With 9 games left. it was on to Peterborough, a team that managed to wallop 7 goals past Accrington in their last home game and a team that sits one place above us in the table in 2nd. It was a big day in the promotion race and it all looked to be getting away from Sunderland when Siriki Dembele found the net in the second half. However, up stepped Aiden McGeady, a day after his 35th birthday, to prove that class is permanent as he placed a free-kick in to the top of the Peterborough net with minutes to spare.
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 – 7.4
Comment of the day: “A couple of crucial saves” - Pablo
He didn’t have much of a chance with the Peterborough goal as the low drive from Dembele was well hit in to the net, however, Burge was a great presence between the sticks throughout the game, making multiple saves when called upon and keeping the lads in the game with a great reactionary stop from a misplaced O’Nien back pass.
Dion Sanderson – 7.4
COTD: “Had Clarke-Harris in his pocket” – Sir Bob
An accomplished performance from the youngster, coming up against a prolific Peterborough side and the top goal scorer in the league would be a daunting performance for any player but it was a test that Dion surpassed with flying colours. So much composure whilst in possession and a reading of the game that showed experience beyond his years.
Luke O’Nien – 7.6 (Man of the Match)
COTD: “Put his body on the line, again and again” - MallySAFC
Three games now where Luke throwing himself at the ball (in all manner of ways) has kept Sunderland in the fight for three points and the block yesterday against Clarke-Harris was the epitome of O’Nien in a Sunderland shirt. Losing his footing in a contest against the big target man, Luke threw himself forward to shoulder the ball away in clearance. These are big, season defining moments from the makeshift centre-back every week.
Max Power – 6
COTD: “Exposed when Dembele came on” - Anonymous
Max struggled to get in to the game against Peterborough but looked tidy in possession when called upon. It definitely showed the limitations of our squad when playing against a side above us in the league and Max would be better off in the midfield role whenever possible.
Callum McFadzean – 4.7
COTD: “Pleased Hume is back” - Pete
It could be argued that McFadzean was impeded for the goal that Peterborough scored as he was held from making another attempting at blocking Thompson’s pass to Dembele but with the game being as close as it was, you want to see more fight from your defenders and most of the supporters feel he went down too easily.
Grant Leadbitter – 6.2
COTD: “Steady game from midfield” - Lance
Grant did well in the first half, controlling possession of the ball in a largely uneventful but governing opening period for the Black Cats. Fell away somewhat in the second half as Peterborough pressed looking for the opening goal.
Carl Winchester – 6.2
COTD: “Good but must bring some quality to the final third” - CC
Great work-rate from Winchester as he got involved in the midfield battle throughout the game without showing much in the way of quality when it came to linking the back to the front.
Aiden McGeady – 7.4
COTD: “Another piece of magic” – Kenny R
Cometh the 80th minute, cometh the man. As Aiden stood over the free-kick, you’d be hard pushed to find a Sunderland supporter who wasn’t confident in his ability to find the back of net from that position and what an important goal that could be as the season comes to an end. Phil Parkinson, hang your head in shame.
Jordan Jones – 6.7
COTD: “Very good first half but no impact in the second” – Bobby G
Jordan followed on from his explosive performance against Oxford with a direct and busy showing against Peterborough. He fell off in the second half and I’m not sure if it was due to a fitness issue or because the opposition were finding their feet in the game but his quality and intent up until his eventual substitution were undeniable.
Ross Stewart – 5.8
COTD: “Proper nuisance whilst on the pitch” – Agent Ashley’s Bank Account
It was a questionable decision by Lee Johnson to start one of the biggest games of the season with two target men up front but Ross did well with his opportunity in the starting line-up as he looked to stretch the Peterborough defenders to make space for the goal-threat of Charlie and those in and around him. He does seem to be struggling to find his touch but that can be forgiven after just coming back from injury and settling in to the physicality of League One football.
Charlie Wyke – 6.1
COTD: “Grafted away whilst feeding on scraps” - Alfa
Chances have been hard to come by for Charlie in recent games and the game at the Weston Homes Stadium was no different as Peterborough had done their homework and doubled up on the big man to ensure that he was unable to get on the end of any ball shipped in towards him. Despite the lack of opportunities, Charlie worked hard for the team and came alive after the Peterborough goal to help the lads secure the point.
Aiden O’Brien (Sub) – 5.7
COTD: “Worked hard in limited time” – Ken Peterlee
A nice cameo from O’Brien in the second half as he offered energy from the bench and kept the Peterborough defenders busy whilst on tired legs as the game grew to a close.
Denver Hume (Sub) – 6
COTD: “Great to see him back” – George Edger
It’s good to see Denver back in a Sunderland shirt after 4 long months out due to injury. He didn’t have too much to do whilst on the pitch yesterday but his return will be a welcome boost with 8 games remaining.
Lee Johnson (Head Coach) – 6.8
COTD: “Chose the wrong game to tamper with the formation” – Anonymous
Deciding to go with two up top in one of our biggest games so far this season was somewhat disputed by the Sunderland supporters’ pre-game but the first half proved that there was substance to tactical switch as Sunderland looked the brighter side in an uneventful first half. The second half presented a different test for the Head Coach and it felt as if his opposite number got the better of him with early changes that tipped the game in to Peterborough’s favour. Is it better to be proactive instead of reactionary when it comes to your substitutions? It worked out both ways from both manager’s yesterday.