A cold Tuesday night ended in yet another disappointing draw where the lads failed to score more than one.
Sunderland kicked off at 19:45 and looked the brighter side for 15 minutes. Honeyman and Leadbitter controlled possession and put together some nice passes. However, we seemed to run out of steam and Blackpool took advantage; Gnanduillet opening the scoring on the half-hour mark. The lads struggled to get back into the game from there, despite a clear-cut chance for Will Grigg on his home debut where he fired straight at the Pools’ keeper.
The second half was again pretty dull. Sunderland controlled possession but failed to produce any moments of quality. Suddenly, the opportunity arose for the home debutant Will Grigg to change the game after Baldwin’s long punt forward split the Blackpool defence, and Grigg ran into it. He managed to round the goalkeeper and in front of an open goal he managed to pull the ball wide from a slight angle. The Northern Irishman won’t want to see that one again. With 15 minutes remaining, Sunderland won a corner. Leadbitter put a great ball into the box that was headed home emphatically by Jack Baldwin- we’ve now scored from two corners in two games! Overall, Sunderland fans will be disappointed and see this as two points dropped.
If this was a must win, what now is Accrington on Friday?
Jon McLaughlin (7/10): Mclaughlin was reliable as ever in between the sticks making a couple of smart saves at 1-0 to keep us in it.
Luke O’Nien (7/10): The makeshift right-back was typically energetic and didn’t really put a foot wrong.
Jack Baldwin (7/10): If it weren’t for the goal, Baldwin would have gotten a 6. He did well when playing the ball out from the back but struggled with their striker’s physicality.
Jimmy Dunne (5/10): Quite a poor game from Dunne. Considering his towering height, he, like Baldwin, struggled in the air and was wasteful in possession.
Reece James (6/10): A solid defensive performance, but James never really adds much going forward. A predictable performance from the former Wigan man.
Grant Leadbitter (6/10): Grant showed his excellent passing range on multiple occasions.
George Honeyman (8/10): In a deeper role, George thrived. He controlled the tempo of the game, put in some good tackles and showed great determination.
Lynden Gooch (6/10): The Cali-Mackem struggled to make an impact on this game. Fairly anonymous throughout.
Aiden McGeady (5/10): Nothing came off for the Irishman. Rightly subbed off.
Duncan Watmore (6/10): Our roadrunner was energetic, and a bright spark throughout. However, he lacked an end product.
Will Grigg (5/10): Missed a sitter. Needs a goal.
Charlie Wyke (6/10): Decent holdup play when he came on. Seems much more effective when coming off the bench.
Lewis Morgan (6/10): Tidy and quick, but no end product.
Tom Flanagan (6/10): Didn’t put a foot wrong but didn’t do much better than James.