Match Report: Lads held to draw with Bristol City

Sunderland’s winning run came to an end at the Stadium of Light after a 1-1 draw with Bristol City.

The Black Cats handed themselves the lead through Jack Clarke’s stunning strike but were denied all three points in stoppage as Nahki Wells converted from the penalty spot.

The away side were struck with an early blow when captain Matty James was forced off on a stretcher. But Nigel Pearson’s side were not to be deterred by the loss of their leader.

Anis Mehmeti escaped the clutches of two Sunderland players inside the box but was denied by a brilliant Anthony Patterson save. The Sunderland stopper tipped his bending effort onto the inside of the post.

Ten minutes before the break, Trai Hume and Edouard Michut combined well and midfield and freed the run of Jack Clarke down the left. His cutback fell into Joe Gelhardt’s pass but the forward couldn’t make a proper connection in the box.

The Lads continued to provide the pressure. Patrick Roberts produced a nutmeg which opened up space inside the box. Gelhardt received the cutback but was crowded out by Bristol City’s defence as he saw his effort blocked.

The Lads kept up the pressure in the second half with Clarke pinching possession before teeing up Michut who saw his low shot from distance whistle past the post.

The pressure on Bristol City reaped reward in stunning style. A sweeping move from right to left saw Clarke jink inside into the box and fire a shot into the top right corner. It was the winger’s fifth goal in six games.

Amad darted beyond three Bristol City players but Zak Vyner’s intervention inside the box prevented the Ivorian from pulling the trigger at the vital moment.

Bristol City provided a scare in the closing stages as Mark Sykes header in the box was diverted into the path of Nahki Wells but Danny Batth was on hand to mop up any danger.

However, when the Robins were handed a late penalty in the closing stages, Wells was not to be denied this time as he stroked the ball into the bottom left hand corner.

SAFC XI: Patterson; Hume, Ballard, Batth, Alese; Neil, Michut (O’Nien 62’); Roberts (Ekwah 88'), Clarke (Cirkin 88'), Amad; Gelhardt (Pritchard 62’)

Subs: Bass, Ekwah, Lihadji, Ba, Cirkin

Bristol City XI: O’Leary; Tanner (Wells 70’), Vyner, Atkinson, Pring; James © (Kalas 16;), Williams; Scott, Sykes, Mehmeti (Cornick 70’); Bell (Weimann 70’)

Subs: Haikin, Dasilva, King

Goals: Clarke 59’

Attendance: 38,685

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