Sunderland U23s secured their place in the Premier League 2 promotion play-off final by beating Stoke City 2-0 yesterday, with Josh Hawkes’ performance causing quite a stir among Black Cats fans.
The 22-year-old forward has been in fantastic form in front of goal over the past few months and last night was no different.
Hawkes put the Black Cats ahead in the 56th minute when he stroked a low effort into the bottom corner after being teed up by Stephen Wearne outside the box.
He wasn’t done though and showed his qualities as a creator less than 10 minutes later when his curling free-kick was nodded in by Ollie Younger.
Hawkes joined Sunderland from Hartlepool United last summer and has made quite the impression at the North East club this term – scoring 14 goals and adding seven assists for the U23s.
He made his senior debut in the 2-1 EFL Trophy defeat to Fleetwood Town in October but it seems some supporters feel he should get another chance for Lee Johnson’s side before the season is over.
8 of these 20 players never scored a goal for Sunderland – Can you identify them?
Sunderland will take on Lincoln City in the two-leg League One play-off semi-final over the next week and, after his exploits last night, many Sunderland fans are calling for him to be involved.
Read their reaction here:
Get this lad in the first team…the form he’s in …could be the surprise package that makes the difference
— John Graham 💙 (@johngraham790) May 17, 2021
Get him in the first team 🤩🤩
— Judeowen300 (@judeowen300) May 17, 2021
Wild card for the bench surely
— Parker (@Parkersafc) May 17, 2021
Get him in the first team
— 🇨🇵 Oliver 🇨🇵 (@oliverhsafc) May 17, 2021
play him wednesday
— conor (@conorsafc_) May 17, 2021
Get him on the bench Wednesday ASAP this guy is addicted to scoring https://t.co/6DPzNreuXE
— Matt Rennie (@MRennieRP) May 17, 2021
— CW17 (@chrissywright7) May 17, 2021
You beauty!!! Get this lad in the first team!!! https://t.co/Bg4AmvvdHF
— Tom (@leech_tom) May 17, 2021