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FINLAY’S REPORT: I’m still scratching my head - how on earth did Sunderland not win on Saturday?

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Sunderland didn’t really have luck on their side on Saturday, and despite creating boat-loads of chances they couldn’t get the winning goal. 13-year old budding sports journalist Finlay Anderson gives his assessment of the game and wonders how on Earth we didn’t get the three points!

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How did we not win that game?

When you consider the number of chances we had - not only at the end, but throughout the match - you’d think that at least one should have been put away.

Obviously, it was going to be a tricky game; Fleetwood had not conceded a goal away from home in their opening six games of the season. The Cod Army hadn’t played in midweek unlike us, when we won a penalty shootout against Stoke City U21s in the Checkatrade Trophy to claim the bonus point.

I thought that we started Saturday’s game well, pressing to score first, but sadly we conceded another early goal to force the team to come from behind again to get something out of the match. Paddy Madden was given space to simply head the ball past Jon McLaughlin, who could have stretched a bit more to get a touch onto it but redeemed himself later on in the match.

Maja then levelled the match in the 38th minute, much to the delight of all the fans. Then, for me, we should have won the match with the chances we had but we could have lost it if it wasn’t for McLaughlin’s fine penalty save.

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I don’t know why Adam Matthews dove in like that - he threw his whole body towards the player, who was obviously going to go down and the referee was going to point to the spot. Although the penalty wasn’t a convincing one, you must give credit to McLaughlin, who guessed correctly and managed to palm the ball away.

Tom Flanagan maybe should have gave Sunderland the lead before the 90 minutes were up, but their keeper somehow stopped the ball from heading past him and into the Fleetwood Town net. Moments later, Glenn Loovens had his header from a corner strike the left post and rebounded out of the penalty area.

Then, a few minutes before the end of the match, somehow the Scottish keeper kept out an effort that slipped underneath him with onrushing Fleetwood Town players trying to poke the ball home to become a hero. Most people in the stadium probably thought that the ball had crept into the back of the Sunderland net.

Despite only not picking up all three points, we still have our unbeaten run intact and have not lost a game so far this season.

Next up, we travel to Burton Albion next Saturday, who drew 1-1 with Accrington on Saturday and will want to bounce back and crawl their way up the table after their relegation with us last season from the Championship.

We should just pull ourselves through but everyone will fancy their chances to beat us as we are the ‘big club’ in the league.

Finlay’s pre-match column in the match programme from Saturday’s game v Fleetwood
Sunderland AFC