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Finlay’s Report: Even the Sunderland fans who were on the fence are starting to doubt Jack Ross

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“After Sunderland’s 1-1 draw against Bolton, fans debated whether Jack Ross should stay at Wearside, but now I think that the majority of supporters are keen on Ross leaving the club” says RR’s junior journo Finlay Anderson.

Sunderland v AFC Wimbledon - Sky Bet League One Photo by Steven Hadlow/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Lincoln won their first league game against Sunderland since 1959 with a 2-0 victory over the Black Cats at Sincil Bank.

Despite beginning to bring momentum after beating Sheffield United and MK Dons, all that was killed off when Lincoln City beat Sunderland 2-0 to produce Sunderland’s second defeat of the season.

An own goal plus a Tyler Walker strike were sandwiched between a penalty miss by the Lincoln striker as Michael Appleton took his first three points in the dugout as Lincoln City manager after replacing Danny Cowley.


The Team...

Jack Ross named the same starting eleven to the one that won 2-1 against MK Dons last Saturday at the Stadium of Light.

It was another promoted team from League Two for the Black Cats, but the Sunderland manager kept with Joel Lynch and Jordan Willis at the back to try and keep Lincoln’s threats at bay as Laurens de Bock made his away league debut for the Black Cats.

Furthermore, Jack Ross named one of his strongest benches of the season, with Aiden McGeady and Marc McNulty coming back into the squad, joining Lee Burge, Will Grigg, Tom Flanagan, George Dobson and Grant Leadbitter on the bench.

Lincoln City v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Chris Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

First Half Action

After tonnes of early pressure Lincoln took the lead with 18 minutes on the clock through a massive error from the Sunderland goalkeeper, Jon McLaughlin. Neal Eardley whipped the ball into the penalty area from the right wing and McLaughlin was waiting for it to cushion into his gloves, but Tyler Walker’s pressure forced the hesitant McLaughlin to deflect the ball into his own net.

Laurens de Bock almost scored his first Sunderland goal in emphatic fashion when his curling right-footed shot was magnificently saved by the Lincoln goalkeeper, Josh Vickers.

Lincoln had a chance to extend their lead when the ball was played low into the penalty area and found Tyler Walker, who diverted the ball towards the Sunderland goal, but it was deflected wide by the legs of Jack Payne, for a Sunderland goal kick.

Just before half time, Sunderland began to mount some pressure when a corner fell for Jordan Willis, who snatched at the ball but it was blocked from a few yards out.

Lincoln City v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Andrew Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

Second Half Action

Sunderland started the second interval in the correct manner and Conor McLaughlin wasn’t far off equalising for the Black Cats as his header from around six yards out was just wide of the left post.

Lincoln were gifted with a chance to double their advantage when Bruno Andrade was tripped by Laurens de Bock inside of the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot.

The goal scorer, Tyler Walker, stepped up for the home side and his penalty cannoned off the inside of the right post and bounced away from goal, luckily for the Black Cats.

That penalty miss didn’t prove to be the piece of luck that Sunderland were craving as Lincoln increased their lead just before the hour mark. Bruno Andrade found space on the right as the hosts counter attacked. He dribbled the ball forward and whipped it into the penalty area where Tyler Walker met the ball and poked it past Jon McLaughlin for a second.

Sunderland should have maybe halved the deficit when McGeady’s chip from a free kick found Wyke, who from around six yards out, tried to control the ball, but it touched his boot and rolled away for a goal kick to Lincoln.

After five minutes of added time Sunderland’s away form in September deteriorated as they lost for the second successive away match, as the match ended Lincoln City 2-0 Sunderland AFC.

Lincoln City v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Chris Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

Finlay’s Verdict...

After Sunderland’s 1-1 draw against Bolton, fans debated whether Jack Ross should stay at Wearside, but now I think that the majority of Sunderland fans are keen on Ross leaving the club.

After last week’s 2-1 victory over MK Dons and the Carabao Cup shock against Sheffield United I thought that momentum was slowly building and with a win against Lincoln, this would continue. However, at Lincoln all of our momentum was killed and now we have a two week break away from league action, where we will be left to ponder over this defeat.

Another error from Jon McLaughlin gave Lincoln the lead, and after his 11th successive league starts in between the sticks I think it may be time for Lee Burge to get his chance in goal.

This may start on Tuesday night with an EFL Trophy tie against Grimsby Town at the Stadium of Light. I don’t know what has happened with McLaughlin as he was one of our best players last season. Yet, since the start of this season, he hasn’t been able to keep a clean sheet and there has been a number of errors that he has made, including last week and this week. Something has to change and this may be in starting Lee Burge in goal.

Jack Ross should make a number of changes to the side on Tuesday, giving more bench players game time in an attempt to go into the international break with a tiny piece of hope.