s OK because competition drives all footballers.”

Southamtpon’s unbeaten start to the Championship season came crashing to an end as Russell Martin’s side were blown away 5-0 by brilliant Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland fans taunted Ross Stewart after the injured striker’s deadline-day switch to Saints as Tony Mowbray’s side built on a dream start and stunned the visitors.

Jack Clarke scored the opening goal after just 52 seconds before Pierre Ekwah added a deflected second six minutes later.

The outstanding Ekwah scored his second and Sunderland’s third on the stroke of half-time. Bradley Dack added a fourth early in the second half before 16-year-old substitute Chris Rigg rounded off a perfect afternoon with his first league goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

The win means Sunderland – who signed four players on deadline day, including Chelsea loanee Mason Burstow – are now unbeaten in three games.

In the week boss Mowbray marked his first anniversary as boss, the Black Cats delivered their best performance of his tenure so far.

A fine opening goal inside a minute set Sunderland on their way. Abdoullah Ba found Trai Hume on the right and the full-back delivered a teasing cross that was met by winger Clarke, who ghosted in at the back post to head home.

Ba was again involved in the second six minutes later. After a Jobe Bellingham cut-back, the winger, only in the team because of the injury to Patrick Roberts, who Southampton tried to sign this week, teed up Ekwah on the edge of the box and the former West Ham midfielder found the bottom corner from 25 yards.

After their nightmare start, Southampton settled down and tried to get a grip of the game. In a dominant 10 minute spell, Martin’s side had 91 per cent of possession but failed to find the goal they needed after the horror opening.

And rather than sit back and soak up pressure, Sunderland then pushed for more goals.

The third came in the 45th minute when Ekwah pounced on a mistake by Southampton debutant Mason Holgate and curled into the bottom corner from 25 yards out.

Southampton made two substitutions at the break, introducing Che Adams after his deadline-day move to Wolves fell through and Newcastle loanee Ryan Fraser. But the changes did not have the impact Martin had hoped for and within four minutes of the restart Sunderland had their fourth.

Gavin Bazuna saved well to keep out a header from Dack but the home side kept the ball alive and the former Blackburn man poked home from close range.

Sunderland put the icing on the cake in the 95th minute when Rigg headed in a cross from fellow substitute Jewison Bennette.

Sunderland manager Tony Mowbray is still waiting for his attack to fire this season after they ground out a goalless draw at Coventry.

Already without long-term casualty Ross Stewart, the Black Cats were also shorn of the injured Patrick Roberts, with Mowbray continuing to mend and make do with 17-year-old Jobe Bellingham leading the line.

Mowbray is hoping he will be able to bring in a striker before the transfer window closes on Friday in order to add a cutting edge to a side that frequently dominates possession.

In terms of chances created, it was Coventry who shaded matters and it required several good saves from Sunderland goalkeeper Anthony Patterson to preserve a point for the visitors.

Mowbray said: “The game panned out a little bit differently to what I thought.

“I thought we would come here and dominate possession, like we did last year against them, and they were good first half with the ball.

“I was disappointed at half-time and we readjusted a few things and I thought we were better in the second half.

“We got into some good positions and just the final ball wasn’t quite there today, as we can say in most of the games this season.

“The first three games we averaged 68 per cent possession and we got in behind teams so many times, but we couldn’t find the pass to put the ball into the back of the net.

“It was a bit like that in the second half today and yet you could always feel Coventry’s threat.

“They obviously played two strikers and a 10, they’re a menace and I thought the concentration was good defensively.”

The best chance of the first half came Coventry’s way after 44 minutes when Ellis Simms went through, only for Patterson to save well with his legs.

Sunderland looked bright after the restart and forced Ben Wilson into action twice in a matter of moments as he parried Dan Neil’s effort before also saving Dennis Cirkin’s follow-up.

Kasey Palmer then tried to force the issue for the hosts with a good run into the area, but his tame effort was comfortably saved by Patterson.

The clearest chance for either team to win it came in the 79th minute when Coventry debutant Yasin Ayari played in fellow substitute Haji Wright, who was also denied by the impressive Patterson.

Coventry boss Mark Robins said: “Across the backline, I thought we were outstanding.

“When we needed to, we threw bodies in front of it – I think Milan (Van Ewijk) has had his best game, Jay Dasilva has been really good today, Kyle McFadzean was a joke throwing himself in front of things.

“Then on the flip side of it, we’ve played some really good football.

