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Player Ratings: Fleetwood 2-1 Sunderland - Good 1st half counts for little as injuries take hold

Despite a dominant first half performance, three defensive injuries saw Sunderland lose their momentum, with Fleetwood coming from behind to win in the EFL Trophy. Here’s how Jimmy rated the players tonight...

Fleetwood Town v Sunderland - EFL Trophy Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Anthony Patterson: 6/10

Looked confident and competent in every aspect of his game. Patterson commanded his box with authority and was very secure in his handling. The under-23 keeper was blameless for both second half strikes.

Brandon Taylor: 6/10

Didn’t have many standout moments in the match outside of one beautifully judged 50 yard crossfield pass to release Jack Diamond.

Taylor was beaten easily with a ball in behind his side for Fleetwood’s equaliser and was targeted a lot as momentum turned in the second half. His passing was a real highlight and looked much improved from other first team showings.

Jordan Willis: 5/10

Didn’t look wholly comfortable in the middle of a back three, maybe in part due to the knee problem he’s carrying. Willis got away with a couple nervous moments including a poor giveaway just outside the Sunderland 18 and some loose mid to long range passing.

Our 26-year-old stopper looked more like his usual self as the game wore on, he started to refind his sharpness dominate his aerial duels and showcase his usual tenacity in the tackle. Willis started to fade again in the final half hour looking understandably lethargic and fatigued.

Oliver Younger: 7/10

Unfortunately, Younger’s night was cut short by injury, the debutant had impressed mightily until then.

The 20-year-old played with excellent aggression, with one thundering header standing out, he also looked composed in possession and tackled well on the odd occasion he was turned by Fleetwood’s attack.

Jack Diamond: 6/10

In similar fashion to his FA Cup performance, Diamond started the game overdoing it, conceding possession easily by trying to accomplish too much with his dribbling.

Once settled, Diamond was a real threat and was unlucky to see two outstanding crosses well defended by the Cod Army backline.

George Dobson: 6/10

Dobson couldn’t match the fearlessness of some of the night’s most inventive young Black Cats, but did look a lot more solid, than he has for most of the season.

He used the ball well and chipped in with a couple important interceptions when the hosts tried to burst forward on the counter. His best moments arguably came as a makeshift centre half, he flew into a couple great challenges, even if his sloppiness in possession returned at times.

Elliot Embleton: 7/10

Offers a real X-Factor in this Sunderland team, his flat delivery from set pieces caused havoc, and he showed a confidence to play in tight spaces and play forwards with real intelligence when possible.

Dan Neil: 7/10

The midfielder was playing much deeper than in pre-season and previous Papa Johns outings and looked like an absolute star for 45 minutes.

His ability to play on the half turn, and just spray passes across the pitch was a delight to see. Frustratingly as Fleetwood’s intensity increased after the break he began to look flustered failing to adapt to the hosts’ more aggressive press.

Callum McFadzean: 7/10

Scored an absolute beauty. His first time finish across goal from 18 yards was brilliant, even if it took a slight deflection. McFadzean’s crossing didn’t match the pinpoint accuracy we saw against Mansfield, but this was another great showcase for his attacking talent.

Josh Hawkes: 6/10

Pressed like a maniac and put in one peach of a cross from a corner, Hawkes does lose a mark for having the ignominy of nearly putting a ten-yard volley out for a corner.

Aiden O’Brien: 4/10

Too passive out of possession, lacking quality when he did get on the ball. This game was a less extreme version of his shocking performance at Gillingham, he just didn’t protect possession anywhere near well enough.

(SUB) Ciaran Dunne: n/a

Came on just before half time, went off injured just after half time.

(SUB) Vinnie Steels: 5/10

Made one great challenge by the byline, struggled to impact the game going forwards and was guilty of some heavy touches when trying to breakdown the Fleetwood defence.

(SUB) Sam Wilding: 6/10

Battled well in the heart of midfield, Wilding was unlucky to enter the fight in the middle at a time when Joey Barton’s men were dominating. Wilding did show some clever touches and nice passes once he adapted to the pace of the game.

Man of the Match

Elliot Embleton

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