Sunderland were beaten by Fleetwood town as Ashley Eastham’s last-minute winner saw Sunderland’s playoff place confirmed.
The lads took the lead through Lee Cattermole in the first half and should have at least a two-goal advantage in the first half. Sunderland failed to create much in the second half and Fleetwood scored twice through Paddy Madden and Eastham.
Following the disappointing draw, Sunderland were back on the road again to face Fleetwood looking to keep the teams incredibly slim promotion hopes alive. Realistically the lads will no doubt be looking to end the season on a high with some good form going into the playoffs.
Jack Ross made three changes to the line-up which drew against Portsmouth. Lynden Gooch, Will Grigg and Chris Maguire all came in for Charlie Wyke, Aiden McGeady and George Honeyman respectively.
Fleetwood sat in 12th place going into the game and have nothing to play for as they can’t go down and won't be making the playoffs. This doesn’t hide the fact that Joey Barton will have been desperate to beat us.
The game had started pretty evenly with neither side having any chances in the opening five or so minutes, but Fleetwood almost shot themselves in the foot as Grigg pounced on a weak back pass to Alex Cairns -thankfully for the hosts he just managed to get out quick enough and clear the ball.
Sunderland should have taken the lead as Luke O’Nien got to the by-line and crossed it in for Max Power who looked destined to score from 12 yards but hit it too central as Cairns made the save – a big chance wasted.
The lads had a great chance to break the deadlock as Grigg got onto his right foot and curled it towards the top right corner only to see it crash off the bar.
Grigg was central to some of Sunderland’s chances so far and Chris Maguire floated in a great cross to the former Wigan striker, but couldn’t find the power on the header to beat Cairns.
Fleetwood had their best chance so far as Wes Burns played a ball into Ashley Nadesan which was deflected by Tom Flanagan and from a tight angle, he just couldn’t beat Jon McLaughlin who stood tall and saved well.
From a Lewis Morgan corner, Lee Cattermole arrived at the near post to head home into the far corner a brilliant header from the stand-in skipper. It’s Cattermole’s seventh goal of the season which just a hell of a return for a defensively minded midfielder.
The first half ended with the lads on top and the only negative was that we didn’t score more and go into the break at least 2-0 up.
The opening 10-15 minutes of the second half there was little to no goalmouth action as neither side managed to create many real chances.
Sunderland didn’t look themselves at all in the second half in the second, but it was a scrappy affair where neither side created much.
Fleetwood equalized with only 15 minutes to play in the second half as Coyle’s low cross on the right-hand side found Madden who couldn’t miss from eight yards out.
Former player Ross Wallace’s free-kick was whipped in and was headed inches over the bar by Eastham as they looked to get a second goal.
Kazaiah Sterling made a great run down the right and rolled it across to Oviedo who would have had a great chance to score, but it was unfortunately knocked out for a corner.
Sunderland had four minutes added on to save the promotion hopes and get the winner which would still be slim.
Fleetwood scored in the last minute of the game to complete the turnaround as Eastham scored from a corner to see Barnsley and Luton promoted to the Championship next season and Sunderland confirmed in the playoffs.
Full Time: Fleetwood 2-1 Sunderland
ALS Man of the Match: Lee Cattermole