Aiden McGeady rescued another point for Sunderland with a brilliant second half strike as Simon Grayson’s side came from behind against QPR at the SOL on Saturday to draw 1-1. Sunderland failed to win again at home yet again but things could have been a lot worse after the lads conceded a sloppy first half goal when Idrissa Sylla nodded in from a corner. Fortunately McGeady struck midway through the first half to salvage a point but this result was still greeted with boos at the final whistle as it’s still simply not good enough.
After the international break Sunderland returned to action for the first time since ending string of defeats and poor performances with an encouraging 2-2 draw away at Preston. There were still causes for concern in the display at Deepdale with Sunderland’s knack of throwing away a lead and falling behind in minutes on show but at least they showed a bit of character to fight back to take a point.
Having failed to win at home all season Simon Grayson was targeting victories at the SOL in October with a trio of home fixtures coming thick and fast with Bristol City and Bolton Wanderers following the visit of Ian Holloway’s QPR. Grayson has been boosted by the return from injury of Duncan Watmore whilst Josh Maja and Lewis Grabban are closing in on returns to first team action.
Grayson made changes to the side that faced Preston we lined up in 4-4-2 formation with Steele in goal behind makeshift a back four of Matthews, O’Shea, Jones and Oviedo. The club revealed via twitter that Kone was ill and Ty Browning was injured so neither made the bench. In midfield McGeady started on the right with Honeyman on the left with a defensive looking centre of Cattermole and N’Dong. Upfront Duncan Watmore returned for his first start alongside James Vaughan.
Sunderland actually started the better of the sides and were unfortunate not to take the lead when Honeyman connected with a volley from McGeady’s free kick but the keeper made a good save to divert the ball away. Oviedo was next to try his luck when he released a left foot effort from 25 yards which dipped and swerved but just beat the post.
At the other end the visitors didn’t really offer too much and it was Sunderland who should have took the lead on the half hour when McGeady wasted a gilt edge chance. He was played clean through on goal by Watmore’s clever ball but the Irishman clipped his shot wide of the post with just the keeper to beat.
Typically after wasting this opportunity Sunderland conceded five minutes before the break with another poorly defended goal. A corner was clipped into the six yard box by Luke Freeman and despite having a host of defenders in the six yard box and a goal keeper Sylla was strongest and rose highest to nod into an empty net. It was far too easy for the visitors and unless Sunderland sort out this defensive frailty we will never win a game.
The visitors ended the half stronger after scoring which forced Grayson into a half time change with Grabban replacing Vaughan. Grabban immediately combined with Watmore to fashion a chance from tight angle but the keeper was equal to it.
With half an hour to go Grayson made a second change with Williams replacing Honeyman and the midfielder’s introduction sparked a small piece of light into Sunderland. McGeady drew us level on 61 minutes when he was teed up by Watmore on the edge of the box after Sunderland were being jeered for sloppily conceding possession. McGeady clipped a curling left foot shot past the diving keeper to score his third in three games.
At the other end Jason Steele made a few blocks to deny the visitors, although it looked like he made a meal of them, before McGeady had another effort from range which the keeper was equal too. With ten minutes to go Grayson made his final change replacing Watmore with McManaman but we couldn’t fashion a winner. In fact it was the visitors who had the final effort with Steele denying a long range effort from Luongo.
Boos greeted the final whistle from the sparse Sunderland crowd as apathy continues to reign at Sunderland. The club is flat from top to bottom and everyone including the fan base is in desperate need of some sort of lift.
Final Score – Sunderland 1 Queens Park Rangers 1
ALS Man of the Match – Jonny Williams – changed the game but begs the question why did he not start
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