The Chronicle

Fleet-in­gly in front, but Black share the spoils Cats forced to share the spoils

- By JAMES HUNTER Sun­der­land writer james.hunter@reach­plc.com @JHun­terChron Sports · Soccer · Sunderland · Sunderland Association Football Club · Burton Albion F.C. · Middlesbrough F.C. · Middlesbrough · Ched Evans · Fleetwood Town F.C. · Callum Connolly · Doncaster · Wigan Athletic F.C. · Phil Parkinson · Lynden Gooch · Danny Graham · Grant Leadbitter · Bailey Wright · Josh Morris · Paddy Madden

SUN­DER­LAND saw an­other two points slip through their fingers as they were held to a draw by Fleet­wood Town.

Char­lie Wyke scored his eighth goal of the season as he headed the Black Cats into a de­served lead on the hour - but Fleet­wood skip­per Cal­lum Con­nolly lev­elled fol­low­ing a goal­mouth scram­ble with a lit­tle more than 15 min­utes re­main­ing to sal­vage a point for his side.

It means Sun­der­land climb one place to sev­enth in the table and the gap be­tween them and the au­to­matic pro­mo­tion places now stands at five points, although they still have a game in hand of sec­ond­placed Peter­bor­ough.

Just as at Don­caster on Satur­day when they led un­til in­jury-time, this will be seen as an­other missed op­por­tu­nity for the Wear­siders.

It heaps the pres­sure on them to take max­i­mum points from their back-to-back home games against third-bot­tom Bur­ton Al­bion on Tues­day and base­ment side Wi­gan Ath­letic next week­end.

Phil Parkin­son made one change to the side which drew at Don­caster, Lyn­den Gooch ruled out with an an­kle in­jury and re­placed by Danny Gra­ham.

In the first half it was Sun­der­land who looked the more dan­ger­ous side.

Den­ver Hume had sent a shot just wide in­side the first five min­utes but his ef­fort min­utes later brought a good save out of former Mid­dles­brough keeper Jayson Leutwiler.

The ball was played into the left­hand chan­nel for Wyke to chase and he fed it into the path of Hume on the edge of the box, the wing­back tak­ing a touch be­fore hit­ting a shot which Leutwiler did well to block.

Wyke was a hand­ful through­out the first half and his hold-up play helped Sun­der­land get up the pitch, while Grant Lead­bit­ter ran the mid­field and Bai­ley Wright won ev­ery header in de­fence.

Gra­ham and Josh Scowen both saw shots blocked on the edge of the area be­fore the half-hour and Wyke also saw a header de­flected just wide.

Fleet­wood made a change at half­time with Ched Evans re­plac­ing Josh Mor­ris - and it al­most paid off within two min­utes of the restart.

Camps rattled the cross­bar with a long-range shot, Paddy Madden was first to the re­bound and headed across the face of goal where it was met by Evans in­side the six-yard box - only for Matthews to make an ex­cel­lent save and hold on to the ball.

Sun­der­land came back strongly and on 59 min­utes they took the lead as Fleet­wood made a mess of a long ball for­ward from Tom Flana­gan and

Wyke beat on­rush­ing goal­keeper Leutwiler to the ball to plant a brave header over him and into the empty net.

Af­ter fall­ing be­hind, Fleet­wood had to chase the game and Madden and Sam Fin­ley both saw shots blocked.

Fleet­wood fi­nally made their pres­sure tell on 73 min­utes when a goal­mouth scram­ble ended with Con­nolly fir­ing into the bot­tom right-hand corner.

Both sides tried to find a win­ner in the fi­nal quar­ter-hour but nei­ther could carve out a clear-cut chance.

 ??  ?? Sun­der­land’s play­ers cel­e­brate Char­lie Wyke’s goal - but it was not enough to se­cure vic­tory
Sun­der­land’s play­ers cel­e­brate Char­lie Wyke’s goal - but it was not enough to se­cure vic­tory
 ??  ??
 ??  ?? Sam Fin­ley of Fleet­wood bat­tles for pos­ses­sion with Sun­der­land’s Danny Gra­ham
Sam Fin­ley of Fleet­wood bat­tles for pos­ses­sion with Sun­der­land’s Danny Gra­ham

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