First of all, everyone at SGM would like to send their wishes out to the fan who had taken ill during last night’s game. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them and their family and friends.
Sunderland got off to a fast start as Jay Matete powered his way through the Burton midfield and saw his long range effort saved by Burton ‘keeper Ben Garret after just 2 minutes.
It was Burton however that had the first major opportunity which saw a mini scramble in the Sunderland penalty area before Jonny Smith managed to find a shot towards the bottom right corner which was saved by Anthony Patterson.
Burton got their goal early in the second half as the Black Cats’ gave the ball away cheaply and Jonny Smith managed to wriggle past Callum Doyle and play the ball out to the left hand side to former Manchester United player Cameron Borthwick-Jackson who blasted the ball past Patterson into the bottom right hand corner.
Sunderland’s pressure was mainly unsuccessful as Burton ended up having the next major opportunity after Carl Winchester had a snap shot at goal which was blocked and hoofed forward towards Christian Saydee who easily got in behind Callum Doyle and saw his attempt saved well by Patterson.
As the game was coming to it’s conclusion, Carl Winchester drove at the Burton defence and struck a brilliant long range effort which was just tipped over by Garret.
The Black Cats’pressure finally prevailed in the 93rd minute when Alex Pritchard picked up the ball inside the Burton box and stood one up to the back post where League One top scorer Ross Stewart was there to header it into the bottom left corner.
I thought at times we were slightly better to what we’ve seen in recent weeks.
However in my eyes that shows just how bad we have been lately because it still wasn’t anywhere good enough.
We look so vulnerable when we lose the ball in their final third as teams just hoof the ball up to their striker and it seems that 9 times out of 10 they’re getting in behind our defence.
Once again we were a Shambles at the back and lackluster going forward, it’s so hard to watch!
It was good to see Jermain Defoe get his first start last night but he needs the players around him to create opportunities for him to finish but at the moment they are not good enough to do that!
Anthony Patterson – 6
I thought he did well tonight in the circumstances. Made some good saves to keep us in the game as Burton were catching us on the break.
Carl Winchester – 7
Never gave up and he was, at times the only player brave enough to go for goal, or put pressure on their back line. However he did let his marker go for Burton’s opening goal.
Bailey Wright – 5 typical Bailey Wright performance defensively. Battled well against Niasse at times but he did give the ball away far too often with misplaced long passes.
Callum Doyle – 3
He needs a rest. Every striker seems to get in behind him with ease now and he struggled with his passing last night which was one of his stronger points earlier in the season.
Dennis Cirkin – 5
Was ok defensively but offered very little going forward.
Cory Evans – 4
Why does he always get his game. Gives the ball away far too often and offers nothing defensively.
Jay Matete – 5
Not his best performance since coming in last month. But he still put in a decent shift. A few sloppy touches and passes at times.
Alex Pritchard – 6
Our most influential attacking outlet last night and was always trying to create. However apart from the goal in the final minutes, his deliveries were often very disappointing.
Jermain Defoe – 5
Showed signs of decent link up play with Stewart at times but he was very quiet throughout. He needs more creativity around him.
Ross Stewart – 5
Very quiet all night with very little service. Once again the Scotsman took his goal brilliantly. We will be lucky to keep hold of him in the summer.
Elliot Embleton – 4
Apart from a very poor effort which saw his shot fly into the stands, he didn’t do anything of note after coming on.
Jack Clarke – 6
Once again he came on the pitch offering pace and creativity, the only thing lacking was his final product.
Dan Neil – 5
Quiet after coming on in the later stanges.
Man of The Match – Carl Winchester.