Match report: Nine-goal thriller ends in defeat

Sunderland 4-5 Coventry City

Sunderland’s unbeaten home record in Sky Bet League One came to an end on Saturday, as Coventry City secured a 5-4 win at the Stadium of Light.

A crazy opening 45 minutes yielded six goals, as the Lads fought back from 3-1 down to equalise before the break.

Bright Enobakhare struck first and within six minutes of the opener, George Honeyman had replied before Amadou Bakayoko restored the Sky Blues’ advantage.

Jordan Hiwula added another with 24 minutes played, but Sunderland stuck to their task and Charlie Wyke and Will Grigg were on target to restore parity before the break.

The second period continued in a similar fashion, with Max Power cancelling out Jordan Shipley’s strike after the visitors edged in front once more.

But the final word went to Coventry, as Conor Chapin rifled the winner into the roof of the net with 12 minutes remaining.

Jack Ross made one change from the side that faced Burton Albion earlier in the week, as Power replaced the injured Dylan McGeouch.

And the boss was also provided with a bench boost, as Lee Cattermole and Aiden McGeady were named amongst the substitutes.

A glorious afternoon on Wearside provided a fitting back drop, as the Roker End’s swirling flag display added to a tremendous pre-match atmosphere, but the Sky Blues provided a bolt from the blue on 12 minutes.  

Bakayoko and Hiwula linked to find Enobakhare and the striker did the rest, slotting a confident finish beyond Jon McLaughlin and into the corner.

Sunderland fired back with an instant response through Honeyman, who saw his effort deflect into the net after fine work from Lewis Morgan, but parity lasted just three minutes.

Six minutes after taking the lead, the Sky Blues led again through Bakayoko, who finished with aplomb after being played through on goal by Luke Thomas.

And things went from bad to worse with 24 minutes played, as Sunderland once again failed to shackle the visitors’ electric front line, and Hiwula got in on the act.

Coventry continued to carve open the Black Cats, with McLaughlin denying Enobakhare before Dominic Hyam towered over the defence and headed over the top.

The next goal fell in Sunderland’s favour, though, and it was an absolute gift courtesy of Lee Burge, who flapped at a routine cross and allowed Wyke to tap into an empty net.  

Five minutes were added on at the end of an enthralling 45 minutes, and by the end of it, Grigg’s leveller ensured it was as you were at the break.

Red and white penalty appeals were waved away following the restart, but Shipley’s arrowed finish edged the visitors in front once more on 55 minutes.

In need of a lift, and with both Barnsley and Portsmouth ahead at the time, Ross turned to Aiden McGeady and Kaz Sterling with 25 minutes remaining.

And just a few moments later, we were level again.

McGeady’s threaded pass was brilliantly held up by Wyke and he found Power, who’s side-footed finish wrong-footed Burge and deflected into the net.

But like clockwork, Coventry did what they had done throughout the afternoon, with Chaplin firing back and bagging what proved to be the winner on 78 minutes.

Sunderland AFC: McLaughlin, Flanagan, Baldwin, O’Nien, Oviedo, Leadbitter (McGeady 64), Power, Honeyman, Morgan (Kimpioka 83), Grigg (Sterling 64), Wyke.
Subs not used:
Ruiter, Cattermole, Dunne, Hume.

Coventry City: Burge, Sterling, Davies, Hyam, Mason, Kelly, Shipley, Thomas (Wakefield 77), Enobakhare (Chaplin 77), Hiwula,Bakayoko.
Subs not used: Brown, Ponticelli, Westbrooke, Addai, Williams.

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