10-man Sunderland floundered to a draw against Oxford United in League One on Saturday.

A poor start for Sunderland saw them trail 1-0 thanks to a Ricky Holmes free kick on 16 minutes.

Max Power then recklessly dived into a needless challenge on the half-way line which resulted in him being sent off on 19 minutes.

Debutant Charlie Wyke, who came on at half time, rescued a point for Sunderland in the second half on 52 minutes and both sides settled for a point.

The result has left Sunderland in fourth position while Oxford are currently sat in 22nd place.

Sunderland entered the weekend’s game on the back of three straight wins and a lot of confidence – though the early stages of the game would have left you wondering which side was chasing promotion and which was fighting relegation.

Jack Ross would have been disappointed to see his side put in a rather undisciplined performance as Sunderland resorted to kicking their opponents to the tune of 20 fouls, five yellow cards and one red card.

Ricky Holmes opened the scoring in front of the 1,800 travelling U’s fans with a superb free kick, though Jon McLaughlin will have been disappointed to see it go in as he got a hand to it.

Power, the hero of recent works, turned into the villain as he saw red for a vicious foul on Marcus Browne before the 20 minute mark.

Sunderland were fortunate to finish the first half with 10 men as Chris Maguire should have seen red for an elbow or even a second yellow for a cynical foul.

The second half was better for the Black Cats and the changes Ross made had a positive impact. Wyke came on at half time in place of the booked Maguire and instantly made an impact, scoring on 52 minutes with a deft flick.

Josh Maja was guilty of missing two golden chances as the game wore on, but both sides seemed content with their point and the game was played as such with neither side taking too many risks.

A 1-1 draw was just about earned for Sunderland, though the concern will be their slow starts to games and their poor discipline as the referee could have sent off Power, Maguire and Bryan Oviedo. Ross will need to address those issues if Sunderland are to be contenders for promotion this season.

Man of the Match: Jack Baldwin