Sunderland crashed to a three nil defeat at Barnsley and made every SAFC fan in the world sad today. Seven days ago, we looked have made a good start to the season, but after consecutive league defeats to Leeds and Barnsley, we have now lost two, drawn two and won only one game of our opening five. We now go into the international break having turned an initially positive start to the season into a below average one…
Simon Grayson made two changes to the side from their last league outing with Robbin Ruiter replacing Jason Steele between the sticks and Bryan Oviedo making his first appearance of the campaign to replace the injured Brendan Galloway.
It was a disappointing performance against Leeds and Grayson and the lads were looking to make amends immediately. And for a while, it looked as if the lads would do just do that. Grayson’s men started the match brightly, Didier Ndong won a corner just five minutes in as the hosts turned his cross behind. Aiden McGeady saw his cross cleared before the lads wasted three huge chances.
Lee Cattermole one of his classic 40-yard passes for Lewis Grabban to latch onto, the loanee then pulled it back for George Honeyman who sees his effort charged down. Cattermole then had a go himself and saw his effort blocked before McGeady wraps it up with a wasteful ball which goes out to the right. Less than ten minutes later, the lads wasted another as McGeady scuffs his effort over the bar after nice work from Grabban. The type of chance the winger really should be burying.
Sunderland continued to move the ball well with Ndong proving his worth by being at the heart of every move. However, in typical Sunderland fashion, wastefulness began to look like it was going to cost them. George Moncur forced a smart save from Ruiter after the referee played advantage from a poor tackle from Catts.
The hosts enjoyed a succession of corners which the lads were able to deal with before knocking at Ruiter’s door again. It was a huge let off as Brad Potts wasted the best chance of the game yet, the Barnsley man failed to add enough power to the ball and instead headed straight into the hands of a very thankful Ruiter.
That said, such a chance failed to be enough of a wake-up call and two minutes later, Sunderland found themselves trailing. Both Lamine Kone and Ruiter got a touch to the ball but Ike Ugbo still matched to poke it in at the back post. Billy Jones, where were you? And just minutes later, Grayson’s men confirmed all our fears and the lads imploded. Tyias Browning failed to deal with the danger in a competent fashion and his header was gratefully volleyed home by Harvey Barnes. Admittedly, it was a decent goal and there was nothing Ruiter could do but Browning should not be gifting the opposition such opportunities.
After a five-minute period of absolute domination from Barnsley, the lads finally got a hold of the ball. James Vaughan surged forward in search of his first goal for the club but the striker was tripped on his way into the box. It could have easily been a penalty but the referee instead awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box, much to Vaughan’s fury. McGeady stepped up to take the set-piece and despite a plethora of anticipation, his effort was well wide. Disappointing stuff. That pretty much wrapped up the action for the first half.
Barsnley started the second half as they leaned to go and Potts again was unlucky not to get his name on the scoresheet. Minutes later, McGeady swung in a free-kick for Jones to get a head to, however, Adam Davies gets a fist to the ball and Jones’ face. Ever resilient, Vaughan goes into the box before being brought to ground, though the referee isn’t interested in his protests. And less than five minutes later, Grabban is hauled down but the referee again isn’t interested in any appeals. Though to be fair to the official, Grabban did make a meal out it.
Lyden Gooch replaced James Vaughan but the Californian Mackem could do little to make an impact whilst his teammates were playing so drab. The midfielder did look likely but just couldn’t make anything happen and just before the 70th minute mark, any efforts proved fruitless as Barnsley grabbed their third. Moncur had looked dangerous all afternoon and finally got his reward as he pokes it in at Ruiter’s near post.
Moments after the third, Oviedo smashed the ball away from home to prevent the score line become anymore embarrassing than it already was. The hosts knocked and knocked again whilst the lads offered nothing. The only saving grace is that we didn’t concede more as the match ended 3-0 to Barnsley.
Final Score: Barnsley 3-0 Sunderland
ALS Man Of The Match: The fans
By Eve Sayers
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