Sloppy defending cost Sunderland yet again as they lost 2-1 to Plymouth Argyle at the SOL on Tuesday night. It was another disappointing result and performance from Sunderland against a side who hadn’t won away from home all season in the league.
Plymouth took the lead early in the first half through Adam Lewis who was afforded too much space in the box to clip the ball past Lee Burge. In the second half Aiden O’Brien equalised for Sunderland with a header and his first league goal for the club. However, we weren’t level long before more slack marking in our box allowed Joe Edwards to rifle the ball into the top corner and seal the victory for Plymouth.
After the victory over AFC Wimbledon at Plough Lane on Saturday Lee Johnson freshened up the team making three changes for the visit of Plymouth. Carl Winchester made his home debut whilst Dion Sanderson and Jack Diamond returned to the starting eleven. Max Power, Grant Leadbitter and Elliot Embleton had to settle for a place on the bench.
Plymouth got the game underway on a sodden pitch after the game had been in doubt prior to kick off with a few pitch inspections taking place by the match officials after a deluge of rain on Wearside.
Aiden McGeady had Sunderland’s first effort on goal inside two minutes after a good run down the left wing. McGeady cut back inside onto his right foot and after fainting to shoot a couple of times tried to curl a shot into the top right-hand corner but his effort was off target. At the other end Plymouth had a shot on goal from Grant but Lee Burge dove to his left to hold the low shot.
The visitors took the lead after 10 minutes through Adam Lewis with a well worked goal down the right-hand side although Sunderland’s defending was slack. Grant was able to fire a low cross into the box and Lewis got to it first unmarked at the front post and flicked it past Burge to open the scoring.
Sunderland went close to equalising after 20 minutes after a good cross from Jack Diamond on the right which Aiden O’Brien backheeled towards goal, but the keeper turned it round the post for a corner. We took the corner short and it was cleared for another corner which this time was whipped into the penalty area but Wyke’s header was held by the keeper.
A minute later Aiden O’Brien set Aiden McGeady up with a gilt-edge chance to equalise, but the keeper was equal to his effort. O’Brien had clipped a clever through ball behind the Plymouth defence into the path of McGeady but after a decent first touch the Irishman saw his shot palmed round the post for a corner which was cleared.
Carl Winchester picked up a yellow card around the half hour mark for a late challenge midway in the Sunderland half, but the lads defended the set piece well with Jordan Willis heading clear. Lee Johnson was forced into a first half change after Willis injured himself during a strong sliding challenge. Willis was replaced by Max Power with Sanderson moving into centre half and Power going to right back.
A couple of minutes before the break Sunderland went close again through Aiden McGeady. A decent passage of passing play from Sunderland eventually saw the ball at the feet of McGeady who clipped a left footed shot towards goal, but the keeper tipped it wide. McGeady swung the resulting corner in, and it was one of Sunderland’s better ones of the half, however no one was able to get on the end of it and it went out for a goal kick.
Neither side made any changes at the break and Sunderland got the second half underway kicking towards the North Stand.
Lee Johnson’s side equalised five minutes after the restart when Aiden O’Brien finished off a good Sunderland move. The lads had started the second half the better side and were rewarded after a neat move saw Winchester slide the ball down the left wing into the path of McFadzean. The left back produced a pinpoint cross onto the head of O’Brien who glanced the ball into the back of the net to notch his first league goal in red and white.
The lead didn’t last long however as Plymouth soon retook the lead through Joe Edwards and yet again Sunderland’s defending was sloppy. Despite Sunderland having numbers back Edwards was found unmarked in the box with a pass from the right and he curled a left footed shot past Lee Burge into the top right-hand corner.
Plymouths goal knocked the wind out of Sunderland’s sails and Lee Johnson made a double change with 20 minutes remaining Elliot Embleton and Chris Maguire replaced Callum McFadzean and Aiden McGeady. The visitors were happy to sit on their lead and force Sunderland to try and break them down which proved difficult though Diamond did test the keeper with a dipping shot from outside the box.
With ten minutes remaining Grant Leadbitter replaced Carl Winchester. The Plymouth goalkeeper was booked for time wasting as the visitors tried to run the clock down at every opportunity. We almost fashioned an opportunity when Embleton slipped a clever reverse ball into the box for O’Brien but his cross from the left wasn’t close enough to Wyke.
There was six minutes injury time an in the second of these we had a sight of goal after O’Brien pulled the ball back from the byline but Scowen blazed a volley over the bar. This was as good as it got as we couldn’t muster an equaliser in the remaining time.
Final Score: Sunderland 1 Plymouth Argyle 2 ALS Man of the Match: Aiden O’Brien