|Sunderland 2 v 1 Ipswich Town|
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 3rd November 2020 Kick-off 19:00
Sunderland 2-1 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Tuesday, 3rd Nov 2020 21:37
Andre Dozzell was controversially red-carded as the Blues were beaten 2-1 at Sunderland, former Blues skipper Grant Leadbitter winning the game with a late penalty. The Black Cats took the lead on eight via Charlie Wyke but Jack Lankester levelled for Town seven minutes before the break and the Blues were on top on the second half until Dozzell was harshly dismissed for a 72nd-minute challenge on Leadbitter, who netted the winner from the spot 12 minutes later after Mark McGuinness had handled.
Jack Lankester’s first goal of the season seven minutes before the break sees the Blues and Sunderland locked at 1-1 at the break, 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.
The Black Cats swapped Scowen for Max Power ahead of the second half with the Blues unchanged.
The home side gave the ball away in their own half of the field twice in the opening couple of minutes, first to Edwards who was quickly dispossessed, then to Chambers, who crossed low for Lankester, who looked to be tripped by Wearsiders’ skipper Bailey Wright. However, Town protests were muted and referee Peter Wright showed no interest.
As the game approached the hour mark, Maguire sent over a corner from the left and Tom Flanagan rose highest but flicked over the bar.
Lankester went within a few inches of netting his second of the game in the 63rd minute. Judge picked up a loose ball on the Town right and sent over a cross which Jackson allowed to reach Lankester, who took it down on his chest when under pressure but was unable to keep his shot down and the ball flew just over the bar.
On 68 Sunderland, who had been very much under par since the break, swapped Maguire for Danny Graham.
As in the first half chances were hardly a frequent occurrence but the Blues were having the better of it on balance with Sunderland forced to give away numerous free-kicks when Bishop and Edwards were breaking, surprisingly with referee Wright keeping his yellow card in his pocket.
And when a card finally came in the 72nd minute it was red, and it was shown to Town’s Andre Dozzell.
The midfielder had been trying to twist and turn out of a tight area in the centre circle and he and Leadbitter both slid for the loose ball, Dozzell catching the former Blues skipper as they did so. A yellow card looked the most likely outcome but referee Wright evidently adjudged that Dozzell had gone in recklessly with his studs high and issued a red card, the first of the former England U20 international’s senior career.
It looked a very harsh decision and the Town players argued vehemently with the official but to no avail and they were forced to play the final 17 minutes with 10 men.
Two minutes following the dismissal, shortly after Luke O’Nien had shot wide for the Wearsiders, Hawkins replaced Jackson.
Wyke hit an effort well over for the Black Cats, who were still to trouble Holy aside from the goal, before Leadbitter finally became the first Sunderland player to be shown a yellow card in the 78th minute for a foul on Bishop. Hume joined him on 81 for tripping Lankester.
Three minutes later, the Wearsiders were awarded the penalty which would win them the game when McGuinness cleared the ball against his own hand and then his face.
Referee Wright pointed straight to the spot. Again it looked a very tough decision on the Blues and there were no Sunderland appeals, even if it may perhaps have been warranted under the current interpretation of the laws. Leadbitter confidently slammed the ball past Holy to make it 2-1.
Town were forced to commit more men forward and it might have been 3-1 in the 87th minute when sub Graham knocked it down for Wyke, who somehow put it over the top from eight yards.
Keanan Bennetts replaced Lankester for the final scheduled minute and the Blues forced a couple of corners but without being able to create a chance before referee Wright confirmed their defeat.
The result was harsh on the Blues who had started the game poorly but having got their equaliser were the better side in the second half and might well have gone in front when Lankester shot just over the bar.
If the red card was harsh, the penalty was unfortunate for McGuinness, who had been at fault for the Black Cats’ first goal, and tough on Town who deserved to take something from the match.
The Blues, who are still to beat anyone in the top 11 in the table, stay second, three points behind leaders Peterborough, and ahead of Charlton in third and Lincoln in fourth on goal difference.
Sunderland: Burge, McLaughlin, Wright (c), Flanagan, O’Nien, Scowen (Power 46), Leadbitter, Gooch (Sanderson 90), Hume, Maguire (Graham 68), Wyke. Unused: Matthews, O’Brien, Grigg, Diamond.
Town: Holy, Chambers (c), Nsiala, McGuinness, Ward, Dozzell, Bishop, Judge, Lankester (Bennetts 89), Edwards, Jackson (Hawkins 76). Unused: Cornell, Wilson, Kenlock, Huws. Referee: Peter Wright (Merseyside).
Photo: Action Images
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