Sunderland avoided back to back away defeats with a 1-1 draw at Coventry City yesterday afternoon. Lee Cattermole’s third goal of the season was cancelled out by Jonson Clarke-Harris’ 68th minute strike.
The visitors named the same starting eleven as the 4-1 win over Rochdale last weekend. Max Power returned to the match-day squad after serving a three-match suspension.
Hume Baldwin Loovens Flanagan
Honeyman McGeouch Cattermole Maguire Gooch
Things didn’t start well for the visitors as five minutes in Glen Loovens was forced off with injury. Adam Matthews replaced him as Flanagan moved to centre back alongside Jack Baldwin. The first half was mainly stop-start with injury as Coventry teammates Junior Brown and Clark-Harris clashed heads, the former was replaced. Denver Hume became the second Sunderland casualty of the half, he made way for Bryan Oviedo on 37 minutes.
In terms of actual football, Sunderland had the best opportunity. Chris Maguires free kick hit the crossbar and captain George Honeyman could only put his rebounded effort into the North Stand of the Ricoh Arena. An uneventful half, after eight minutes of added time then came to an end.
HT: Coventry City 0-0 Sunderland AFC
The second half started with much more energy and just three minutes in the deadlock was broken. Adam Matthews cut in down the wing and played the ball across the box. It looked as though it had evaded everyone in red and white until Lee Cattermole moved in unmarked to send Lee Burge the wrong way and put the visitors 1-0. The 5000 strong away following behind the goal were sent into delirium.
Unfortunately, the Black Cats never looked comfortable despite having chances to double their lead. With just over twenty minutes remaining the hosts got their deserved leveller. Dujon Sterling had made himself a nuisance going forward all afternoon and it was his cross which found Clarke-Harris who obliged by guiding the ball into the bottom corner of Jon McLaughlin’s net. 1-1.
Sunderland rallied after this and George Honeyman was denied his second goal of the season by a fantastic save from Burge. It wasn’t to be the last or the best opportunity of the final ten minutes; either.
A slip from Tom Flanagan allowed Connor Chaplin to race through on goal and a winner seemed inevitable, his effort beat McLaughlin but didn’t have enough on it to creep over the line. Jack Baldwin was on hand to clear the ball to safety.
This was the last real action of a match in which Sunderland were extremely fortunate not to lose. A point gained, but the performance needs to be much better when Peterborough United visit the Stadium of Light on Tuesday.
FT: Coventry City 1-1 Sunderland AFC