A last minute Benji Kimpioka goal meant Sunderland drew 1 – 1 with Coventry City at the SOL on Saturday after Phil Parkinson’s side turned out another woeful performance. The lads had fell behind midway through the first half after Dominic Hyam nodded past Lee Burge and could have been further behind after the visitors wasted a number of chances. In horrendous conditions Sunderland did salvage a point after Kimpioka's late strike but it was scant consolation after a miserable performance which sees the lads slip to tenth in the league.
After being knocked out of the FA Cup in the first round for the first time in the club’s history on Tuesday evening at Gillingham the lads were back in action in the league hoping to make amends as Coventry headed to Wearside. Having been depleted with injuries on Tuesday Phil Parkinson was hoping to have several players available again although the game was too soon for Marc McNulty and Charlie Wyke whilst Elliot Embleton remains a long term injury.
Methvan and Parkinson have been doing the rounds with a number of talk ins and interestingly Parkinson highlighted the lack of pace and power in the team as a major problem what needed addressing. This has been obvious for over a year to everyone seemingly except the Sunderland recruitment team so hopefully Parkinson will get what he wants in January with Methvan indicating five new arrivals.
Parkinson made four changes to the side that lost at Gillingham with Lee Burge starting in goal a behind a back four of Luke O’Nien, Jordan Willis, Joel Lynch and Denver Hume. In midfield Max Power, George Dobson, Grant Leadbitter and Aiden McGeady. Whilst Chris Maguire played off Will Grigg.
The visitors started strongest in dismal conditions with Lee Burge forced into an early save from a long range effort. After thirteen minutes we had a decent shout for a penalty waved away after McGeady was hacked down on the edge of the box by a sliding challenge but the ref let play go on. Just before twenty minutes we got in down the right and after a nice turn by Maguire a decent cross was delivered but no one was on the end of it. At the other end Burge was forced into a save after a shot from the edge of the box was held comfortably by the keeper.
Twenty five minutes in Coventry were almost gifted a goal after a last back pass from Chris Maguire but fortunately Burge got out quick enough to divert the ball away for a corner to deny Bakayoko. However the visitors scored from the set piece after the ball was swung in and nodded past Burge by Hyam from inside the six yard box.
Just after the half hour a loose pass by Hume was seized upon by Coventry but Lynch did well to get back and block a left footed shot by Bakayoko. A minute later Will Grigg got in on goal and seen his shot parried by the keeper but he was flagged offside although the ref brought the game back for a foul for the lads on the edge of the box and awarded a free kick. Aiden McGeady took the set piece and he did well getting it over the wall it was held easily by the keeper – however it was a shot on target at last. McGeady then drew another save from the keeper after a scramble but a deflection had took the sting out of his effort making it easier for the keeper.
Right on the stroke of half time the visitors could have doubled their lead after another sloppy pass gifted Bakayoko a chance but his shot was blocked as Sunderland were booed off at half time yet again. Neither side made any changes at the break but it was the visitors who continued to be the stronger side though it took to sixty four minutes for Coventry to have an effort on goal although Burge was equal to it. However what preceded it was Coventry walking through Sunderland with ease whilst we struggled getting out of our half looking totally lost.
Parkinson made his first change with twenty five minutes remaining as Watmore replaced Power and soon after McGeady drew a decent save from the keeper with a low shot from the edge of the box. Flanagan then replaced Willis with Parkinson forced into a change before we were denied a penalty after a hand ball shout from a corner was waved away which left the manager incensed.
The visitors made a double change with fifteen minutes remaining as they looked to capitalize on Sunderland's desperate attempts to get forward. The game continued in a scrappy manner before Parkinson made a final change with Kimpioka replacing the ineffective Will Grigg.
Parkinson’s last throw of the dice paid off as Kimpioka drew the lads level after turning the ball in after the ball bounced around in the box before being laid off to the striker on the edge of the six yard box. Kimpioka found the net with a composed finish which spared the lads another defeat but didn’t mask another dismal performance.
Final Score: Sunderland 1 Coventry City 1
ALS Man of the Match: Lee Burge