2 Good & 1 Bad - New trio show positive signs though inexperience at the back costly

On Saturday afternoon, Sunderland and Lincoln competed in a 1-1 draw that proves why both sides sit so close to each other in the league table.

by Michael Monday, 22 March 2021 02:39 PM Comments

Leadbitter Lincoln Sunderland blog

Sunderland hit first when Max Power’s cross found Callum McFadzean who headed home his first league goal of the season. Lincoln’s Callum Morton levelled things up in the 63rd minute as the Lads had to hang for a point in the later of stages of the match.

Here are the 2 Good and 1 Bad.

 

A New Midfield Trio

Yesterday afternoon Lee Johnson lined up with a midfield of Leadbitter, Winchester and Power.

In recent times, Winniesta has started to establish himself as a key midfielder. His tenacity, flair and technical ability have aided him to bring something different to the table. Pairing him next to Leadbitter has enabled Power to push on and join attacking moves, something we have not seen since the days Jack Ross managed the club.

Not long-ago Johnson attempted to mold Power into an attacking right back to take advantage of his crossing ability. On Saturday, Max played in an attacking midfield role on the right and was constantly whipping deliveries into the box; Sunderland’s opener came from a Power cross into McFadzean.

Whilst at the deeper area of midfield Grant Leadbitter kept the ball moving, continuing his impressive 84% pass accuracy this season.

 

Busy Burge

On Saturday, Lee Burge was called upon on multiple occasions and stood up to the challenge; he had no part in the wrongdoing that led to the Lincoln equaliser.

Since regaining his place after Remi Matthews was ejected from the starting eleven, Burge has started to finally find his feet as a Sunderland player. After a string of fine goalkeeping displays over the past few weeks, Burge added to this yesterday.

Lincoln striker Morgan Rodgers should have had a hattrick yesterday afternoon, however Burge denied him time and again. More than a few times, he bailed out the Sunderland defenders – who I will get onto later.

In articles in the past, I have berated Burge for his poor aerial ability, but he has looked assured and confident at commanding his box. Long may this continue!

 

Defending

I have been quick to praise Sanderson and O’Nien recently. Although, I might have got a bit carried away, as both were run ragged by Lincoln frontman Callum Morton.

O’Nien was the player at fault for Lincoln’s equaliser as he got far too tight to Morton when a hopeful ball was punted into the box. Morton then turned him with ease, before sending the ball into the bottom corner.

Using O’Nien at centre half against the lower league sides seems to work just fine. However, the teams in and around the top 6 possess far more quality than the rest so the return of Bailey Wright will be much welcomed.

Sanderson was also muscled off the ball by Morgan Rodgers who squared to Cohen Bramall. Luckily, his shot was poor and straight down the throat of Lee Burge. The ‘keeper spared both centre halves blushes throughout the 90 minutes.