Ten-man Sunderland were forced to settle for a point against promotion rivals Peterborough after Brian Oviedo’s idiotic red-card in the second half.
Jack Ross’ men were leading after Josh Maja’s outstanding finish when Oviedo petulantly kicked out at Marcus Maddison.
The visitors soon leveled after the second-half sending off through Joe Ward, but Jerome Sinclair put Sunderland back ahead with ten minutes remaining.
The Black Cats couldn’t hold on, giving away a cheap equaliser, with Ivan Toney slotting home after unforgivably lapse defending.
Peterborough remain four points ahead of Sunderland, with the two clubs sitting second and fourth in the League One promotion race respectively.
Sunderland struck first through Maja after a competitive opening 20 minutes. Maja fainted to get the ball onto his left foot, before finding bottom left-hand corner with trademark accuracy. He completed a patient Sunderland move that involved great work from Chris Maguire, prior to Adam Matthews clever ball into our prolific striker.
Aiden McGeady nearly doubled the Sunderland lead minutes later, he was released through on goal by Maja, but blasted over trying to beat Aaron Chapman at his near post.
Sinclair fluffed his lines five minutes before the half-time break, when he failed to complete an outstanding Sunderland move. A flowing Sunderland attack was nearly finished by the Watford loanee, but he shot wide from the penalty spot, running onto a Maja backheel.
The Black Cats went in at half-time deservedly ahead playing with a swagger and calmness that was sorely lacking at the Ricoh Arena.
Peterborough dominated after the re-start, winning a series of corners and finding plenty of joy in-behind Sunderland’s full-backs. Their first real opening came on the hour, with Maddison turning Oviedo inside-out before shooting across goal. Jon McLaughlin got down well to deny him, parrying the shot upwards with Tom Flanagan quickly clearing the danger.
Just as Sunderland were finding their bearings in the second-half Oviedo was given his marching orders. The Costa Rica international was shown a straight red-card for a petulant kick-out at Maddison. Oviedo kicked the Posh winger after failing to take him on, leaving Sunderland to play with ten men for the final 20 minutes.
Within five minutes Peterborough took advantage of their man advantage, pulling level through a brilliant finish. Ward pounced after Sunderland failed to clear a low cross from the right, timing his half-volley to perfection, McLaughlin dived in vain, as the ball flew into the bottom corner.
Somehow Sunderland re-took the lead with ten men, Sinclair turned quickly in the Posh box smashing into the roof of the net from close range. He was well-found by Maguire who had made a marauding run down Peterborough's left.
The Makems were caught sleeping five minutes from time to gift Peterborough a point. Toney ran off Jack Baldwin to beat the Sunderland offside trap. Through on goal Toney calmly slotted past McLaughlin, tapping in after great control on his chest.
Jon McLaughlin, 8/10: Made two brilliant second-half saves, completely faultless for the Peterborough goal.
Adam Matthews, 7/10: His best game of the season. Combined excellently with Maguire, especially in the first half.
Jack Baldwin, 7/10: Remains an assuring presence in defence, he coped well with the Posh threat prior to Oviedo’s dismissal.
Tom Flanagan, 6/10: Made some crucial clearances in the second-half, but struggled for the second straight game with opposition striker’s physicality.
Brian Oviedo, 4/10: Let his teammates down with an idiotic sending-off, making his great play in the first-half irrelevant.
Max Power, 8/10: Another midfield masterclass from our best player.
Dylan McGeouch, 6/10: Too conservative in possession, unconvincing as a shield for the back four.
Aiden McGeady, 7/10: Faded badly in the second half, after torturing United in the first.
Chris Maguire, 8/10: Continued his brilliant form, he continuously makes excellent decisions in the final third.
Jerome Sinclair, 8/10: Outstanding, held up the ball brilliantly throughout and capped a great performance with a dramatic late goal
Josh Maja, 7/10: Scored another superb goal, his general play was mixed, but wow what a talent we have on our hands.
(SUB) Reece James, 5/10: Was targeted by the visitors after coming on for Oviedo.
(SUB) Benjamin Kimpioka, N/A/10: Brought on in stoppage time.
Man of the Match: Jerome Sinclair.