RYAN Noble marked his return from a four-month injury absence with a goal as Sunderland romped to a comfortable win against Blackpool – their first of the season at the Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground.
The 20-year-old striker, now fully recovered from a stress fracture of his back, came off the bench to score Sunderland’s fourth goal of the night in the 82nd minute.
But long before then Sunderland were comfortably cruising against a Blackpool second string every bit as open as their first-team.
Keith Bertschin’s side made the breakthrough in the 18th minute when neat passing saw Luscombe take possession inside the area left of goal and confidently lift a shot over the keeper’s plunging dive and into the far corner.
Sunderland doubled their lead in the 22nd minute – the visitors failing to clear Liam Marrs’ cross from the right and Lynch showing nimble footwork on the six-yard box before a simple finish.
Sunderland’s third was the best of the game and it came from Colback who got ahead of the Blackpool defence down the right and zeroed in on goal before coolly lifting his shot over the exposed keeper and into the far corner.
Noble replaced Adam Reed shortly before the hour and the substitute had a good chance to add to Sunderland’s goal tally in the 65th minute after a good run by Blair Adams but shot straight at the keeper.
More openings presented themselves to the pacey young striker, none were taken and it was looking as though it would not be his night.
But he finally saw one go his way eight minutes from time when fellow substitute Billy Knot played him in and he slid a low shot beneath the over-worked Kettings.
It completed a fine victory for Sunderland’s second string and a more than satisfactory comeback for Noble.