Was it two points dropped or one point gained yet again?
For a second successive week we came from behind to draw, this time against Walsall at the Banks’s Stadium. Also, for a THIRD time this season, Max Power was shown a red card, which left us in a sticky predicament.
The gaffer made three changes to the side that drew 1-1 against Wycombe Wanderers at the Stadium of Light last Saturday.
Last week, I said ‘why would you drop your top scorer when you need to score goals to win matches’, and Jack Ross brought Josh Maja back into the side. Disappointingly, Chris Maguire had picked up a niggle in training in the week and was only available to start from the bench. Bryan Oviedo started his first league game since 2nd October when he received a red card against Peterborough United. Aside from that, Dylan McGeouch was not even in the squad due to an injury so Max Power came into the side in his place.
In my opinion, we started the game positively, having almost 80% possession and eight corners in the opening 15 minutes of the match. This was a sign of our early dominance. Tom Flanagan, Bryan Oviedo and Max Power had brilliant opportunities but they couldn’t be profited from.
23 minutes into the match, Max Power was shown a third red card of the season having not have picked up a red card in his last 200 appearances before he joined Sunderland. He produced a sloppy touch, which was won back by Kinsella. Power decided to try and retrieve the ball back for his side but produced a challenge, which was deemed to be a red card. He will now miss five league and cup matches with an added match for the Checkatrade Trophy match against Notts County.
After the interval, the hosts came out of the traps quick in the second half, opening the scoring in the 46th minute when Josh Gordon managed to flick the ball into the bottom left corner after a low cross from Devlin. We were in a position where we had to come from behind if we were going to win for a second successive week, which was something that we did well at the start of the season.
It looked as if there was no way back when Josh Ginnelly produced a beautiful long range effort, which flew into the top corner of the Sunderland net. It was looking as if Max Power’s red card was going to cost us all three points.
Aiden McGeady brought one back when his shot somehow crept into the bottom left corner after being struck on the bounce inside the penalty area. This gave the 3,000 away supporters something to cheer about heading into the end of the match, as they were desperate for three points to take back to the North East.
In the 89th minute, Sunderland equalised when Lynden Gooch stabbed the ball into the bottom right corner and damaged Walsall’s dreams of clinching three points from the game at the Banks’s Stadium. The Sunderland fans went wild after seeing their side come from two goals down and 10 men to 2-2.
Next up, we face third placed Barnsley on Tuesday night at the Stadium of Light and this will be a good game to see where we are at the moment before we play the top side in the league, Portsmouth before Christmas.