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Sunderland’s Aiden O’Brien frustrates vs Accrington

If you looked at the League One table around two weeks ago, it had Sunderland in a very good position.

The Mackems sat in third place and with two games in hand and they were in control of their own destiny.

They were the undoubted favourites for promotion heading into the final two months of the campaign but it has not played out as Lee Johnson would have hoped.

His side were unbeaten in 14 straight matches before they travelled to Peterborough and since drawing there, they’ve faulted as they have done in the last few years.

The Black Cats now haven’t picked up three points in six games with their promotion hopes now hanging by a thread.

If anything summed up the last fortnight for Sunderland, it would be their clash against Accrington. After Charlie Wyke became the first Mackems player since Kevin Phillips at the turn of the millennium to score 30 in one season for the club, it looked as though they were coasting to victory.

Who was Sunderland's MOTM on Saturday?







Wyke had netted twice inside the first 11 minutes but they collapsed catastrophically, so much so that once the referee blew for full-time, the score was a demoralising 3-3.

Sunderland were made to bemoan yet more bad defending, this time from Luke O’Nien who was uncharacteristically poor at the heart of the defence.

He allowed Colby Bishop to get in behind him for the first goal as he was caught ball watching and then his own goal was simply disastrous. O’Nien and Lee Burge didn’t communicate properly, allowing the former Wycombe man to head the ball past his own goalkeeper and into the net.

However, those mistakes would have been easier to comprehend if Sunderland were better in front of goal. They may have scored three times but during the course of the match they had a whopping 17 attempts.

One of the worst culprits from an offensive point of view was Aiden O’Brien. He was particularly lacklustre in front of goal, having two opportunities in the first period which could have put the clash beyond doubt.

Just before the half-hour mark, O’Brien was set free in behind but once he got to the edge of the area he somehow stuck his shot straight at Toby Savin. He then saw another effort from the Accrington stopper saved moments before the break.

O’Brien’s poor performance extended beyond his finishing, however. The attacker managed just 27 touches before being dragged off on 74 minutes, a number that was significantly fewer than Burge (51).

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On top of that, he completed only 11 passes in the entire game. It was the worst on the field with Carl Winchester matching him of those to start from a Sunderland perspective.

This was a sloppy performance from O’Brien, one that showed he had no right to start the game ahead of someone like Jordan Jones or Jack Diamond, the man to provide the assist for Max Power’s strike.

Johnson won’t be happy with his forward at all.

AND in other news, SAFC can finally axe McFadzean by signing 18 y/o that Jack Ross thinks is “brilliant”…

Article title: Sunderland’s Aiden O’Brien frustrates vs Accrington

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