Sunderland broke the record for the longest winless run at home in the league in English football after failing to beat Millwall at the SOL on Saturday. The lads drew 2-2 despite taking the lead through Lewis Grabban after a horror show from Robin Ruiter saw the Dutch keeper concede two goals in five minutes from free kicks. Adam Matthews spared the keepers blushes when he equalised just after the break but Sunderland couldn’t muster a winner despite creating a few chances.
Robbie Stockdale made a couple of changes to the side that lost at Middlesbrough with Adam Matthews, Jonny Williams and Duncan Watmore replacing Billy Jones, Darron Gibson and Didier N’Dong.
We got off to a good start with McGeady heavily involved putting in a couple of decent crosses which Millwall managed to clear but then the Irishman forced a corner when his shot was deflected round the post. We took the lead from the corner taken by Oviedo who whipped a cross into the six yard box which the keeper spilled at the feet of Lewis Grabban who made fired into the roof of the net.
Jonny Williams then made a lunging challenge on the edge of our box and injured himself in the process and had to be replaced by George Honeyman. Williams went off holding his arm and to make things worse the visitors equalised from the free kick. It was a fairly tame free kick taken by Saville but the ball bounced in front of Ruiter and somehow spilled under the Dutchman’s body and trickled over the line.
Five minutes later Saville got his second from another free kick an identical position and another calamitous showing from Ruiter. Saville struck the second free kick better than his first but the keeper palmed it into the net with him looking frightened of crashing into his post.
The goals knocked the stuffing out of Sunderland and Millwall started breaking our defensive lines too easily but fortunately for us even though they got into some decent positions there strikes were way off target. At the other end we had a decent shout for a penalty when Watmore tumbled in the box but the ref was having none of it then Watmore wasted a good opportunity at the back post cutting back onto his left and missing the target rather than taking the chance first time.
It was Watmore’s last piece of action after he appeared to injure his knee and had to limp off to be replaced by McManaman. McManaman got involved straight away driving into the box and going over under a challenge from Saville but the ref again waved away Sunderland’s appeals for a penalty.
Neither side made any changes at the break but Sunderland drew level immediately after another goalkeeping howler saw Adam Matthews’ powerful cross end up in the back of the net. We thought we had taken the lead soon after when Grabban found the back of the net but he was penalised for a shove on the defender.
Sunderland continued to press and get in some good positions on the flanks and both McGeady and McManaman were putting in inviting crosses but they would not fall to a red and white shirt. At the other end Robin Ruiter went someway to atoning to his earlier errors when he made a great save to deny Gregory with a strong hand preventing a certain goal even though a slight deflection had wrong footed the keeper.
Stockdale was forced into his final change ten minutes from time with Sunderland suffering another injury blow after Marc Wilson went down injured. He was replaced by Ty Browning as Sunderland pressed for the winner with Aiden McGeady seeing a lot of the ball.
The Irishman linked up well with Oviedo to deliver a couple of teasing crosses but Sunderland could just not get on the end of them. The best chance fell to Grabban but he missed the ball as the cross curled agonisingly along the six yard box and away from danger. There was five minutes injury time and we did create one final chance with McManaman finding space on the edge of the box but he failed to find the target firing over the bar meaning Sunderland now have another unwanted record.
Final Score – Sunderland 2 Millwall 2
ALS Man of the Match – Aiden McGeady
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