Match Report: Maja strike clinches late draw

Sunderland 1-1 Wycombe Wanderers

Sunderland’s winning streak came to an end on Saturday, but Josh Maja’s late strike against Wycombe Wanderers ensured the Lads remain unbeaten on home turf since April.

Both sides created chances in an evenly-contested opening 45 minutes, with Aiden McGeady spurning the Black Cats’ best sight at goal.

Wycombe also created chances and despite finding themselves under the cosh following the restart, they delivered a bolt from the blue after the hour mark.

Joe Jacobson sent a free-kick into the box which the Lads failed to clear, and Fred Onyedinma hammered home from 12 yards.

For a long time, it felt like that would be the moment that mattered, but when you need a goal at the Stadium of Light there’s only one man to ask.

And he promptly delivered seven minutes from time.

After naming a much-changed side in the Checkatrade Trophy, Jack Ross reverted to the side that defeated Port Vale in the Emirates FA Cup.

Jerome Sinclair led the line ahead of Maja, who scored a later winner at Morecambe, while Dylan McGeouch and George Honeyman started in midfield.

Lee Cattermole once again missed out.

With three goals in his last two League One games, McGeady looked to pick up where he left off.

And he almost gabbed his fourth of the month in the opening exchanges, beating his man all-ends-up before lashing a fierce effort over the crossbar.

The former Everton man continued to pull the strings, dropping deep and dictating the play, as both he and Chris Maguire sent teasing crosses into the danger zone.

While Wycombe lacked the presence of the injured Adebayo Akinfenwa, they settled into the game and enjoyed far more time on the ball as time progressed.

And they created a great chance to take the lead on the half-hour mark, as Jack Baldwin just about did enough to prevent Adam El-Abd from converting from six yards.

Onyedinma then thundered a shot into the side-netting as Baldwin got a decisive touch, and Sido Jombati volleyed way over soon after.

But after weathering the storm, the Lads missed a great chance of their own before the break, as McGeady raced through and fired agonisingly wide.

The winger turned provider as Sunderland raced out the traps following the restart, but his cross was a fraction too high for Sinclair, and the visitors cleared.

Ross’ men continued to turn up the heat forcing multiple corners, but despite looking far more dangerous in the second period, the boss shuffled his pack early on as Power and Maja entered the fray.

Within moments the latter saw his first effort deflect behind, but on 66 minutes Wycombe took the lead, as Onyedinma lashed home from 12 yards.

And when Maja fired into the side netting and Power saw a low drive blocked behind, it felt like it just wasn’t Sunderland’s day.

However, Maja had other ideas and his poacher’s finish sealed a point late on, with Power denied a late winner in added time.

The winning streak is over, but the Stadium of Light remains a fortress.

Sunderland: McLaughlin, Flanagan, Baldwin, Matthews, James (Oviedo 75), McGeouch (Power 54), Honeyman, Maguire, Gooch, McGeady, Sinclair (Maja 54).
Ruiter, Loovens, Ozturk, O’Nien.

Wycombe Wanderers: Ingram, Jombati, Jacobsen, Gape, El-Abd, Morris, Thompson, Onyedinma, Williams (Tyson 73), Samuel, McCarthy (Mackail-Smith 82).
Subs not used:
Yates, Bean, Stewart, Cowan-Hall, Kashket.

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