Match Report: Sunderland AFC 0-0 Bristol City

Mike Dodds’ wait for a first home win in his third interim spell in charge continues, as Sunderland and Bristol City played out a goalless draw on Saturday afternoon.

The Black Cats were, no doubt, the better side throughout the contest, but Liam Manning’s side were in debt to the goalkeeping of Max O’Leary, who made a plethora of great saves to make sure the Robins left Wearside with a point.

Dodds had vowed to “respond” from Easter Monday’s 5-1 battering from Blackburn in his pre-match programme notes, and made three changes from the side that started five days previous.

Jack Clarke returned to the starting 11 ahead of Romaine Mundle, while Chris Rigg and Leo Hjelde both started in the places of Patrick Roberts and Callum Styles respectively.

And Dodds’ pre-match words were looking like they had struck a chord with those in red-and-white, as there was a clear vibrancy about the Black Cats’ play that there wasn’t on Monday afternoon.

Dan Ballard should have given the hosts the lead early on, but his header needed an excellent save from Max O’Leary, as he clawed the ball away from danger.

Dodds’ side were a threat throughout the first half, and should have found themselves in front in a half where they tallied fourteen attempts.

O’Leary made a superb double save to deny Jobe’s long-range drive and Clarke’s follow-up, before the Black Cats were left wondering whether the luck would be on their side after the ball still somehow stayed out.

Neil’s low shot was blocked by the legs of the Bristol City goalkeeper, before Aouchiche’s header from the rebound struck the crossbar and the away side were able to clear before Jobe had the easiest of tap-ins.

The Robins brought on their top scorer, Tommy Conway, with around 30 minutes of the game remaining, but the better of the opening were still coming the way of the hosts.

Jobe’s header from Roberts’ cross looked to have goal written all over it, but a magnificent save to tip it onto the crossbar and then the post meant that the game remained level.

Despite four minutes of stoppage time, neither side really pushed for the winner, as both settled for the point which almost secures their mid-table finishes.