Sunderland got back to winnings ways on Saturday with a hard fought 2-1 win over Bradford City at the Northern Commercials Stadium, and they had to do it with ten men for a large part of the second half.
James Baldwin Flanagan Matthews
McGeady Power Cattermole Maguire
For the second match in a row, Jack Ross set up with a 4-4-2 formation. Maja and Sinclair lead the line and the much praised midfield pairing of Lee Cattermole and Max Power made up the centre of the park.
Sunderland started the much better side and midway through the first half they took the lead. The ball fell kindly to Lee Cattermole who found himself in lots of space within the Bradford box. His sweetly struck volley was guided into the back of the Bantams net by Josh Maja. His ninth goal of what is quickly turning into a fruitful campaign.
There were more chances for the hosts as the half wore on, Max Power hit an effort high and wide as the Black Cats pressed to double their lead before the break. A positive half for the visitors.
HT: Bradford City 0-1 Sunderland AFC
The second half started much better for the hosts and on 51 minutes things were all square. A long throw caused issues in the Sunderland box and after failing to clear their lines Anthony O’Connor was on hand at the back post to fire the ball home. 1-1 and more questionable defending from Sunderland’s leaky back four.
Fortunately for the almost 3000 travelling fans, Sunderland were only on level terms for a matter of minutes. A free kick deep into the Bantams box wasn’t cleared and Jack Baldwin was on hand to guide the ball just out of the reach of ‘keeper Richard O’Donnell to put the Black Cats back in front.
At this point the visitors were looking comfortable but so far this season they have tended to be their own worse enemies. With 66 minutes on the clock Max Power received his marching orders for a kicking out at Jack Payne in the box. This being his second red card in just over a month. after things had died down Payne took the resulting penalty, but his effort was saved by Jon McLaughlin in the Sunderland goal. The Scotsman is making a nice habit of saving penalties, that was his second of the campaign.
Bradford were becoming increasingly frustrated by a Sunderland side which dug in to secure what would be a huge three points. These frustrations boiled over in injury time when Sean Scannell was sent off for a push on George Honeyman. An ill-tempered match but one which the visitors deserved to win.
FT: Bradford City 1-2 Sunderland AFC