“We got through them, we got into wide areas, they sat deep and tried to play on the counter-attack against us – they had three players there to try and break out at any given moment, and that’s why they’re dangerous.

“They dropped bodies in, we tried to open them up and if we don’t get it right because there’s no space, it means that as soon as we turn it over, they’re on a counter.

“That put us on the back foot in terms of coming out and being really aggressive.”

Coventry and Sunderland had to settle for a point as two of last season’s Championship play-off semi-finalists played out a 0-0 draw at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

It was a point that is likely to be more welcomed by the Black Cats as they continued to recover from losing their first two games of the season.

Sunderland’s Anthony Patterson was the goalkeeper who was called upon more often as the Sky Blues, still adjusting to the loss of key players during the summer, made it three games unbeaten.

Sunderland began brightly, with Bradley Dack miscuing wide after working his way into a good position before Trai Hume launched a long-range effort off target.

There were no clear openings, however, with the final pass lacking from both teams, although Kasey Palmer’s through ball meant for Matty Godden required Patterson to quickly come off his line and gather.

A ricochet from Ben Sheaf’s shot then presented half an opening for Godden, but he could not get any power on his effort and Patterson saved easily.

It was one of the few occasions either goalkeeper was called upon as chances remained at a premium, with defences very much on top.

An opening was finally fashioned by Coventry in the 44th minute when the ball was played through for Ellis Simms and the former Everton striker was denied by the legs of Patterson.

Both sides were hoping for more after a tepid first half, however, and it was Sunderland who made a lively start to the second as they worked Coventry keeper Ben Wilson for the first time after 49 minutes.

Dan Neil’s shot from just outside the area was parried out as far as Dennis Cirkin, who also found his route to goal blocked by Wilson.

Palmer then tried to force a breakthrough for the Sky Blues at the other end, but his shot on the turn from the edge of the box never looked like finding the target.

There was a much better tempo to the game now, though, and Palmer looked sharp again during a good run into the Sunderland area, only to shoot tamely at Patterson.

A raft of substitutions from both sides unfortunately hurt the flow, but Sheaf tried to seize the initiative for Coventry as he snatched a shot from outside the area wide.

Two of the Sky Blues’ substitutes then combined for the clearest opening of the match after 79 minutes as debutant Yasin Ayari, on loan from Brighton, played the ball through for Haji Wright, who was denied by a fine save from Patterson.

Tony Mowbray praised Jobe Bellingham’s willingess to learn after his first senior goals powered Sunderland’s 2-1 comeback win against Rotherham.

Bellingham’s brace helped overturn Hakeem Odoffin’s early goal and secure a welcome win for the Stadium of Light crowd.

Mowbray admitted afterwards that the 17-year-old was disappointed not to land a hat-trick and praised him for his efforts after being moved up front early in the game.

The Black Cats head coach, who also revealed that the club are on the brink of making a breakthrough in the transfer market, believes getting on the board at the first time of asking was an important step for his team after a frustrating start to the campaign.

“It’s important we got the win as it can weigh heavy,” Mowbray said.

“I think we’ve been unfortunate not to get anything from two games having dominated, and I thought we deserved to win today.

“I think Jobe is disappointed he didn’t get more goals. He had a couple of good chances but he’s in the six-yard box and playing the role we’re asking him to play.

“He had to show good flexibility today because we pushed him higher up the pitch, and he got the goals for us.

“His greatest asset is he wants to learn, he’s asking us coaches questions every single day. He’s a joy to work with.”

Mowbray confirmed that Bellingham’s striker role will be brief, with a new arrival from the loan market imminent.

“I’m hoping we’ll have a striker in soon,” he said.

Rotherham boss Matt Taylor believes his club must strengthen in the closing stages of the transfer window as their wait for a first win continues.

The Millers, who have one point from their first three fixtures, saw goalscorer Odoffin limp out of the contest not long after his impressive strike gave his side the lead.

Taylor admits his squad are struggling physically and need more if they are to improve their form.

“Hakeem has picked up a muscle injury. He scored a really good goal and then limped off, that’s where we are,” Taylor said.

“It’s a culmination of playing so much of the start of the season with 10 men against good quality opposition. They’re really low at the moment in terms of their physical attributes and they’re at risk.

“We’ll keep on working, we’ve got offers out to players and we’re mainly waiting for the loan market. We need to get our injured players back as well, we’re almost at double figures and that’s not manageable.

“It’s incredible, so we need to improve that first and foremost and then look to the market.”

