Daily Mirror


Defender Gibson’s delight after shutting out his boyhood rivals


PLYMOUTH defender Lewis Gibson had extra reason to celebrate after pulling down the shutters on his boyhood rivals Sunderland.

The centre-back came through Newcastle’s youth academy after joining at the age of nine.

So it felt special for the England Under-20 ace to snuff out the Black Cats.

Morgan Whittaker and Finn Azaz did the damage as Plymouth ended a 19-year winless run over Sunderland at Home Park.

The Pilgrims survived a Sunderland blitz as the visitors racked up 24 shots in front of 1,600 visiting fans who made the 800-mile round trip to Devon.

Gibson (above, inset), 23, said: “It is an extra special feeling keeping a clean sheet against Sunderland. I was at Newcastle as a kid and this game was the one you looked out for.

“So it is extra pleasing to put in a good performanc­e and get a good result. I go into every game to keep a clean sheet and if you can achieve that it gives you a good platform to win the game.

“I love defending, the challenge of keeping the ball out of your net.”

Whittaker produced a moment of brilliance when his 24th-minute thunderbol­t flew past Anthony

Patterson. Azaz then doubled the lead on 40 minutes to steer Plymouth towards a fifth home win of the season.

“Morgan has been a key player for us and is scoring goals and creating chances,” added Gibson. “He is really good and there is still loads he can improve on. That speaks volumes for the talent he has and he is a special player for us.

“We are really pleased to have him in our side so long may it continue for him.”

Steven Schumacher’s Plymouth head to Coventry tomorrow night in search of their first away win of the season.

Gibson said: “We try and win every game and it is tough on the road. But I am sure the law of averages will go our way. Every game is difficult and we will keep battling away.” Manager Tony Mowbray (left) saw his Sunderland side slip three places to ninth in the table after their three-game unbeaten run ended.

And defender Luke O’Nien admitted: “We just couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net and it was one of those days.

“We will learn our lessons and become a better team. You need to give them credit, they are a very good team.

“I have played against their manager multiple times and he has his team very well organised from back to front. But how they came away with a clean sheet I do not know.

“I look forward to playing them at our place where we will look to put in a better performanc­e.”

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Luke O’Nien and Daniel Ballard of Sunderland
SAD CATS Luke O’Nien and Daniel Ballard of Sunderland
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