Another unbeaten run in League One came to an end yesterday, as Sunderland went down 3-1 at home to Portsmouth.
On a disappointing afternoon for the Black Cats, they fell behind inside the first ten minutes. Marcus Harness was fed in by Michael Jacobs, and he slotted an effort inside Lee Burge’s right-hand post.
The home side briefly rallied, Charlie Wyke converting from close range after excellent work down the attacking left from Denver Hume. Sadly, before the half-hour mark had passed, they were behind again, Harness the creator this time for John Marquis to finish easily.
The afternoon went from bad to worse for Phil Parkinson’s side, who had Luke O’Nien sent off for a second yellow after bringing down Ryan Williams. O’Nien played the game at centre half and look uncomfortable, something doubtless exasperated by MArquis converting the penalty to kill the tie.
The result sees Sunderland slip down to sixth, five points behind leaders Lincoln City with a game in hand. Portsmouth jump up to fifth, level on points with the Black Cats but having played a game more.
Despite it being their first defeat of the season, Sunderland fans have found the result hard to take. Such is the mood in the north-east, that it takes very little for fans to turn on the manager when they are perceived to have under-achieved (see also, Ipswich Town), and they made their feelings very clear on social media after the game.
However, after a strong start to the season, there is still some goodwill in the tank for Parkinson, who will want a strong response away at Rochdale on Tuesday night.
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Poor management today. Why O’Nien was centre back today when we have an actual one on the bench I’ll never know. So many questions to ask.
— zCeadith (@zCeadith) October 24, 2020
These days happen and in hindsight we should have played players in there preferred positions. But lessons learned we can’t get away with it against the better sides. Hopefully a big reaction on Tuesday.
— Shaun Graham (Gunner) (@ShaunGunner1973) October 24, 2020
Is it just me!? I really CBA with my team while a) parky is gaffer b) we’re in league one and c) who knows who is or will be running the club (into the ground). And yes im lifelong fan and have been to more games I can remember and 7 Wembley trips since 85. Just CBA now
— SAFC&Golf (@Safcgolfer75) October 24, 2020
Same mate, supported them my whole life, been going since 1984 and just can’t muster the energy to be arsed at present. Owners set the metronome, rest just keeps the rhythm.
— Gaz (@yuenglinghunter) October 24, 2020
I said it before this match no pace, no flare give the youngsters a chance. We'll win nothing with an aged frontline and the midfield we currently have.
— Ronald Little (@RonaldL96628957) October 24, 2020
Poor perorance today but hopefully just a little bump in the road. Back at it Tuesday and go for a decent away win.
Hume, Maguire dropped O’Brien, McFadzean and Sanderson in.
— Brad (@braddfearnleyy) October 24, 2020
Poor from start to finish. Manager isnt good enough. Playing players out of position against a good team is madness man. Better change it for Tuesday
— D.F. (@XSAFCX) October 24, 2020
Change something!! We've not scored more than one goal a game since Oxford. Sort your lives out, you're meant to be professionals
— Wim Duncker ?? (@WimDuncker) October 24, 2020
Terrible performance today we gifted them all 3 goals..played well for 10 minutes in the 2nd half.. Massive improvement by team and management before Rochdale.. Abysmal??
— Colin Roberts (@mackem49000) October 24, 2020