Taylor also called for greater consistency after seeing just five minutes stoppage time awarded at the end of the loss to Sunderland.

The Rotherham boss was booked for his protestations and said there must be greater consistency in how added time is decided.

“I’ll get in trouble again because the fourth official says it’s the referee timekeeping, the fourth official says it’s the referee,” Taylor said.

“We played five minutes on the back of the six substitution stops and an injury where all 22 players come over for a drink.

“Five minutes, given what we’ve seen this season, is absolutely incredible. I wasn’t asking for 10 or 12 but five was incredible.”

Jobe Bellingham scored a brace to help Sunderland come from behind and secure their first points of the Championship campaign with a 2-1 win over Rotherham.

Hakeem Odoffin had given Rotherham a shock lead 20 minutes into the contest but Bellingham’s close-range header drew his side level almost immediately, and his smart finish early in the second half secured three deserved points for Tony Mowbray’s side.

The 17-year-old came close to scoring a remarkable hat-trick, but instead had to settle for a match-winning brace and the adulation of 40,000 supporters when brought off with 10 minutes to play.

Sunderland had been left to rue the lack of a senior striker in the opening weeks of the campaign, struggling to turn their good play into points. Twenty minutes into this game it felt a familiar tale, the home side enjoying almost 70 per cent of the ball but yet to produce a shot.

When the first effort of the game was registered shortly after, it was the visitors who took the lead.

It was a lovely move to work the ball into the box, where Odoffin was surprised to find himself free. The forward took one touch and rifled a low effort past Anthony Patterson.

There was relief in the Stadium of Light when it took just a minute for Mowbray’s side to respond, the ever-dangerous Jack Clarke cutting inside and standing up a cross to the back post. Dan Neil was there to meet it and Bellingham was able to convert his first senior goal from a matter of yards out.

Sunderland continued to enjoy the better of the contest and took the lead in the second half when Bellingham again was found free in the box, this time curling an effort past Viktor Johansson.

The midfielder came close to landing a remarkable hat-trick when he was found with a cross just moments later, but a strong block allowed Rotherham to stay in the game.

The visitors continued to threaten from set plays even if it was the hosts who were enjoying the better of the play, and substitute Tolaji Bola in particular will feel he could have done better when meeting a delivery into the box.

The scoreline meant the hosts were never comfortable even as substitute Luis Hemir went close with a powerful long-range effort late on, but the Black Cats were ultimately able to see out five minutes of stoppage time to secure a welcome victory.

Ryan Lowe hailed the spirit of his injury-hit Preston squad after they battled to an entertaining 2-1 win against Sunderland.

Lowe is missing six first-team players, including Ched Evans and Emil Riis, but revelled in an excellent win at a raucous Deepdale courtesy of Mads Frokjaer-Jensen’s second-half strike.

Frokjaer-Jensen helped to set-up Preston’s opener, when his shot deflected in off Will Keane, before Jack Clarke equalised for Sunderland with a penalty following Kian Best’s scruffy tackle.

Frokjaer-Jensen then scored the winner on the hour mark and Lowe was proud of his team after securing four points from six in the Championship so far.

“We’d like to have played a little bit more football but sometimes it’s just winning games of football early doors,” he said.

“We’re down to the bare bones and have got a lot of kids out there.

“Until we get a fully fit squad back, we’ve just got to find ways how to win and that’s what we did today – we found a way to win.

“It was a bit nerve-wracking I must say, but it was entertaining football.

“I think we were a little bit different in terms of being a bit more dogged in our defence and doing the right thing and stopping them at source because they’ve got some good players.

“They’ve caused loads of problems but we felt if we could deal with that, we’d always have opportunities to score goals which we did. Overall I’m pleased with the performance.”

Preston sit eighth in the table after two games, but Sunderland remain without a point after a second successive defeat.

The Black Cats reached the play-offs last season but manager Tony Mowbray is refusing to panic about their slow start.

However, he admits they need to sign a striker quickly after watching his team again struggle in the final third.

“Everybody behind the scenes is working hard to try and bring attacking options to the team,” he said.

“Hopefully we’ll find a guy who lives for goals and keeps banging the ball in the net and all the play building up to it, somebody is going to have a good time at the football club, hopefully.

“You should judge football by the performance of the team, but we don’t, we all get judged by the results. The results are not very good but the performance levels of the team in both games has been pretty high.

“I don’t live by expected goals, but somebody said we were top six in expected goals last weekend and yet lost, and I don’t know the number of times we got behind them in the six-yard box and just (didn’t) pick somebody out to side-foot into the empty net today.

