Hard-working Blues go down to Black Cats
10-men Town fell to defeat at Portman Road as Charlie Wyke's first-half strike was enough to grab three points for the visitors.
Kayden Jackson was dismissed after 10 minutes for a poorly timed tackle on Bailey Wright, with Wyke turning home the eventual winner late on in the first-half.
Paul Lambert made four changes from Saturday’s defeat to Peterborough United, with Luke Thomas coming in to make his full debut.
Luke Woolfenden, Jon Nolan and Jackson were all back in the starting XI.
After an uneventful opening 10 minutes, Blues’ task for the next 80 minutes was made more difficult as Jackson was given a straight red for a rash challenge on Wright.
It was Town, though, who had the first opportunity of the match when Andre Dozzell swung in a free-kick which Mark McGuinness headed straight into the arms of Lee Burge.
Tomas Holy was called into action for the first time in the evening to deny Wyke's snapshot from close-range.
Blues were seeing the majority of the ball and looking to get their noses in front. Edwards carried the ball down the left flank and cut inside before firing off a low shot which crashed into the side netting.
Blues were dealt a sucker punch right on the stroke of half-time, when Wyke swept home Max Power’s cross from the right beyond Holy.
The Black Cats began the second-half with purpose with two early chances. First, Jordan Willis saw his close-range strike palmed away by Holy. Substitute, Elliot Embleton then drove at the Blues defence and his low strike from the edge of the D deflected just wide of the post.
Town continued to fight and just before the hour-mark, they almost got their just rewards. Dozzell’s clever pass found Thomas in space inside the box, who shifted the ball onto his left-foot, but his effort was palmed away by Burge.
Aiden O’Brien came close to doubling Sunderland’s lead. Callum McFadzean got to the byline and cut the ball back to O’Brien who got his shot away, but McGuinness got a vital block in.
Power had a late chance to make sure of the victory for the Black Cats, but his fierce strike from the corner of the area flew over Holy's crossbar.
Town brought Freddie Sears and Myles Kenlock into the action to try and salvage a point, but it wasn't to be and the visitors took home the three points, with Blues slipping down to 10th in League One.
Booked: Winchester, Ward, Dozzell
Town: Holy, Chambers (C), Woolfenden, McGuinness, Ward (Kenlock 87), Dozzell, Downes, Nolan (Drinan 55), Thomas (Bishop 71), Jackson (red card 10), Edwards (Sears 87).
Subs: Cornell, Baggott, Judge.
Sunderland: Burge, Willis, Wright (Sanderson 65), Power (C), Wyke, O'Brien (O'Nien 88), Scowen, Leadbitter, McFadzean, Winchester (Embleton 46), McGeady (Gooch 79).
Subs: Matthews, Maguire, Diamond.