Sunderland’s unbeaten run ended at the hands of Burton Albion whose first half performance was enough to beat Jack Ross’ side 2-1.
Jamie Allen and Kyle McFadzean’s first half goals sealed the win for the Brewers. The lads did get a goal back through a brilliant Chris Maguire strike, but it simply wasn’t enough.
Sunderland’s first defeat of the season comes off the back of some poor performances and highlights problems for Sunderland whose luck seemed to run out.
Following two home draws, Sunderland were back on the road as Ross’ men looked to get back to winning ways at the Pirelli Stadium.
For all the poor performances last season, the away trip to Burton was one of the few highlights of the campaign. Goals from James Vaughan and George Honeyman sealed a late victory, which secured Chris Coleman’s first win in charge.
Ross had gone all-out attack with his team selection this time out. Josh Maja, Lynden Gooch, Charlie Wyke and Jerome Sinclair all started the game.
One big bonus was the return of Aiden McGeady to the match day squad who was back from injury to make the bench.
The full line-up was as follows: Mclaughlin, Matthews, Oviedo, Loovens, Baldwin, Catts, Gooch, Honeyman (C), Sinclair, Maja, Wyke
The first real chance of the match came to the Sunderland. After a relatively slow start to the game, Bryan Oviedo charged down the left-hand side and whipped a fine ball in. His low cross deflected back to Maja who was free 12 yards out, the striker, on his weaker side failed to connect with it and dragged it wide.
Not long after Maja’s chance, Burton took the lead. Marvin Sordell crossed in and after the Sunderland defence failed to clear, it kindly dropped to Jamie Allen who couldn’t miss from six yards out. Allen’s goal meant that it was the fifth time this season Sunderland had fallen behind.
Burton had started the better of the two sides and deserved their goal. Even more, worrying for Sunderland is that the team had started poorly yet again and conceded an early goal to give the opposition a head-start.
As the half went on things went from bad to worse. David Templeton’s free-kick found Kyle McFadzean who easily headed the ball into the far corner. Sunderland were sinking without a trace and could have had no complaints about the score line.
To add to Jack Ross’ problems, Sunderland’s ability to defend set pieces was a real worry. Time after time, the Black Cats struggled to deal with balls been thrown into the box.
Things got even worse for the Black Cats as Wyke was taken off with a potentially serious injury. Wyke went into a 50/50 challenge with keeper Dimitar Evtimov and the striker was then stretchered off with a knee brace attached. Chris Maguire replaced Wyke, who will no doubt be back on the injury list with what appeared to be a bad injury.
Straight from the second half kick-off, Burton almost added a third. Scott Fraser found himself in on goal on the left-hand side but couldn’t find a way past McLaughlin.
Burton had started the second period with much more pace and should have been 4-0 up, at least. Stephen Quinn’s effort was well saved by former Brewer McLaughlin, who had been called into action twice in the opening ten minutes of the half.
Despite Burton’s dominance, Sunderland got a goal back through Chris Maguire. The substitute turned and fired it right into the top corner from 30 yards out. Out of know nowhere, the lads were back in the game. What a goal it was the former Bury man who rifled it past Evtimov who had no chance.
Maguire’s goal had lifted the confidence of the team massively. A Sunderland corner caused a scramble in the box and, it fell to McGeady who hammered it towards goal. The Irishman’s strike went just wide of the post as the keeper was left rooted to the spot.
Sunderland were having much more of the ball but, couldn’t find that killer pass to get the equalizing goal. Burton defended well and restricted Sunderland to few chances.
Final Score: 0-2
ALS Man of the Match: Chris Maguire