Sunderland lost ground in the automatic promotion battle last night as they went down 2-0 to Bristol Rovers, who all-but secure their place in League One next season.
Going into the game, Ben Garner’s side were out of form and down on their luck, but a brace from Jonson Clarke-Harris ensured they climbed up the table and away from the relegation spots.
The struggling hosts took the lead six minutes before half time. Ollie Clarke’s low cross found Clarke-Harris with his back to goal, but he turned smartly to finish with aplomb.
Sunderland struggled to make any impact in the game, failing to force a save from the Rovers’ keeper Jamal Blackman until the final minutes of the game. By then, Rovers had doubled their lead. Clarke-Harris grabbed his second of the night from the penalty spot after Max Power had handled a Luke Leahy cross.
The three points saw Rovers leapfrog Lincoln City into 14th place, with 13 points the gap between them and Tranmere in the final relegation place. Phil Parkinson’s side are seventh but have played a game more than all the teams above them, with both Wycombe and Doncaster able to reel them in by winning their games in hand.
That’s led some Sunderland fans to concede that the hunt for a top-two spot is over and maybe, just maybe, they’re in for a third season in the third tier next time out.
The most shocking performance yet . Players were out there playing as if they dont want to be in the team anymore.
Even my animals have more umpth even when they are asleep.
Let's hope maybe our players work out how to kick a ball and not look like statues????????????
— lee ferdinando (@dumboVI) March 10, 2020
Try something different. Youth players. They can’t be as big bottle jobs as some of the players out there now. Get benji in for next game at least. And why is Declan john no where to be seen. SORT IT OUT
— james turnbull (@jxmes123) March 10, 2020
I’d rather support bury at this point like
— harry (@harrytdixon8) March 10, 2020
Pathetic. Bottled it again..Time for a podcast again Stewart? Can’t wait to hear about our enviable budget for next season again.
SD out. #safc
— Dan Coates (@Dancoat1982) March 10, 2020
we’ve just been beaten off a team who’ve won about 3 games since 2007
— DM (@Mustardinho) March 10, 2020
Well atleast were staying up!
— Kieran Hartley (@kieranHartley8) March 10, 2020
Embarrassing performance this is never a promotion winning team. Disgusted those players should be ashamed of themself's Gutless no one shot on target
— mark marshall (@markmarshall17) March 10, 2020