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Lee Johnson ‘frustrated’ as Sunderland draw with 10-man Accrington

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 2022-01-15
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Sunderland boss Lee Johnson was frustrated as his side drew 1-1 against 10-man Accrington and lost the chance to go top of Sky Bet League One.

Aiden O’Brien came on for the Black Cats at half-time and, within three minutes, put his side ahead with a deflected shot from outside the area.

Stanley were reduced to 10 men on 76 minutes when defender Ross Sykes saw red for two bookable offences.

It looked like Sunderland would see the game out but, in the 84th minute, Matt Butcher broke and raced into the area, squaring for Mitch Clark to fire home the equaliser and extend Stanley’s unbeaten run to five games.

“I am frustrated,” said Johnson, whose side are second, a point behind leaders Wycombe.

“We have got to understand that we have got to play for 95 minutes. We were OK today up to 84 minutes but then an individual error and lack of organisation has cost us.

“That’s two goals from our last two away games we have conceded from our own corners. We have swung at it and missed and both sides have gone up the other end and scored.

“We did a lot of stuff well today, we took responsibility in difficult conditions and we were in control, particularly when they went down to 10 men.

“Then we conceded and it’s frustrating for everyone, I know it’s frustrating for the fans who stick with us.

“It was an opportunity to go top of the league and it’s wasted again but we now have a few weeks without midweek games which we need, the market is open and we don’t have any major injuries from this game.”

John Coleman saw his side reduced to 10 men for the second game running and again come out with a point – and both times he was frustrated they failed to get all three.

“We were the best team in the first half. You can’t do a lot about their goal, it’s a fluke, a deflection and we lost our way a little bit after that, it was a sucker-punch.

“We got back in the game but we didn’t get the rub of the green with decisions. I couldn’t complain with the second booking for Ross, pulling back, but the first was for complaining about a decision – if the referee booked everyone for complaining there wouldn’t be any players on the pitch.

“Mitch then took his chance well, it wasn’t easy, it was a bobbly pitch and it was a lovely finish and an Alan Shearer celebration to boot – he is a Newcastle fan.

“If someone had just landed from Mars, they wouldn’t think they were the big club and we weren’t with our first-half performance. It was sevens and eights for everyone and that’s encouraging.”

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