Sunderland were unable to build on Saturday’s commanding win at Accrington Stanley as Rotherham claimed a point from their visit to the Stadium of Light. It was another frustrating evening on their own patch for the Wearsiders who were held to the second 1-1 home draw this season.
Despite their failure to get the win it couldn’t have started any better for the hosts as a quickly taken freekick from Alim Ozturk sent forward Marc McNulty clean through on goal before rounding the keeper to give his side the lead inside the first minute.
Sunderland looked to build on this quick start with Luke O’Nien firing over and Aiden McGeady seeing an effort saved as they cranked up the pressure. They were to be given a golden chance to double their lead just 28 minutes in when winger Lynden Gooch was brought down by a clumsy challenge from Millers defender Clark Robertson.
However, the Wearsiders were unable to take this chance as the usually reliable from the spot McGeady saw his weak effort easily saved by Daniel Iversen. It was a desperately dissapointing effort from the Irishman and it seemed to affect his side as Rotherham began to take control.
They could have been level before the break but Ben Wiles saw his effort fly agonizingly wide and Freddie Ladapo had a shot saved by Jon McClaughlin. Although Sunderland were desperately close to delivering a sucker punch right at the end of the first half as McGeady saw an effort drift just wide.
The second half was a totally different story as the visitors enjoyed near total domination in their pursuit of an equaliser. Ladapo, who almost joined the Black Cats in the summer saw his effort well blocked and Jake Hastie was denied by McClaughlin as the pressure mounted.
This was all inside the opening 20 minutes of the second period and just moments later the home side were breached as the Millers found the goal that their play deserved. The hugely impressive Hastie was the man to strike after collecting Ladapo’s smart lay off and absolutely fizzing an effort beyond the helpless Jon McClaughlin.
Hastie almost found another just minutes later but his effort flew well wide of the target. To their credit Sunderland responded fairly well to this setback with substitute Charlie Wyke seeing an effort saved and McGeady just unable to find the top corner when well placed.
The final 10 minutes rather fizzled out as both sides struggled to create clear cut chances. Matt Crooks had the best one for the visitors but he couldn’t direct his header on target.
Both sides will feel they could arguably should have won the match but in the end a point was the best they could muster.
It will have no doubt been a huge frustration for manager Jack Ross, especially after Aiden McGeady had such a good chance to double the lead and possibly put the game out of reach of their opponents.