I'm getting a 'Groundhog Day' feeling about today's match as we always seem to be playing Accrington away but we've had good wins on the last two visits and I reckon we'll manage another this afternoon. It seems an eternity since the Peterborough game but maybe my brain's just trying to distance itself from our shite performance that day. I heard Watmore will be out for a few weeks but I've heard little else regarding team news. We've played a game less than some of our immediate rivals but I was alarmed to just see that Doncaster have played one less than us but are still ahead of us so we need to put the Peterborough debacle behind us and get plenty of points both today and on Tuesday against Rotherham. As I left my favourite bar last night I was loudly mocked by my mate the barman who, on asking who Sunderland were playing, was amused that we only had the likes of Accrington to look forward to but we can only try to beat who's in front of us and look forward to more glamourous times. Accrington are near the relegation zone and have conceded twelve goals in six games so far so my match prediction is a 2-1 win for us.
When I got the team-news around 2.15, I was pleased to see Maguire, McNulty and McGeady were all starting so we'd have plenty of firepower. Dobson was starting while Power was on the bench. I tuned into SAFSEE in a sunny mood but a couple of early corners for Accrington and Gary Bennett saying that there was a huge hole around our penalty spot rather clouded my mood. Things got gloomier in the fifth minute when Clarke ran onto a through ball and scored from eighteen yards. We'd barely been in their half and needed to dramatically up our game. We certainly did so as less than two minutes later Hume fed Gooch and he hit home a spectacular equalizer. Just before kick-off I'd thrown a dice to predict the match score and it came up 6-5 to them – there were definitely going to be more goals in the game and I'd take 6-5 to us. Things settled down for ten minutes or so but we weren't doing much effective pressing with McGeady barely getting a mention. Gary Bennett said our passing was sloppy while Accrington were looking slick. Just after the midway point it sounded like McNulty was about to put us ahead but he tried to curve it too much instead of taking a simpler shot. Not to worry as in the twenty-sixth McGeady took advantage of a ricochet to hit a left foot shot into the top-left corner and we were 2-1 up. We rode our luck when a Bishop shot came down from the underside of the bar and was cleared by Ozturk for a corner. Two minutes afterwards we were 3-1 up when McNulty tapped-in after we'd intercepted a ball on the half-way line. It felt like more goals would come too. Five minutes before the break we won our first two corners and hit the woodwork in between - it had become a lively game all right. It remained 3-1 at the break and though it had hardly been a convincing performance, we'd taken our chances and Accrington had squandered most of theirs. I could see it ending 5-2.
In the opening minutes after we'd kicked off again we were still going for it, I was pleased to hear, and weren't sitting back as we've so often done. The time was whizzing away very quickly without either side really threatening and we sounded comfortable with a win looking certain unless we really lost the plot.... Accrington shouted for a penalty around the seventieth minute but the ref wasn't haven't any. We finally made a substitution in the seventy-fifth when we replaced Leadbitter with McGeouch as we appeared to be coasting towards a win. Shortly afterwards we brought on Grigg for Maguire so I hoped we'd snatch another – 3-1 is very nice but there's something so emphatic about a 4-1 away win. Nick Barnes said it wasn't a comfortable 3-1 lead and it sounded like Accrington were still occasionally giving our defence the willies. Embleton replaced McNulty and little of note happened till five minutes of stoppage-time were announced. We were close to a fourth when Embleton fed Grigg but Evtimov saved his low shot.
It would've been nice if we'd pressed harder in the second-half but let's not carp as three points and another three goals are very welcome and we're back in the play-off spots. Bring on Rotherham.