Sunderland went into this knowing it was a must-win game in the campaign for promotion. A truly enthralling end to end game left Sunderland without an unbeaten home record, as Coventry won 5-4. In all honesty, the visitors could have even had a few more if they’d have capitalised on their chances but we could have won it too.
The Sky Blues took advantage after a very open first 15 minutes. Luke O’Nien gave away the ball cheaply, allowing Enobakhare to arrive in the box and calmly finish past McLaughlin. Just a few minutes later Sunderland were level, as Lewis Morgan carried the ball into the box for captain George Honeyman to equalise with a deflected effort.
Coventry restored their lead shortly after, as a lack of awareness from the centre halves allowed Bakayoko to take a clinical shot past the defenceless McLaughlin. With less than 30 minutes played, Sunderland went 3-1 down courtesy of Hiwula, who calmly increased the deficit one on one.
Seemingly from nowhere, the lads were handed a lifeline as keeper Burge dropped a routine cross from Oviedo, letting the big man Charlie Wyke hammer the ball into an empty net. Wyke was influential in the 6th goal of the half, knocking the ball down to Grigg who dispatched professionally from close range.
Coventry yet again regained their lead in the second half, as Shipley let fly with a long-range effort into the bottom corner. Just minutes after his introduction, McGeady found Power in space, who’s shot took a huge deflection and wrong-footed Burge, leading supporters desperate for a winner.
However, the final goal left a bitter taste in the mouth, as both Power and Baldwin failed to deal with a low cross. Chaplin turned and finished, earning himself a booking for excessive celebrations in front of the Roker End.
Jack Ross and his coaches must find a way to iron out the mistakes from individual players before the crunch match on Good Friday against Doncaster, as this defensive display is simply not acceptable. No team should be scoring four at home and going home defeated.
Jon McLaughlin (6/10): Helpless for the goals though, and certainly not helped by the defence.
Luke O’Nien (5/10): Targeted by Coventry at right back and beaten every time. Sloppily gave the ball away for the opener.
Tom Flanagan (4/10): Two back to back seriously horrendous performances by Flanagan. Struggled whenever the ball was coming in his direction and should most certainly have a stint on the bench, out of the firing line.
Jack Baldwin (4/10): Didn’t deal with the cross for the winner. Generally sloppy on the ball and didn’t win many tackles or headers.
Bryan Oviedo (6/10): Tidy if not spectacular. Put a few good crosses in.
Grant Leadbitter (5/10): Far from his best today. Didn’t utilise his vision and passing, failed to protect the defence at all.
Max Power (6/10); Energetic in midfield but often did wayward passes. A few strong tackles to leave his mark on the Coventry players.
George Honeyman (8/10): Switched on and constantly pressured the defence. Buzzed around and always made himself available but didn’t show a great deal of quality.
Lewis Morgan (7/10): Beat his man many times, got fans on their feet. Faded on the second half…
Will Grigg (6/10): Took his goal well. Didn’t press enough, looked tired.
Charlie Wyke (8/10): Unusually, pressed harder than Grigg. Won everything in the air and great to see him get a goal in the Roker End.
Kazaiah Sterling (7/10): Very bright and pressed very well. Almost caught the keeper out a few times.
Aiden McGeady (6/10): Ineffectual but tidy.
Benji Kimpioka (5/10): Didn’t do much of anything except gave the ball away a few times.