“It’s fine margins. Was it too much different from the game at the end of the season where we had plenty of dominance but put the ball in their net three times?

“We’ll be fine and I feel as if the team are functioning OK, apart from the last little bit and we’ll be fine.

“It wasn’t to be today and we have to accept it and I’d be more worried if the team weren’t creating any chances or weren’t functioning.”

Mads Frokjaer-Jensen’s second-half strike secured Preston’s first league win of the season with a 2-1 victory over Sunderland.

Will Keane’s fortunate goal put Preston ahead midway through the first half, when Frokjaer-Jensen’s shot took a heavy deflection off the striker and diverted into the net.

Jack Clarke levelled from the penalty spot as Sunderland got back on equal terms before half-time.

However, Frokjaer-Jensen put the hosts ahead again by finishing off a counter-attack on his home debut for North End to emerge victorious.

After an even opening phase, Preston upped the tempo as Alan Browne put in a dangerous cross from the right aimed towards Keane which Luke O’Nien diverted to safety.

Up the other end, Clarke breezed past Brad Potts after the quarter-hour mark and crossed low into the box but the Preston defence cleared the dangerous delivery.

Patrick Roberts clipped in a cross aimed towards Dennis Cirkin but the defender’s header looped harmlessly over Freddie Woodman’s goal.

Woodman was called into action on 23 minutes to parry over Pierre Ekwah’s curling effort which looked to be goalbound.

But North End took the lead not long after that when Frokjaer-Jensen’s shot from outside the box struck Keane and it went past a helpless Anthony Patterson, who was totally wrongfooted.

Roberts’ free-kick from the right hand side was claimed by Woodman as Sunderland sought to level.

And the Black Cats did get back on level terms on the half-hour mark when Kian Best pulled Clarke’s shirt in the box and the winger coolly slotted home the resulting penalty to ensure the game was level at the break.

Following the interval, Best’s corner was nearly hooked in by Browne but the Black Cats cleared, while Ekwah took aim at the other end and saw a powerful effort bounce wide.

As the hour mark approached, Best worked some space on the edge of the box to dink an effort over the Sunderland goal.

And the hosts went back in front when Browne’s cross was knocked on by Keane for Frokjaer-Jensen to slot past Patterson and complete a fine counter-attacking goal.

Andrew Hughes took aim in the box but his effort landed off target for the home side, who had more energy and cutting edge to them in the second half.

Sunderland continued to threaten though and Clarke crossed from the left to Roberts, who Woodman was in the right place to deny 15 minutes before full-time.

O’Nien thumped a header wide not long after and Hughes later denied Sunderland substitute Abdoullah Ba with a great challenge to stop him going one-on-one as the hosts picked up the three points.

Crewe manager Lee Bell praised his players’ penalty-taking expertise as they dumped Championship Sunderland out of the Carabao Cup.

Crewe pulled off a notable upset as they scored all five of their penalties to secure a 5-3 shoot-out win at the Stadium of Light.

Elliott Nevitt, Chris Long, Rio Adebisi and Joel Tabiner all scored from the spot, before Ryan Cooney converted Crewe’s fifth and final penalty to secure a place in the second round.

Earlier, Luke Offord had headed the League Two side into a first-half lead, with Chris Rigg claiming Sunderland’s equaliser midway through the second half as the game finished 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes.

Bell said: “It is the most exciting way to go through. We practised penalties yesterday, but I think it was a really good performance, everyone put a shift in, as you have to when you come to a place like Sunderland, regardless of what team they started with.

“We were really well organised and showed some real courage when we had the football.

“I am absolutely delighted for the players in the dressing room, who are in there enjoying it now, and for the fans who came here tonight, and rightly so.

“We spoke about how important set-plays are in our division and we have to keep working on them and keep working on how to deliver new ones to the players.”

Sunderland exited the League Cup at the first-round stage, but it was still a record-breaking night for Rigg, who became the youngest goal scorer in the competition’s history.

Rigg also became Sunderland’s youngest-ever goal scorer when he fired home from the edge of the area in the second half to cancel out Offord’s first-half header.

The 16-year-old committed his long-term future to the Black Cats earlier this summer despite reported interest from Newcastle United and Manchester United, and after breaking into the senior ranks last season, is set to play an increasingly prominent role over the course of the next nine months.

Sunderland head coach Tony Mowbray said: “Chris Rigg belies his age a bit. I can be quite harsh on him, and then I sometimes have to check myself and remember that he’s just a 16-year-old boy.

