Fleetwood Town manager and ex-Newcastle United poster boy Joey Barton seemed irked at the Stadium of Light in his post-match press conference last night, after fans celebrated Max Power’s 97th minute equaliser.
Much to Barton’s delight, the Shrimpers took the lead through Barrie McKay who found a hole in the Black Cats’ defence after just 5 minutes, slotting one past a helpless Jon McLaughlin. Although SAFC looked dangerous and dominant throughout the game, they never really looked like scoring in the final third.
However, in the 97th minute of the game the ball fell to captain Max Power at the edge of the area, who finessed the ball around a rooted Alex Cairns to gain the Mackems a point at the death of a well contested game. Home fans swarmed the walkway around Barton’s dugout while he stood his ground, nodding and pointing towards the FTFC crest on his jacket.
“It’s interesting for me to see Sunderland fans celebrating in the manner they did after drawing at home to Fleetwood Town,” said Barton in the post-match conference, adding: “Sunderland celebrated drawing against us in their own stadium like it was a World Cup victory.”
“I always enjoy the warm reception I get when I come back here and I get off the coach and they say such kind words to me, it really warms the spirit,
“I appreciate all the fans coming over at the end to congratulate us,
Barton also referenced how teams coming to the Stadium of Light struggle a “David v Goliath” affair in saying: “You paid more for Will Grigg than our entire budget,” adding: “This club should not be in this division, it’s a massive football club, this is a passionate football area.”
“As soon as Sunderland get back to where they should be the better for everybody.”
In the four fixtures in which two teams have met in the English Football League, Sunderland are still yet to beat Barton and his Fleetwood side. However, the point they stole from what seemed like a closed game last night will certainly feel like a victory to many Wearsiders.