Sunderland 1 Charlton Athletic 2
A proper result that.
Huge defensive effort, lots of second ball wins, and we were quick to get forward to create chances. All without that sense of inevitability at the end, although that last ten plus six add-ons did seem like a lifetime.
We were slow out of the gate though and had to thank Amos for keeping us on level terms in the early exchanges. One save from Wyke in particular prevented a sure goal. Pratley at fault, but this was not a trademark error-prone display.
We were a threat from set-pieces and we hit the post from one before we took the lead from another. JFC found Inniss unmarked with Pearce cleverly blocking off his marker. Inniss’ header was saved but as the ball headed over the line Scowen’s attempted clearance flew into the roof of the net.
Just as Steve Brown was telling us how Curbs would demand that the players were alert after taking a lead, we weren’t very as Amos superbly saved from McGeady straight from the kick-off.
Nearly all of Sunderland’s good moments came from McGeady, and I have no idea who the imposter was we had on loan last season. You have to question Phil Parkinson’s decision to jettison him too.
It was an entertaining match, and Stockley hit the post when he perhaps should have scored after good play from DJ. Nonetheless almost right after Stockley won his 400th header of the afternoon and Gilbey made the most of apprehensive defending to put us 2-0 up.
Lee Johnson making four subs showed his dismay, but we had to make it nervy for ourselves and although Amos came out and saved well, twice, he was out on the edge of the box when the ball spun to Scowen to head into an unguarded net. Amos was very much in profit on the day though.
My only gripe would be that I wish we had a player who would play closer to Stockley. The striker worked his balls off, but almost every header he battled to win ended going aground. Gilbey, DJ and Maatsen all played well, but were often too far away from Stockley. Later Stockley chose to bring the ball down as oppose to head it, and with Millar on supporting, this was a lot more effective.
Still, that was a top win. We defended with verve and anticipation, attacked well, and no Charlton player left anything out on the pitch today.
7 games left.
Nigel Adkins: “We’re a lot closer now. We’re on good momentum, we’re building that momentum. We’ve got a good spirit about ourselves, which had to be demonstrated today, that resilience.”
Photo Credit: Kyle Andrews