Reading v SAFC

MON: ‘It’s hard to take’

by Kate Smith

Manager frustrated after late goal denies Cats.

Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill was left stunned after watching his side drop points against Reading following a late winner at the Madejski Stadium.

Jimmy Kebe scored his second goal of the game four minutes from time to secure all three points for the Royals and put an end to the Black Cats’ unbeaten run in the Barclays Premier League.

Following the game, O’Neill told  “I don’t know how we lost the game. We had a couple of great chances to win it and it’s very disappointing to be on the losing side.”

Sunderland fell behind after Kebe’s early strike but Craig Gardner cancelled out Reading’s seventh minute opener when he converted from the spot after Pavel Pogrebnyak impeded John O’Shea inside the box.

“We got back into the match after conceding an early goal, a bit like at Wigan,” O’Neill continued, “And it was deservedly so with the penalty kick.

“With 10 minutes to go you thought that if any side was going to win it that it would have been us, then we conceded the goal - a header from two yards out - and it’s hard to take.

“It was a very difficult pitch to play on, but I thought we applied ourselves well considering the conditions and I thought we were creating the better chances.”

Sunderland watched a flurry of chances go begging  and new signing Danny Graham almost scored a goal on his debut when his header from Adam Johnson’s corner was tipped over the bar by stopper Adam Federici.

O’Neill added: “The goalkeeper made a fine save to deny Danny Graham late on and Alfred N’Diaye had a chance go wide at the near post.

“Overall we’ve lost a game with four minutes to go that we shouldn’t have lost.”