The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Clive Hether­ing­ton

CHRIS Cole­man’s first home game as Sun­der­land boss was ru­ined with the help of one of his Wales old boys – and ref­eree Keith Stroud.

Read­ing mid­fielder David Ed­wards, a mem­ber of Cole­man’s squad at Euro 2016, struck in the 53rd minute as the ten-man Black Cats slipped back to sec­ond-bot­tom in the ta­ble.

Stroud came un­der fire again in the north-east af­ter his howler at the New­cas­tle-Bur­ton game last sea­son when he wrongly ruled out Matt Ritchie’s penalty for en­croach­ment in­stead of award­ing a re­take.

This time, Stroud sent off Sun­der­land winger Cal­lum McMana­man in first-half stop­page time for a sec­ond book­able of­fence af­ter he bun­dled the ball into the net with his hand from Adam Matthews’ right-wing cen­tre.

Af­ter Ed­wards’ opener, Mo Barrow’s brace put Read­ing vir­tu­ally out of sight be­fore Lewis Grab­ban pulled one back for Sun­der­land with a penalty.

But the Black Cats have now gone 21 home games with­out a win in all com­pe­ti­tions and the next out­ing at the Sta­dium of Light – against Cole­man’s former club Ful­ham – will be one day short of a year since the Wear­siders last won on their own turf.

Cole­man, whose side won 2-0 at Bur­ton a week ear­lier, said: “It’s a huge dis­ap­point­ment and we’re flat again now. We’re back to square one.

“You can see peo­ple are frus­trated and they’re en­ti­tled to be be­cause we haven’t won here for so long. We’ve been kicked back into the gut­ter.

“It was a big moment when Cal­lum was sent off. I was a bit dis­ap­pointed with Cal­lum, I thought he was go­ing to head the ball.

“Be­ing down to ten men, it was a killer for us.”

Sun­der­land were forced to make a change be­fore a ball was kicked in anger af­ter Paddy McNair, who has bat­tled back from a cru­ci­ate lig­a­ment injury, was hurt in the warm-up. Dar­ron Gib­son stepped into the mid­field berth.

Read­ing should have taken the lead on 21 min­utes when Ed­wards swept over at the near post.

Sun­der­land’s task was made harder when McMana­man, booked for a foul on Barrow in the 14th minute, re­ceived his sec­ond yel­low card. And the mis­ery mounted af­ter Sone Aluko’s cross-shot was only par­tially blocked and Ed­wards turned in the loose ball.

The home crowd then booed and jeered as Sun­der­land stood off Read­ing, al­low­ing the vis­i­tors to ca­su­ally knock the ball around.

Ge­orge Honey­man brought a near-post save from former Sun­der­land goal­keeper Vito Man­none, be­fore Read­ing in­creased their lead in the 69th minute, Barrow vol­ley­ing through Rob­bin Ruiter af­ter Liam Kelly’s cross.

Barrow grabbed his sec­ond two min­utes later when he cracked in from Yann Ker­mor­gant’s hook, but Sun­der­land replied on 76 min­utes af­ter livewire sub­sti­tute Joel Asoro went down un­der Le­an­dro Ba­cuna’s chal­lenge and Grab­ban con­verted the spot-kick.

Roy­als boss Jaap Stam said: “Mo has a cer­tain qual­ity and that’s why we brought him to the club.

“Ev­ery­body knows the wingers are very im­por­tant be­cause we’re look­ing for play­ers with pace, abil­ity on the ball and also scor­ing abil­ity.

“When we signed Mo from Swansea, he needed to get used to what I ex­pected from him and he has picked that up and is do­ing fan­tas­ti­cally.”

PICTURES: MI News & Sport

NOWHERE TO GO: Sun­der­land’s Ai­den McGeady is shut down by Read­ing scorer Dave Ed­wards

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