Late equaliser frustrates Sunderland in draw with Doncaster
Doncaster Rovers 1-1 Sunderland AFC
Sunderland miss out on three points as they concede a last-minute goal to draw 1-1 with Doncaster Rovers.
Sunderland opened the scoring through a stunning long-range effort from Grant Leadbitter.
Sunderland could not hold on to their lead and Okenabirhie scored the equaliser seconds before the final whistle.
The first 15 minutes of the game was evenly matched with both sides not threatening going forward.
Sunderland’s first decent chance of the game came through a free kick from Josh Scowen in the 17th minute. Luke O’nien met the cross and headed just over the bar.
Sunderland continued to dominate in the first half, with numerous chances falling to Chris Maguire on the edge of the box, but he failed to trouble the keeper.
There were strong shouts for a penalty in the 29th minute as Gooch beat the Doncaster player to the ball and looked to be brought down, but the calls were waved off by the referee.
Sunderland eventually broke the deadlock after Gooch teed Grant Leadbitter up, who smashed his 25-yard strike past emergency loan keeper Joe Lumley.
Doncaster came out in the second half the stronger team, and early chances from Okenabirhie and Lekilo could not test Remi Matthews.
The home side continued to pressure with Matt Smith growing into the game. Smith’s shot from the edge of the box in the 57th minute just whistled past the post.
Sunderland countered Doncaster’s pressure well on numerous occasions largely through the pace of Lyndon Gooch. His chance to double Sunderland’s lead was thwarted by Joe Wright.
Elliot Embleton was introduced for Sunderland and soon got in on the action with a strong left-footed effort just flying past the far post.
Sunderland looked to be claiming all the spoils but the defence switched off and allowed Doncaster to get a dangerous low cross into the box, giving Okenabirhie and easy finish inside the six-yard box.
The late equaliser means Sunderland drop to eighth place and with a tough game away to Fleetwood coming up, the Black Cats will need to make sure they don’t lose anymore ground in their battle for promotion.