Sunderland beat ten-man Ipswich 2-1 at the SOL on Tuesday evening thanks to a late Grant Leadbitter penalty. Phil Parkinson’s side had taken the lead early in the game thanks to a tidy finish from Charlie Wyke only to concede a sloppy equaliser five minutes before half time from Jack Lankester. In a somewhat scrappy encounter, the visitors were reduced to ten men after Andre Dozzell lunged in on Leadbitter before Sunderland made the extra man count winning a penalty for handball which Leadbitter duly converted.
Phil Parkinson made one change to the side that beat Gillingham on Saturday with Chris Maguire replacing Aiden O’Brien as promotion rivals Ipswich Town headed to Wearside. The game was delayed thirty minutes due to issues with the streaming service but eventually the lads got the game underway kicking towards the Roker End.
We took the lead inside ten minutes with a well taken goal when in form Charlie Wyke was picked out in the box with a defence splitting pass by Lynden Gooch. Wyke did well to control the ball and hold off a challenge before slotting the ball past Holy giving Phil Parkinson’s side the perfect start.
It was a positive start by Sunderland with the lads looking sharp and pressing the visitors high up the pitch not allowing them to settle on the ball. We had another chance just before the twenty-minute mark after Denver Hume did well to beat his man on the left flank before delivering a good cross into the box but Scowen nodded over.
The visitors then had their first effort on goal after Ipswich were given a free kick on the edge of the area after what looked like a dive by Teddy Bishop. Andre Dozzell took the free kick and smashed it into the wall with Scowen taking the shot square in the face and needing a bit of treatment, but he was ok to continue.
Sunderland fashioned a half chance on the thirty-minute mark when Connor McLaughlin crossed from the right for Charlie Wyke. However, although he did well to get in front of his marker his header from around the penalty spot was well over the bar.
The visitors equalised somewhat against the run of play with their first real attack of the game but were helped by some poor defending from Sunderland. Jack Lankester was picked out in the box unmarked after Edwards was allowed to advance down the left wing far too easily. Lankester then struck a left footed effort across Lee Burge who looked out of position and could only help the ball into the bottom right hand corner with a weak hand.
There were two minutes of added time at the end of the first half and it was Sunderland who were wanting the referees whistle despite being on top up until conceding the equaliser. We almost conceded a sloppy second when Hume got caught dwelling on the ball in the box but Leadbitter spared his blushes with a good interception.
We made a change at the break with Max Power replacing Josh Scowen but Sunderland started the second period as nervously as they ended the first. Connor McLaughlin was the first to sloppily give the ball away although he did well to recover and tackle Edwards. Then on the other wing Hume was guilty of giving the ball away which resulted in the visitors appealing for a penalty after Wright appeared to upend Lankester, but the ref waved away the protests. After a scrappy opening to the second half Sunderland regained their composure with around half an hour remaining and Denver Hume did well to win a corner on the left. Chris Maguire took it in the absence of Scowen and delivered a great cross to the front post for Tom Flanagan, but he glanced a header over the bar.
At the other end Ipswich had a great chance to take the lead although again Sunderland gifted them the opportunity. Tom Flanagan failed to control a stupid cross field pass from Luke O’Nien which allowed Judge to race away down the right and put in a cross which Sunderland couldn’t clear. The ball then fell to Lankester who fortunately for Sunderland smashed a left footed volley over the bar.
Phil Parkinson then made a change with around twenty minutes remaining with Danny Graham replacing Chris Maguire. Soon after and for the second game running Sunderland found themselves playing against ten men when Andre Dozzell was shown a straight red card for a lunging tackle on Grant Leadbitter in the centre circle.
With fifteen minutes remaining Sunderland were awarded a free kick twenty-five yards from goal after Luke O’Nien was sandwiched in a hard tackle. Grant Leadbitter stood the free kick up at the back post which Ipswich could only clear as far as O’Nien, but he sliced a volley off target. A minute later Charlie Wyke had a decent sight of goal after he was found on the edge of the box from Power’s cross, but he blasted over.
Sunderland were awarded a penalty after McGuinness was penalised for handball after his own player kicked it off his hand from point blank range. Grant Leadbitter showed great composure with the penalty to slot the ball into the bottom right hand corner sending the keeper the wrong way.
Charlie Wyke then missed another chance after he volleyed Danny Graham’s knockdown over the bar. The chance was created after a probing ball from Leadbitter split the Ipswich defence allowing O’Nien to cross towards Graham. Phil Parkinson then made his final change of the game and it was a defensive one as Dion Sanderson replaced Lynden Gooch as Sunderland looked to see out five minutes additional time which they did relatively comfortably.
Final Score: Sunderland 2 Ipswich Town 1
ALS Man of the Match: Grant Leadbitter
SUNDERLAND (3-5-2): Burge; McLaughlin, Wright, Flanagan; O’Nien, Leadbitter, Scowen (Power 46), Gooch (Sanderson 90), Hume; Maguire (Graham 68), Wyke.
Subs: Matthews (gk), O’Brien, Diamond, Grigg.
IPSWICH TOWN (4-2-3-1): Holy; Chambers, Nsiala, McGuinness, Ward; Bishop, Dozzell, Judge; Edwards, Lankester; Jackson (Hawkins 76).
Subs: Sears, Hawkins, Bennetts, Wilson, Cornell, Kenlock, Huws.