Elliott double lifts Black Cats
By Andy Clarke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Stephen Elliott scored twice to help Sunderland to a 3-1 win over Preston.Two goals from Stephen Elliott and a debut strike from Darren Carter gave Sunderland their third straight victory as they defeated Preston 3-1.
Carter, on loan at The Stadium of Light from Birmingham, grabbed the decisive second goal on the stroke of half time after Graham Alexander had cancelled out Elliott's opener.
Preston had made a lively start, with Richard Cresswell testing Mart Poom early on, before Julio Arca curled a shot just wide of Andy Lonergan's goal.
Arca was then at the heart of things when Sunderland took the lead on 27 minutes, firing in a shot which Lonergan could only parry and Elliott tapped in the rebound.
Dean Whitehead then had a header from an Arca cross saved by Lonergan, before Preston drew level in the 39th minute when Stephen Caldwell fouled Cresswell and Alexander slammed in the penalty.
The visitors were not level for long, though, as referee Alan Kaye awarded Sunderland a penalty for Alexander's trip on Marcus Stewart.
Stewart took the kick and although Lonergan was able to push it out, Carter got to the loose ball first to restore Sunderland's lead.
Elliott stretched their advantage in the 52nd minute when he smashed in a shot from George McCartney's cut-back.
Cresswell and Eric Skora both tested Poom as Preston tried to get back into the game, but Sunderland held firm and move up to sixth place.