Report

Sunderland go into pole position in the play-off race with a lackluster stalemate against automatic promotion chasers Rotherham United.

It was a game which saw very few chances for either side and the home side really struggled with the physicality of the Rotherham defence.

The Black Cats’ failed to produce a single shot on target in the whole 90 minutes and were arguably lucky to grab a point thanks to a bizarre own goal from Michael Ihiekwe.

Rotherham took the lead in the 17th minute thanks to a well taken corner which found the head of Ihiekwe who ended up scoring at both ends in this game.

Neither side threatened the opposition goal throughout.

In the second half, substitute Alex Pritchard looked as though he scored a marvelous free-kick which actually curled round and hit the side netting, tricking many fans inside the stadium.

Sunderland, once again scored in the final few minutes of the game after Jack Clarke picked up the ball on the wing and curled in a cross which Ihiekwe headed in off the bar and into his own net.

The Black Cats’ then pushed for a winner but again failed to create a real chance.

A frustrating night for both sides in a game they both would have much preferred a much needed victory.

My Views

Don’t get me wrong, I love Alex Neil and I believe he’s doing an amazing job.

But for me he changed the starting 11 far too much from Saturdays 5-1 thrashing against Cambridge.

You could tell it wasn’t working early on as we lacked creativity throughout the first half and I was extremely shocked to see the same 11 come out in the second half.

It all comes down to the final game of the season and as long as we win against Morecombe we make the play-offs and I still have 100% confidence in Alex Neil and the lads despite today’s disappointing display.

Player Ratings

Anthony Patterson 6

Barely had anything to do. Couldn’t do much for their goal.

Trai Hume 7

Did well considering it was his first game in a while and against a very dangerous and pacy winger in Osei-Tutu

Bailey Wright 5

Defended OK when called upon but gave away quite a few sloppy passes and he almost gave away a goal in the dying seconds after passing it straight to Obene.

Danny Batth 6

Defended well when called upon.

Callum Doyle 5

He struggled to keep up with his man. He also struggled in possession as he gave away quite a few silly passes.

Lynden Gooch 7

He played his heart out once again. Defended well when he needed to and at times looked our most dangerous threat going forward.

Corry Evans 6

Did well in possession for the most part. Not a bad performance from the captain.

Jay Matete 4

Received an early yellow card and it seemed to have effected his play-style. Struggled to get stuck in and on the ball, some of his passes and his touches were atrocious. It’s not often he has a bad game when he plays but he wasn’t at it tonight.

Luke O’Nien 7

Battled well against a very physical Rotherham side. Kept pressing throughout and showed some nice touches.

Nathan Broadhead 5

Struggled with the physicality of their defence.

Ross Stewart 5

Was never given a sniff by their defence. Beaten in the air time and time again. Really struggled to make an impact. Never stopped trying but nothing was coming off for him at all.

Alex Pritchard 6

Brought in some creativity when he came on and was unlucky to see his free-kick go just wide.

Embleton 6

Floated in some nice crosses that we failed to take advantage of.

Jack Clarke 7

Added some pace into our attack and put in a dangerous ball which caused the own goal.

Man of The Match – hard one to pick but I’ll go with Lynden Gooch again.

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