Saturday, yet again and as history has suggested ever since the late 90’s, Charlton Athletic put an almighty dent in to the promotion hopes of the club from Wearside.
The game itself is a frustrating one to look back on as we had great opportunities to put the game to bed before Charlton took the lead yet it could be argued that a loss well overdue considering the recent performances have been less than inspiring for a team fighting for promotion. The game ended 2-1 to the visitors and Sunderland’s unbeaten streak was over, just like that.
We asked you to vote on the ratings of the Sunderland team, so let’s have a look at what you, the supporters, thought.
Lee Burge – 5
Comment of the day: “Not his best game after a good run” – Roker Parker
It’s been a good few weeks since the last clear error you could throw at the door of Lee Burge and although the downward header towards him was powerful, the Sunderland goalkeeper should have done better with the effort that lead to the opening goal. These things happen with goalkeepers and it’s a difficult position to avoid mistakes every so often.
Dion Sanderson – 5.8
COTD: “Not his best but okay” – Kev S
Dion found it difficult today as the Charlton frontline were both physical and clever with their play in and around the box on the few occasions they made it there. The second goal was a moment to forget and it probably highlighted the lack of experience in our centre-back pairing to concede such a soft goal at such a pivotal moment in the game.
Luke O’Nien – 5.6
COTD: “Battled but came up short (about 4 inches) - CC
Poor Luke probably got home, had a cup of tea and still couldn’t shake the thought of Jayden Stockley towering over him whilst he sat in his living room. Tough day for O’Nien as well as his centre-back partner as they both struggled to deal with the physical nature of Stockley throughout the game.
Max Power – 5.1
COTD: “Tried to raise the team” - Will
With Conor McLaughlin sat on the bench, questions were raised before kick-off as to why Lee Johnson decided to continue with playing Max at right-back and although the captain did a good job of it (as we have come to expect from him), you can’t help but feel that he should be starting in the middle of the park from now on.
Callum McFadzean – 5
COTD: “One of his better games” – Mr Wok
Quiet game from McFadzean as the goals conceded were mostly unforced errors from other areas of the pitch and the amount of attacking Charlton did to put us under pressure throughout the game was very minimal; Hume showed more attacking impetus in his brief cameo that McFadzean did.
Lynden Gooch – 3.9
COTD: “Very poor, no input whatsoever” - Lance
Frustratingly poor performance for one of the most experienced of the Black Cats and patience is wearing thin amongst the support when it comes to the decision making of the American. It’s easy for the opposition coaches to figure out Lynden, you just tell your defenders to let him do step-overs with his head down and nothing much will come of it if you leave him to it; He has been poor and a waste of a starting spot in recent months.
Carl Winchester – 4.9
COTD: “Invisible” - Coachees
Sunderland supposedly had a midfielder named Tommy Miller in the early 00’s although there weren’t many sightings of him despite his name being on the team sheet. Winchester seemed to borrow his shin-pads yesterday because I can’t really remember a moment of input in the game that I can comment on.
Josh Scowen – 5
COTD: “His part in the opener was embarrassing but he recovered well” - Alfa
The goal that Scowen could be blamed for is a weird one because as it happened, it seemed as if the ball had already crossed the line and Scowen was just swinging a foot at the ball in frustration but the replay showed that as his attempt at clearing the ball off of the line and frankly, his effort was pitiful. Despite that mistake, it was another busy game for Scowen and he did offer Sunderland a lifeline with a headed goal in the second half.
Aiden McGeady – 6.2 (Man of the Match)
COTD: “Tried to create, the only player to do so” - Ridders
McGeady welcomed a few of his old teammates to the Stadium of Light and no doubt would have loved to have come away with the points against them. It wasn’t to be though and McGeady struggled to find the final ball on multiple occasions to really unlock a dogged Charlton backline.
Aiden O’Brien – 4.4
COTD: “Achieved very little” – Captain Spaulding
After a tactical switch-up against Peterborough, Aiden was back in the startling line up in a supporting role to Wyke and if it was something that has worked incredibly well earlier in the season, it really didn’t come together as planned yesterday as O’Brien huffed and puffed without doing anything of note. Finding full fitness, maybe but at this stage of the season there’s no time for passengers.
Charlie Wyke – 5.2
COTD: “Missed chances cost us big time today” – Chas445
I’ve been a big supporter of Charlie in recent weeks, his hold up play has been superb and he has worked hard against the opposition to at least put himself about a bit whilst being starved of good opportunities to score but yesterday, he was disappointing. Spurning three great chances cost us the game and although the goals we conceded were defensive calamities, Wyke could have avoided heart-break had the goals fell to his head rather than his feet.
Jordan Jones [Sub] – 5.1
COTD: “Not at his best” - Scotty
The supporters were wondering why Jordan Jones wasn’t starting the game. A fitness issue or was it because his girlfriend is due to give birth at any moment? Either way, he has shown himself to be a direct, positive outlet with flair and trickery in recent games but his appearance from the bench yesterday was despondent at best.
Conor McLaughlin [Sub] – 5.5
COTD: “Should have started” - Polly
Conor has been one of the most improved players in the team this season and should be starting at full back ahead of Max Power, with Max starting in midfield ahead of one of the holding midfielders we seem to rely upon so much.
Ross Stewart – [Sub] 5.2
COTD: “Improvement on O’Brien” – Hill of Beath
Had a decent opportunity on goal but the cross was floated high and any power had to be generated from a difficult position for Ross Stewart. Yet again his big frame plays in to a hopeless punt long and pray game reminiscent of the Phil Parkinson era.
Denver Hume [Sub] – 5.3
COTD: “Glad to have him back” – Jimmy D
Busy when he came on but with little end product, somewhat typical of Hume but the ambition to drive forward and at least try and get the ball in to the box was needed.
Lee Johnson (Head Coach) – 4.1
COTD: “Poor team selection, weak midfield and chaotic substitutions” - Anonymous
Just like the game against Peterborough, Lee Johnson decided to make tactical and personnel changes to the team that left the Sunderland supporters questioning his decisions and for a second week in a row, the fans pre-match concerns seemed justified. Square pegs in round holes is a phrase that has been banded around for a few months as we have had no other choice than to do the best with what we have but now, with players coming back in to the squad after injury, it’s surely the time to be playing players in their correct positions in such an important run in. His decision to make 4 substitutions at once caused a great amount of confusion in the build up to the poor defending of Charlton’s second goal.