Shrewsbury Town 1-1 Sunderland AFC
Sunderland were held to a 1-1 draw at Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday evening.
A sumptuous strike from Alex Pritchard opened the scoring on 16 minutes, as the attacking midfielder opened his account for the club.
Lynden Gooch went closest as the Lads searched for a second, but the first-half drama wasn’t over there and David Davis was dismissed before half-time.
Shrewsbury levelled with 64 minutes on the clock, as Dan Udoh smashed the ball home and left the Black Cats to rue a batch of untaken opportunities.
The introductions of Aiden McGeady and Leon Dajaku ensured the Lads ended the game camped in enemy territory, but the home side held firm to claim a point.
Lee Johnson made two changes for the New Meadow encounter, as Pritchard and Aiden O’Brien replaced Corry Evans and Elliot Embleton.
The Lads made a composed start to proceedings in Shropshire, but the home side fired an early warning shot when Nathanael Ogbeta volleyed wide after five minutes.
Quality defending ensured Ryan Bowman’s effort deflected wide soon after, albeit justice was essentially served after a clear foul on Carl Winchester went unpunished in the build-up.
Sparkling play from Nathan Broadhead followed as the on-loan Everton man tore into the Shrewsbury backline, but his perfectly-weighted through ball was scythed to safety before Winchester could pounce.
The deadlock was broken on 16 minutes and it was broken in style, as Pritchard shifted the ball onto his right boot and curled a fine finish into the corner from 15 yards.
Gooch almost replicated the Black Cats’ no.21 on the half-hour mark, but Mark Marosi produced an emphatic finger-tip save to deny the American.
The Lads ended the half on top and the Steve Cotterill’s side ended the opening 45 minutes with 10 men, as Davis received a straight red card for a late challenge on Broadhead.
Shrewsbury started the second period well, but they were unable to capitalise and spurned several half-chances.
Johnson’s men quickly restored their grip on proceedings, with Dan Neil blazing just wide before Stewart’s header glanced just past the post.
The slightest of deflections denied Pritchard a second before Luke O’Nien headed off target, but the home side refused to go away
And moments after Bowman failed to convert Ogbeta’s fizzed cross, a long throw dropped to Udoh and he slammed the ball past Thorben Hoffmann to level.
Dajaku and McGeady quickly entered the fray and the Black Cats once again dialled up the pressure, but Marosi pushed O’Nien’s powerful effort to safety.
The goalkeeper’s blushes were spared by the woodwork seconds later, as Dajaku’s cross slipped out of his grasp and against the outside of the post.
Broadhead volleyed against the woodwork in the final stages as wave after wave of attack continued to drive the home side back, but Cotterill’s men held firm to frustrate the Black Cats.
Shrewsbury Town: Marosi, Leahy, Pennington, Vela, Udoh, Bowman, Ogbeta, Pyke, Davis, Bloxham (Cosgrove 83), Nurse.
Subs not used: Burgoyne, Caton, Leshabela, Wilson, Kaninda, Craig.
Sunderland AFC: Hoffmann, Doyle, Broadhead, O’Brien (Evans 61), Gooch (Dajaku 74), O’Nien, Stewart, Winchester, Pritchard (McGeady 74), Neil, Wright
Subs not used: Flanagan, Alves, Embleton, Patterson.