Sunderland AFC 1-1 Fleetwood Town- McLaughlin saves the day as Sunderland start sluggish once more

Sunderland were held to a 1-1 draw for the second home game in a row as Fleetwood Town left Wearside with a point, they could well have had more if not for a spot kick save from Jon McLaughlin.

Denver Hume was given the start his Checkatrade Trophy performance, he kept his place at left back. Glen Loovens and Adam Matthews returned from injury and Dylan McGeouch replaced the suspended Max Power in midfield.

Sunderland line-up:

McLaughlin

Matthews Baldwin Loovens Hume

McGeough Cattermole

Maguire Honeyman Gooch

Maja

Sunderland had the first real chance of the match as Hume’s cross found Lyndon Gooch, the USA international fired wide under intensive Fleetwood pressure. It would be the visitors celebrating first in the afternoon. Dejavu has been a major factor in Sunderland games so far this season and it reared its ugly head in this one. Just nine minutes in the visitors were ahead. Another early goal conceded and another from set pieces. A corner was played into the box and Paddy Madden broke clear of his marker to guide a header across Jon McLaughlin and into the back of the net. Sunderland would once again need to show their bottle to keep their unbeaten start to the season intact.

Minutes later the Cod Army could have doubled their lead but somehow Ched Evans didn’t get on the end of Madden’s ball right across the six-yard box. The visitors were always going to throw everything at their hosts and the match was going to plan.

Josh Maja was able to open up more as the half wore on and it was the centre forward who brought Sunderland level. Captain George Honeyman played a dangerous cross into the box and Maja did just enough to stroke the ball home via the post to make sure it was all level at the break.

HT: Sunderland AFC 1-1 Fleetwood Town

The second half brought more Fleetwood pressure and they were given an ideal opportunity to re-take the lead when Adam Matthews brought down James Husband in the box. Madden stepped up but his low effort was well saved my McLaughlin and the parity was maintained.

Jack Baldwin missed a golden opportunity to bag his first Sunderland goal, the former Peterborough defender fired over the bar from inside the six-yard box. Tom Flanagan then saw his header superbly clawed off the line by Alex Cairns in the visitor’s goal and Glen Loovens hit the post from the resulting corner as the match drifted towards a draw.

FT: Sunderland AFC 1-1 Fleetwood Town

Not the best of performances from Sunderland and they’ll be in for a tough test at Burton Albion next week. However, it’s another game unbeaten for a squad which is still finding out what it’s like to play with each other.

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