The lads went into this game knowing that a win would put them within touching distance of automatic promotion, but a defeat would leave us seven points behind Barnsley. The game kicked off in a fairly dull manner, with neither side really managing to take control due to the high winds. Barnsley had of the possession, with some sloppy defending forcing Jon McLaughlin into a number of saves.
We were also let off the hook when a Barnsley player managed to wriggle through the defence and strike an effort against the bar; The lads went into half time relieved to be level. Sunderland had more pressure on in the second half without creating many clear-cut chances. Neither team was able to break the deadlock, with this being the first league game we have failed to score in.
Jon McLaughlin (8/10): Produced a number of fantastic saves to bail the team out, especially in the first half.
Luke O’Nien (7/10): Worked hard as per usual and threw himself into blocks and tackles.
Jack Baldwin (6/10): Didn’t do too much wrong, if not spectacular.
Jimmy Dunne (6/10): Strong in the air.
Adam Matthews (6/10): Struggled again on his unnatural left side.
Grant Leadbitter (6/10): Uncharacteristically struggled to stamp his authority.
Lee Cattermole (6/10): Lee was alright in his return to captaincy, ordering players around and communicating well. However, like Leadbitter, he seemed to struggle against the wind.
Lynden Gooch (5/10): Poor decision making.
Aiden McGeady (6/10): Didn’t really do much first half. Came into to it second half.
Will Grigg (7/10): Seemed isolated at times but showed some good touches.