Sunderland 1-1 Ipswich Town - Half-Time
Tuesday, 3rd Nov 2020 20:25
Jack Lankester’s first goal of the season seven minutes before the break sees the Blues and Sunderland locked at 1-1 at half-time, Charlie Wyke having given the Black Cats the lead in the eighth minute.
Striker Kayden Jackson made his first start of the season and Toto Nsiala and Lankester returned to the Town team.
Jackson took over as the lone central striker from Oli Hawkins, who dropped to the bench, while Nsiala was back at the heart of the defence with Luke Woolfenden absent as he is self-isolating for a minimum of 14 days having come in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.
Lankester came into the advanced midfield role with Alan Judge moving out to the right of the front three, Gwion Edwards to the left, with Freddie Sears among the subs.
The Black Cats made one change from the team which won 2-0 at Gillingham at the weekend with Chris Maguire replacing Aiden O’Brien, who was on the bench, while ex-Blues skipper Grant Leadbitter started in their midfield.
After kick-off had been delayed for half an hour due to technical issues relating to the online streaming broadcast, the home side went ahead via the game’s first serious attack in the ninth minute.
Lynden Gooch played a low pass into the area for Wyke, Mark McGuinness slipping and allowing it to reach the striker, who confidently beat Tomas Holy with Stephen Ward unable to get across to tackle and claiming offside, perhaps with good reason.
The Black Cats continued to have the better of it and in the 19th minute Denver Hume crossed from the left and Josh Scowen headed over.
The Blues were struggling to get going. They were seeing a lot of the ball but were passing it around in their own half for the most part, and not always comfortably with the Wearsiders keenly pressing from the front.
In the 23rd minute Teddy Bishop was upended not far outside the Sunderland box but Andre Dozzell’s free-kick was hit straight into the wall, Scowen requiring treatment, the ball having hit him in the face.
Just before the half hour, Conor McLaughlin crossed from the right and Wyke headed high and wide.
Town had shown little sign of levelling - and equally Sunderland hadn’t gone close to adding a second - but in the 38th minute they got on terms via a superb second career goal from Lankester.
Edwards burst past his man on the left and cut it back to the academy product who took a touch and hit a well-struck shot across the previously untested Lee Burge and into the net off the inside of the far post.
Lankester’s excellent goal, his first since opening his career account against Millwall at Portman Road in January 2019, seemed to wake up the previously soporific Blues, who began to push for a second.
On 41, following a corner which had been cleared, Chambers found Edwards with a terrific cross-field ball. The Welshman sent over a potentially dangerous cross but a Wearsiders’ boot cleared.
In injury time, Jackson almost embarrassed Hume on the byline on the right, robbing him of the ball before trying to pick out Lankester in the middle. However, the ball bounced off a defender to Burge.
That was the final action of a half in which the Blues had been second best for the most part, although Sunderland had created little aside from their goal which owed much to McGuinness’s error.
Town seemed to wake up in the minutes after their goal which was cleverly created by Edwards and clinically finished by Lankester and will hope to build upon it after the break.
Sunderland: Burge, McLaughlin, Wright (c), Flanagan, O’Nien, Scowen, Leadbitter, Gooch, Hume, Maguire, Wyke. Subs: Matthews, Power, Graham, Sanderson, O’Brien, Grigg, Diamond.
Town: Holy, Chambers (c), Nsiala, McGuinness, Ward, Dozzell, Bishop, Judge, Lankester, Edwards, Jackson. Subs: Cornell, Wilson, Kenlock, Huws, Bennetts, Hawkins. Referee: Peter Wright (Merseyside).
Photo: Action Images
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