Championship: Blackpool 1-1 Sunderland – Ross Stewart continues scoring form

Sunderland's Ross Stewart
Ross Stewart has five goals in his last six games – albeit with a three-month break within that

Ross Stewart’s sixth goal in five games helped Sunderland secure a point at struggling Blackpool, who had Callum Connolly sent off late on.

Scotland striker Stewart, who now has a goal in each of his four matches since returning from a troublesome thigh injury, glanced at Trai Hume’s header to level at the Stadium of Light.

Shayne Lavery opened the scoring for Blackpool in the first half when he galloped onto a pass from CJ Hamilton and fired past Anthony Patterson.

Amad Diallo hit the crossbar, as did Stewart before his leveller, and it proved a nervous finish for the 10-man Seasiders once Connolly went off for a second bookable offense in added time.

Tony Mowbray’s Sunderland remain in the top six, while Blackpool are now third from bottom.

There was already plenty of goalscoring burden on Stewart before Ellis Simms’ recall by Everton this week, but the ‘Loch Ness Drogba’ continued to rise to the challenge.

However, the turning point for Mowbray in terms of a promotion bid could be whether the owners can brace themselves for the potential interest in Stewart which may follow in January.

Another positive for Sunderland has been their ability to achieve results without chief point guard Alex Pritchard, as Diallo proved a useful foil and creative outlet in this hard-earned draw.

Defeats for fellow strugglers Huddersfield, Rotherham and Cardiff meant a draw was a useful result for Blackpool against a side at the other end of the table.

Ian Poveda was a bright spot for Blackpool throughout, drawing a number of fouls from Sunderland, while Lavery showed poise with his finish.

Blackpool boss Michael Appleton told BBC Radio Lancashire:

“For 60, 65 minutes, we really went toe-to-toe with them. It was a really good game. It felt like a game of basketball really.

“We knew that to compete and to get something from the game it had to be like that. That second goal eluded us, we had a couple of opportunities, and when it did and they got their equalizer it became difficult.

“But the lads stood up to the pressure excellently, defended excellent at times, because of the way we defended and contributed in the first half I felt we deserved something from the game. Arguably they’re the best side that came here this season. “

Line-ups

Blackpool

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Maxwell
  • 2ConnollyBooked at 90mins
  • 21Ekpitheta
  • 34Thorniley
  • 3Husband
  • 16Carey
  • 28PatinSubstituted forDouglasat 80′minutes
  • 26Poveda-OcampoBooked at 28minsSubstituted forWrightat 88′minutes
  • 22HamiltonSubstituted forBeesleyat 73′minutesBooked at 85mins
  • 14Madine
  • 19LaveryBooked at 71minsSubstituted forYatesat 73′minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Yates
  • 12Douglas
  • 15R Williams
  • 18Beesley
  • 23Thompson
  • 24Wright
  • 32Grimshaw

Sunderland

Formation 3-4-3

  • 1Patterson
  • 5Ballard
  • 26Wright
  • 13O’NienBooked at 72mins
  • 32Hume
  • 25MichutBooked at 19minsSubstituted forBaat 62′minutes
  • 24Neil
  • 20Clarke
  • 16Say it
  • 14Stewart
  • 10roberts

Substitutes

  • 4evans
  • 7Dajaku
  • 12Bass
  • 17Ba
  • 19Bennette
  • 27Matete
  • 31Rigg

Referees:
Tim Robinson

Attendance:
14.117

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