The run is finally over. Sunderland have launched a phenomenal assault towards promotion but for the first time since early February, they tasted defeat.
The Mackems were unbeaten in 14 matches heading into their pivotal match with Charlton but unfortunately for Lee Johnson and his men, they lost 2-1.
This was always going to be a tough test for the Black Cats but this was arguably one of the most lacklustre displays of football we’ve seen from a Johnson team since he took over.
On a normal day, Sunderland would have played some wonderful free-flowing football. We’ve already seen them dominate the likes of Portsmouth and Lincoln under this manager’s watch but they were miles off the pace on Saturday.
It was a defeat that broadened the gap between themselves and Peterborough in second place to five points. Sunderland do have a game in hand but they may well now have their work cut out in order to achieve automatic promotion.
Aiden McGeady stepped up to the plate again by completing five key passes from the wide positions while Josh Scowen scored a rare goal.
However, the vast majority of individuals were poor. That can be especially said for Lynden Gooch.
The American has been with the Black Cats for nine years now and has witnessed the rise and fall in the north-east. He has Premier League appearances to his name for the club and helped them to win their first trophy in 48 years.
Gooch was on the score sheet at Wembley a number of weeks ago in the EFL Trophy final but the fact is, his performances have been rather inconsistent of late.
The winger was dragged off just after the hour mark on Saturday but it was hardly a surprise. Gooch have a very minimal impact on proceedings, taking just 28 touches of the ball. That happened to fewer than goalkeeper Lee Burge (33).
He didn’t have a single shot and managed just one key pass and one dribble. On this evidence, you wouldn’t have thought Gooch’s best trait was to beat a man.
From his 28 touches, the attacker also managed to lost possession on 12 occasions. With Jordan Jones absent from the starting XI this weekend, Gooch had a real opportunity to stake his claim.
Unfortunately, he didn’t take it. This was a performance that will have left the manager seething.