“I expect more from him sometimes, but then I remember just how young he is.

“He played with real discipline tonight. I asked to play deeper in the first half, and he did that. Then I asked him to start breaking into the box in the second half, and he did that and scored.

“It was disappointing in the end because in the first half, we just seemed to pass round and round.

“We played against a League Two side with good organisation and commitment, but we should have had more to have won the game.”

Chris Rigg became Sunderland’s youngest ever goal scorer but his efforts proved in vain as they crashed out the Carabao Cup with a 5-3 penalty shoot-out defeat at the hands of Crewe.

At the age of 16 years and 51 days, Rigg also became the youngest player to net in the competition’s history as his second-half strike cancelled out a first-half header from Crewe defender Luke Offord.

However, with the game finishing 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes, Pierre Ekwah’s penalty miss proved crucial as Crewe converted all five of their spot-kicks to book a place in the second round.

Crewe came within inches of breaking the deadlock in the 16th minute but, while Jack Powell’s direct free-kick curled around the Sunderland wall, the ball rebounded off the base of the right-hand post.

Alex Pritchard went close with a set-piece of his own, forcing a smart low save out of Harvey Davies, and also aimed two more long-range efforts straight at the Crewe goalkeeper.

Nathan Bishop was making his Sunderland debut at the other end following a summer move from Manchester United and the goalkeeper was beaten in first-half stoppage time.

A corner from the right-hand side passed all the way across the Sunderland goalmouth, enabling Offord to head home at the back post.

The Black Cats equalised midway through the second half, with the Crewe defence failing to adequately deal with a cross from substitute Jack Clarke. The ball fell at the feet of teenager Rigg, who fired home to claim his first senior goal.

Ekwah struck the post as Sunderland pushed for a winner, but Davies saved from Bradley Dack in stoppage time to send the game to penalties.

Kieran McKenna feels his Ipswich side have set the tone for their Sky Bet Championship season with their performance in their 2-1 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Having won promotion from League One last term, Ipswich returned to the second tier in style as goals from Nathan Broadhead and George Hirst secured victory on Wearside.

Despite being reduced to 10 men when Trai Hume was sent off for two yellow cards, Sunderland rallied in the closing stages and halved their deficit courtesy of an 86th-minute goal from Dan Neil.

Neil also hit a post in 13 minutes of stoppage time, but Ipswich dug deep to see things through, with their resilience and spirit pleasing their head coach.

McKenna said: “The application of the players was excellent. We spoke before the game and said it would be very important in terms of setting the tone for what we want to do and how we’re going to be. I thought we set a very good tone for how hard we’re going to work.

“It was a really high level and a big challenge, against a very strong opponent, at home, with a full house and good momentum.

“It took every ounce of effort from the whole squad that we had to be competitive and make sure we were able to get the result.”

Ipswich regularly put opposition sides to the sword last season, but McKenna accepts they will have to be a little more circumspect at a higher level.

However, while he acknowledges there will be times when his players have to dig in with their backs to the wall, he also wants them to continue to express themselves, as they did against the Black Cats.

He said: “We know we’re going to have to defend more in this division. We want to press more aggressively than we managed to do in the first half.

“I think the level of the game and the opponent was certainly a step up and I think the players felt that in the first 20 minutes. We weren’t able to break their press as well as we wanted, so we needed to be a bit more aggressive.

“We know we’re going to have to defend at times, but we also know we’re going to have to show bits of what we did today in terms of being brave in our build-up and being patient in possession to try to get through the pitch.

“As the game wore on, I thought we started finding our men and breaking the lines much better.”

Tony Mowbray was left to reflect on what might have been, with his side only really stirring once they had been reduced to 10 men.

With Ross Stewart still injured, Hemir, a 19-year-old summer signing from Benfica’s reserve ranks, led the line, with Sunderland’s recruitment team hoping to bring in at least one more forward before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

Mowbray said: “You have to put the ball in the net when the chances come and I don’t want to keep banging the drum, but we need more options and the club are trying really hard to do that.

“We are putting bids in. To find strikers worldwide is really difficult as huge clubs in the Premier League are finding.

“Hopefully there will be some more attacking options in the squad in the next week or two, then they’ll have to settle in.

“I think we’ll get stronger. In six or seven weeks, hopefully we have Ross Stewart down the middle, Bradley Dack might be playing off him. There’s enough there to say we’ll be fine.”

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