The Black Cats’ fell to a third straight defeat against League One strugglers Cheltenham Town.
The game started slowly with very few chances for either team.
However, in the 11th minute Ross Stewart pulled away from his marker after an inviting ball from new boy Jack Clarke and headed onto the bar, which was eventually given as offside.
Sunderland started to build up confidence during a good 15 minute spell towards the end of the first half which debutant Jay Matete was at the heart of.
in the 31st minute, Leon Dajaku played the ball into Matete who looked like he had lost the ball. But he battled against the defender to keep a hold of it and managed to find Alex Pritchard on the edge of the area who was brought down by Charlie Colkett.
Pritchard eventually took a brilliant free kick which found the top right corner of the goal to make it 1-0.
SAFC never turned up in the second half.
Cheltenham started to become more and more confident of getting an equaliser.
Which they eventually did through a thunderous strike from Elliot Bonds to fire the ball past Anthony Patterson in the Sunderland goal.
The Black Cats’ failed to wake up after this, and just 14 minutes later Alfie May was played through on goal by Kion Etete and finished clinically across the ‘keeper.
Jermain Defoe was only given 10 minutes after this and was unable to make much of an impact.
he did have the main chance to pull Sunderland level late on in the game but saw his strike comfortably saved by Owen Evans.
We need to get a new manager as soon as possible because Mike Dodds clearly has no idea what to do.
You can’t put the whole of the blame on him however as the players need to take responsibility after this run of form.
Dodds seems to take far too long to make his substitutions leaving them with very little time to make an impact.
We saw glimpses today of improvement but there is still so much more work to be done.
We are starting to creep closer to falling out of the play off places and we must turn this around sooner rather than later.
Cheltenham hadnt won a game since the 23rd November last year! And we helped them rectify that in typical Sunderland fashion.
It is started to get scary now, Speakman and Co. Need to book their ideas up and find a new manager quickly!
Anthony Patterson – 6
Commanded his box well at times, couldn’t do much about the 2 goals.
Trai Hume – 5
Looked OK, needs to play more often. It was nice to finally see a natural right back play in that position.
Callum Doyle – 5
I am not sure what’s happened to him lately, but he looks shaky every time a team attacks. Seems lost without Flanagan by his side.
Danny Batth 4 –
Similar to Doyle, he looks very shaky at times and hoofs the ball to no body far too many times. He also picked up a pointless caution in the second half.
Dennis Cirkin – 4
Defensively he was OK at times. He was getting into the right positions when attacking but gave the ball away so many times.
Cory Evans – 4
I forgot he was playing at times. He was very quiet and didn’t do anything worth pointing out.
Jay Matete – 7
Put in 100% throughout. Some nice touches and dangerous forward passing. He looked a breathe of fresh air in what has been a terrible midfield for some time.
Leon Dajaku – 5
Pressed their back line well and caused a few mistakes. His end product was not great today at all.
Jack Clarke – 6
Looked decent in the first half and he was crucial to any of the few chances we had in the first half. Looks like he has a good delivery on him too.
Ross Stewart – 4
His goaless run continues. No service, but whenever he did get the ball he did seem to lose it quite often.
Patrick Roberts – 5
Came on for 20 minutes. A few nice touches here and there but overall, didn’t do much.
Jermain Defoe – 5
Came on with only 10 minutes to go. Had one opportunity saved by the ‘keeper.
Elliot Embleton – N/A
Came on with just 5 minutes left.