Match ends, Sunderland 3, Stoke City 1.
- Fletcher scores twice for Poyet's men
- Sunderland grab first Premier League win of the season
- Adam had levelled for Stoke after Wickham opener
Two goals from recalled Steven Fletcher helped Sunderland pick up their first Premier League victory of the season.
Connor Wickham gave the Black Cats an early lead when he nodded in from close range but Charlie Adam levelled after a long run from Victor Moses.
Fletcher, who last started in August, got his first when he headed in Jordi Gomez's cross on 23 minutes.
A subdued Stoke rarely threatened and Fletcher sealed it when he tapped home after a weaving run from Wickham.
Sunderland had not scored in their last two Premier League matches but they made the perfect start when Wickham nipped in front of returning old boy Phil Bardsley to head them into the lead before five minutes had elapsed.
It was to be short-lived. Chelsea loan man Victor Moses had already threatened on the left for Mark Hughes' men and once again found space on a jinking run. After skipping past Lee Cattermole he found Adam, who tucked an angled finish through the legs of John O'Shea and into the bottom corner.
The home side had not taken a lead into half-time in a top-flight match this term. Today was to be the day and the goal came from Fletcher who ended a 13-game drought when he rose unmarked in the area to head home Jordi Gomez's cross following a short corner.
He had not started a game since a defeat at QPR on 30 August and celebrated with vigour.
Stoke, who would have set a club record of six consecutive away matches in the top flight without losing had they avoided defeat, spent long periods of the second half on the front foot.
However, a well-drilled Sunderland rearguard offered few opportunities and sealed it when Wickham managed to stay on his feet after a mazy run to tee up Fletcher, who made no mistake to send a long-suffering crowd home happy.
After seeing just five goals all season, they had witnessed three in an afternoon - and a grinning Poyet cut a delighted figure on the touchline.
The deserved victory allowed Sunderland to leapfrog Stoke and move towards the top half of the table.
While they triumphed 2-1 in the Capital One Cup in September, the Potters have never won on Wearside in the Premier League, having drawn twice and lost four times.
The long wait goes on.
Sunderland manager Gus Poyet: "I love winning, I hate losing. It was incredible. it wasn't our best game but we were outstanding in front of goal. They are happy boys now. They want to be on the front page of the newspaper tomorrow.
"When I'm wrong I take responsibility. It's nice when it works. Something was missing - we were good but couldn't score. We started Fletch and it worked. I am sure we will play better but it's a good day.
"Before today it was no wins. Now we have only lost one in seven. The start looks different, it looks more than decent. I don't remember the last time I was that calm at the end of a game."
Stoke manager Mark Hughes: "We didn't deserve anything out of the game. We got off to a bad start and in away games in the Premier League you have to give yourselves a platform. We got back in it but the next opportunity they created they get another goal.
"It wasn't the best game in the world. On the day it was poor fayre from arguably both teams but we were poorer than Sunderland. Every time we allowed them an opportunity they took it, so congratulations to them but we weren't at the level we needed to be at.
"We were probing, had a vast amount of possession but didn't have that cutting edge. We've played a lot better than that. They've picked up three points and in all honesty we haven't made it that difficult."
- 2JonesBooked at 64mins
- 3van AanholtBooked at 67mins
- 30BuckleySubstituted forJohnsonat 60'minutes
- 7LarssonSubstituted forRodwellat 71'minutes
- 14Gomez Garcia-PencheSubstituted forBridcuttat 71'minutes
- 9FletcherBooked at 70mins
- 2BardsleyBooked at 66mins
- 5MuniesaBooked at 27mins
- 6WhelanSubstituted forBojanat 70'minutesBooked at 90mins
- 13MosesSubstituted forAssaidiat 18'minutesBooked at 62mins
- 25CrouchSubstituted forWaltersat 78'minutes
- Neil Swarbrick
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Sunderland 3, Stoke City 1.
Foul by Marc Wilson (Stoke City).
Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Patrick van Aanholt.
Bojan (Stoke City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Bojan (Stoke City).
Liam Bridcutt (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Billy Jones.
Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Lee Cattermole (Sunderland).
Foul by Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City).
Lee Cattermole (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Offside, Stoke City. Marc Wilson tries a through ball, but Jonathan Walters is caught offside.
Attempt saved. Oussama Assaidi (Stoke City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Bojan.
Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Patrick van Aanholt.
Foul by Oussama Assaidi (Stoke City).
Adam Johnson (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Hand ball by Liam Bridcutt (Sunderland).
Foul by Marc Muniesa (Stoke City).