SAFC v Norwich

SAFC 1 Norwich 1

by James, JBC reporter

All even at the SoL.

Sunderland came from behind to draw at home for the second game running.

The first 20 minutes were a fairly even affair, with neither side really testing each other. However, the away side, backed by 800 fans that had made the long journey north, took the lead from their third corner in a row.

An in swinging corner from Scottish international Snodgrass was headed back across goal by January signing Kei Kamara. Wes Hoolahan, standing at 5ft 6in, somehow was unmarked and managed to get a free header into the net. 

Just as things looked to be going well for the Yellows, they were reduced to ten men. Ex Cat Michael Turner headed a short ball back to Bunn and Graham latched onto the ball, hoping to score his first goal in red and white. However, his chance was blocked by the onrushing Bunn’s arm the ref correctly sent him off as the ‘keeper was last man and outside the box. 

The 10 men managed to hold onto the lead for only 9 minutes after their ‘keeper was sent off. O’Shea’s cross hit Bassong on the chest then rolled down onto his arm and, after some conferring with the linesman, who had given the spot kick, Craig Gardner stepped up to dispatch his fourth penalty of the season, giving him seven goals in all competitions. 

The Lads could have even taken the lead before half time. Seb Larsson’s pile driver of a shot was parried by sub ‘keeper Lee Camp. The rebound fell to Danny Graham but the forward snatched at his opportunity and hit the ball into the ground and wide of the far post. 

As the match came close to an hour long, Craig Gardner could have grabbed a second. In a crossing position, the full back fancied his chances and detonated a powerful strike that stung the fingertips of Camp as he brushed the ball over. 

It could have been Sunderland who conceded a penalty when Danny Rose handled the ball from a Martin cross. However, the ref gave a free kick, just outside the area. 

Again it was the Canaries who could have had the last laugh when Bramble was caught on the ball by sub Grant Holt. The big striker rushed through on goal but Mignolet came out to grab the ball. It wouldn’t have counted anyway because Holt was booked for diving in on the Belgian once he had retrieved the ball. 

Perhaps with Sunderland’s best second half chance, Stephane Sessegnon volleyed wide. Gardner’s cross met the Benin forward about 12 yards out and, from an angle, he couldn’t direct a shot and target and it bounced harmlessly wide. 

Sunderland team:
Simon Mignolet, Craig Gardner, Danny Rose, Carlos Cuellar, John O’Shea ©, Seb Larsson, David Vaughan, Stephane Sessegnon, Adam Johnson, Danny Graham and Steven Fletcher. 

Norwich team:
Mark Bunn, Russell Martin, Javier Garrido, Sebastian Bassong, Michael Turner, Bradley Johnson, Jonathon Howson, Elliott Bennett, Robert Snodgrass, Wes Hoolahan and Kei Kamara.