Dead & buried? Clear out required - Ethan's away days from Leeds

Sunderland looked as if the writing was on the wall going into the clash with Leeds at Elland Road; although Heckingbottom's men had only tasted victory twice since Christmas.

by Ethan_Thoburn Tuesday, 10 April 2018 01:56 PM Comments
Sunderland looked as if the writing was on the wall going into the clash with Leeds at Elland Road; although Heckingbottom's men had only tasted victory twice since Christmas.

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Donald Love retained his place in the starting 11, Joel Asoro was only fit enough for the bench and Marc Wilson came in at left back for the injured Bryan Oviedo. 

First Impressions and the Ground 

Most pubs around the area are home fans only with the exception of the Howards which was recommended on Football Ground Guide. However, there were plenty of pubs in the city centre for those who arrived by train. There was a Wetherspoon's in the station for starters as well as another just a short walk from the entrance. Not only a Wetherspoon's but there was also an away friendly Yates' and the Griffin. 

The ground was about a 40 minute walk from the city centre but there was a shuttle bus for football fans from outside the Hilton Hotel. The bus was at a cost of £2.50 return. 

The ground itself has a capacity of 37,000 and the away fans are in the John Charles Stand, the same stand that the dugouts are housed. On the concourse there are a selection of burgers and pies around the £3 mark as well as a selection of largers and ciders. The usual. 

The Match 

The match itself wasn't exactly a thriller but the faithful, travelling fans got behind the lads. 

A few half chances in the first half came to nothing. Pablo Hernandez forced a great reaction save from Lee Camp after excellent build up play between him and Alioski. 

Ashley Fletcher then smacked the woodwork from Aiden McGeady's corner. Fletcher latched onto the Irishman's cross and had beaten Peacock-Farrell but the crossbar saved the Yorkshire side.

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Second Half 

Just three minutes in and Donald Love's clever chipped through ball was smashed home first time by Paddy McNair. The Northern Irishman left the young Leeds goalie helpless as it flew beyond his reach. 

It looked all Sunderland in the early stages of the second period as McNair again was involved,  forcing Peacock-Farrell into a routine save. Soon after, Honeyman came close but not close enough as Peacock-Farrell got a touch on it to knock it wide but McGeady failed to finish the rebound. 

Then the inevitable happened. Spaniard Hernandez struck a curling shot from the left of the area after some slack marking from Love. Lee Camp was beaten and from then Sunderland never looked to get back into the driving seat. 

A fizzing cross from Hernandez was met by the Macedonian Alioski who rattled Camp's bar with a diving header. Shortly after, Samuel Saiz tested Camp again who managed to turn his effort out wide for a corner. Saiz then clattered the post with an arrow of a free kick; if any team were to score it'd have been Leeds. 

However, late on Gaetano Beradi was given his marching orders after clattering into substitute Callum McManamam. It looked a certain dismissal and you'd struggle to argue that. 

Overview 

We look dead and buried now in all honesty, a defeat tonight would almost definitely be the final nail in the coffin. Although the for most fans it's been inevitable for some time now. 

We need a massive clear out in the summer but we also need to keep hold of some players such as Gooch, McNair and as much as I think he's a limited footballer George Honeyman could be key next season. 

Share your thoughts on Twitter with me @ethan_thoburn or @WeAreWearside.

Thanks for reading and all the best!
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