Sunderland’s four game winning run came to an end on Saturday when they were held 1-1 by promotion rivals Lincoln City in a scrappy game at the SOL. Lee Johnson’s side had taken the lead in the first half when Callum McFadzean scored his first goal in a red and white shirt, but the visitors equalised in the second half through Callum Morton which on the balance of play was deserved.
Lee Johnson made two changes to the side that beat Accrington Stanley on Wednesday with Callum McFadzean and Grant Leadbitter replacing Jake Vokins and Jack Diamond. Former Sunderland midfielder Liam Bridcutt lined up for the visitors.
Sunderland got the game underway kicking towards the Roker End and immediately went on the front foot after Connor McLaughlin set Lynden Gooch away down the right wing with a good pass. However, the American’s cross aimed towards Charlie Wyke was cleared by the visitors.
A minute later Sunderland were incensed after a mistake by Lincoln allowed Charlie Wyke to play Winchester through on goal only for the midfielder to be blatantly held back by the Lincoln defender. The officials failed to spot the infringement with the referee then having to stop the game to speak to Lee Johnson following his protests on the touchline.
After ten minutes a neat passage of play saw Winchester set Gooch away down the right-hand side. His low cross was cleared as far as Max Power who fired a powerful effort wide of the mark. A minute later Carl Winchester went even closer from a similar distance with the keeper having to tip his effort round the post. Aiden McGeady whipped the resulting corner into the front post, but Lincoln cleared.
At the other end Lincoln had an effort on goal just before the 20 minute mark but Rodgers effort was way off target. Callum McFadzean then forced the Lincoln keeper into a save with a shot from inside the box which was turned behind for a corner which Lincoln cleared.
The visitors had the first clear cut chance of the game soon after when a mistake from Luke O’Nien allowed Regan Poole a run on goal. Poole opted to shoot despite having a pass on to a teammate, but Lee Burge produced a fantastic save to deny him.
After half an hour Sunderland had a shout for a penalty waved away by the referee after Charlie Wyke appeared to be held in the box contesting a throw in. The referee, who seemed intent on being the centre of attention, dismissed the Sunderland appeals.
Ten minutes before the break Charlie Wyke picked up a yellow card after tracking back but fouling Montsma. The resulting free kick was clipped into the box but went out for a goal kick. A couple of minutes later Aiden McGeady fashioned himself a good shooting opportunity with a superb piece of skill after being found in the box by Max Power. However, the Irishman’s shot didn’t match the brilliance of the skill which saw him leave two defenders for dead and sailed over the bar.
Sunderland took the lead five minutes before the break with Callum McFadzean notching his first goal for the lads. Lynden Gooch had done well on the right wing to retain possession under pressure from two Lincoln defenders before the ball was picked up by Max Power. Power clipped a good cross into the box which McFadzean nodded into the bottom right hand corner having ran into the box from the left and got in front of his man to give the lads the lead at the break.
Neither team made any changes at half time and five minutes after the restart we forced a corner after McGeady’s cross from the left was deflected behind. We took it short with a routine from the training ground eventually seeing Connor McLaughlin trying an audacious attempt with a flicked back heel, but it looped up into the keeper’s hands.
There was a long break in play after Montsma took a whack in the face challenging for the ball with Charlie Wyke, but he was able to continue. With half an hour remaining we won a free kick in a dangerous area on the edge of the right-hand side of the box after Connor McLaughlin was hauled down. Aiden McGeady took the free kick and forced the keeper into a decent punch away with a powerfully struck shot.
The visitors equalised with 25 minutes remaining after a hopeful ball headed forward saw Callum Morton turn Luke O’Nien on the edge of the box. After evading the attention of O’Nien, Morton advanced into the box before slotting the ball past Burge into the bottom left hand corner. The goal saw Lee Johnson make an immediate change with Carl Winchester replaced by Josh Scowen.
Lincoln almost scored again with 20 minutes remaining after a slip from Dion Sanderson allowed Rogers to race to the byline. Rogers cut the ball back to Bramall who fired a low shot towards goal what Lee Burge did well to save. Lee Johnson then made his second change of the afternoon with Ross Stewart replacing Grant Leadbitter. He was soon followed onto the pitch by Chris Maguire who replaced Lynden Gooch.
Maguire almost scored with his second touch of the game when he blasted a loose ball goalward, but it was deflected behind for a corner which was cleared. With five minutes left to play Lee Burge was called into action again to produce a fine stop to deny Rogers who found the target after being found in the box from Poole’s cross.
There was five minutes added time and despite an open end to the game neither side could muster a winner and had to settle for a share of the spoils.
Final Score: Sunderland 1 Lincoln City 1 ALS Man of the Match: Lee Burge