Sunderland’s make-shift right-back Lynden Gooch endured a torrid afternoon on Saturday afternoon as Lee Johnson’s side failed in their bid to reach the play-off final.
After losing the first leg of their semi-final clash with Lincoln City 2-0, the Black Cats had a monumental job on their hands in the return fixture in order to secure a spot in the play-off final at Wembley.
Despite the task at hand, a blistering start by Johnson’s side appeared to get them back on track, as first-half goals from Ross Stewart and Charlie Wyke immediately wiped out the Imps’ advantage, with Sunderland appearing to have all the momentum heading into halftime.
However, this momentum didn’t last long, as Tom Hooper put Michael Appleton’s side back ahead on aggregate shortly after the restart, a blow which, ultimately, Sunderland failed to recover from – with the tie finishing 3-2 to Lincoln over the two legs.
Despite the loss, a number of Johnson’s men put in admirable performances in the fixture, with Aiden McGeady earning a SofaScore match rating of 9.0, while Wyke earned an 8.5 rating and Stewart a 7.8 rating.
Although, other players did not fare anywhere near as well, none more so than Sunderland’s make-shift right-back Lynden Gooch.
Having been one of the Black Cats’ worst players in the first leg, the 25-year-old once again let his side down on Saturday, albeit while playing in an unfamiliar position.
Over the course of his 89 minutes on the pitch, the £5k-per-week midfielder was extremely sloppy with the ball, completing just 24 of his 40 attempted passes, none of his three attempted crosses, and six of his 14 attempted long balls.
The USA international also lost possession of the ball an extraordinary 28 times in the match, a figure greater than any other player on the pitch, from either side, on the day.
Indeed, the Sunderland academy graduate’s SofaScore match rating of 5.8 ranked him as the club’s worst player in the fixture, and it could easily be argued that his performance played a huge part in Sunderland’s failure to reach the play-off final.
As such, Gooch now has a long summer ahead of him to reflect on his displays over the two legs against Lincoln City, with the midfielder very much appearing to have badly let his team and manager down. His manager trusted him to do a job, but Gooch betrayed that trust with a terrible display.