The Saddlers were left frustrated as they let an early lead slip as goals from Lee Cattermole and Will Grigg cancelled out Josh Gordon’s opener.
In a very entertaining first half of football filled with chances for both sides, Dean Keates’ men took their first after just four minutes.
Gordon, who won the initial free-kick, was in the right place at the right time to flick home George Dobson’s inswinging set piece, with the flick finding the bottom right corner.
With a little of a third of the first half played, the Saddlers had a chance to double their advantage as Zeli Ismail burst into the box before cutting the ball back to the on-rushing Joe Edwards but his low-driven strike was blocked by a last ditch challenge from Tom Flanagan.
As the half hour mark hit, Keates’ men had another glorious chance to make it 2-0, this time through the lively Ismail.
The winger picked the ball up 30-yards out and drove past his man into the box but his stinging effort was straight at Jon McLaughlin and the rebound was then cleared just ahead of Gordon, who was close to adding his second of the game.
Those missed chances came back to haunt the Saddlers just three minutes later when Cattermole was left unmarked at the back post from a corner and his chest and volley somehow squeezed its way past Liam Roberts to find the bottom corner.
Six minutes later and Roberts was called into action to deny Will Grigg. After Dan Scarr had misread the flight of the ball, Grigg peeled off to the back post before firing towards the bottom corner, only for Roberts to pull of a strong save down to his left.
In the second half, Sunderland made all three substitutions within a short space of time and their third, Charlie Wyke, made an instant impact after coming on in the 70th minute.
After winning a long ball, Wyke laid the ball off to Grigg 25-yards out from goal and the strike powered his way towards the edge of the box before unleashing a low drive which found the bottom right corner.