Coventry 1-1 Sunderland: Jonson Clarke-Harris earns point for Sky Blues
Lee Cattermole opens scoring for Sunderland but Jonson Clarke-Harris earns draw for Coventry.
By Simeon Gholam
Last Updated: 29/09/18 5:57pm
Jonson Clarke-Harris earned a point for Coventry as they drew 1-1 with Sunderland in Sky Bet League One at the Ricoh Arena.
Lee Cattermole gave Sunderland the lead in the 49th minute of the first-ever meeting between these two sides at this level, but Coventry fought back as Clarke-Harris equalised midway through the second half.
Tom Bayliss returned for Coventry while Jodi Jones was named in the squad for the first time in 2018 after coming back from injury. Sunderland were unchanged.
Sunderland suffered a blow after just three minutes when Glenn Loovens was forced off with injury, and that largely set the tone for the rest of the first half.
Shortly after the quarter-hour mark Junior Brown clashed heads with his Coventry team-mate Clarke-Harris and he was taken off, while Denver Hume became the second stricken Sunderland player in the 37th minute after injuring his knee.
The only real chance of the half fell to Sunderland after nine minutes as Chris Maguire struck the post from a free-kick before Lynden Gooch fired the rebound over the bar.
Coventry: Burge (8), Sterling (n/a), Willis (6), Hyam (6), Brown (6), Bayliss (7), Doyle (6), Thomas (6), Shipley (6), Chaplin (7), Clarke-Harris (7)
Subs: Davies (6), Jones (n/a)
Sunderland: McLaughlin (8), Flanagan (6), Loovens (n/a), Baldwin (7), Hume (n/a), Cattermole (8), McGeouch (6), Gooch (7), Honeyman (6), Maguire (6), Maja (5)
Subs: Matthews (6) Oviedo (6), Power (n/a)
Man of the match: Lee Cattermole
Sunderland took the lead shortly after the break. Adam Matthews, who had replaced Loovens early on, combined well down the right with Maguire before firing a low ball into the middle, and Cattermole was there to coolly slot home his third goal of the season.
Coventry were not giving up though and, after a couple of spurned opportunities, they found themselves level after 68 minutes. Dujon Sterling did well to burst down the left and cross low for Clarke-Harris, who calmly found the bottom corner.
Man of the match - Lee Cattermole
Cattermole appears to have found his goalscoring level in Sky Bet League One! The midfielder scored his third goal of the season on Saturday, which is as many as he had previously managed in his entire Sunderland career.
The Sky Blues then had an unbelievable opportunity to win the game in the 89th minute as Conor Chaplin raced through after a mistake from Tom Flanagan before dinking over the goalkeeper, but Jack Baldwin got back to his line to clear the ball away and save a point for Sunderland.
Mark Robins: "I thought we finished strong and I'm disappointed not to come away with a win. The clear-cut chance we had was just what we wanted and I expected to see that hit the back of the net.
"Then you come away with all three [points] and you are really happy because they are a really good side - the best side we've played. They are certainly going to be up there this season."
Jack Ross: "Lee is vocal in the changing room and makes demands of others. He cares an awful lot about football and that's the one thing that's interesting to me - he just loves to play and wants to do well. He has that drive and he pulls other players along as well.
"We are disappointed every time we don't win because it comes with expectations when you manage or play for this club. But we've pointed out to the players that they should be proud of what they've had to go through - it was a tough game away from home."
Both sides are back in Sky Bet League One action on Tuesday night. Sunderland host Peterborough and Coventry welcome Portsmouth to the Ricoh Arena.