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Player Ratings: Sunderland AFC 3 - 3 Bolton Wanderers

A very different Halloween thriller

Bolton Wanderers v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Ben Alnwick – 5

His ability to boot it to Madine is unquestionable and some of his distribution was really good, despite lapses, which fits in to our play style. Couldn’t have done much about any of the goals but still conceded three.

Mark Little – 5

I was impressed by Little on the ball as he moved with purpose and definitely helped create space for Ameobi to have some fun. A poor defensive display for the

Mark Beevers – 5

From my memory, I don’t think he lost an ariel duel in our half during the whole game. He was fairly solid until the team errors which cost the game, although he perhaps sold himself short for the first goal after being skinned by Lewis Grabban.

Antonee Robinson – 6

In a team with some appalling crossing (sorry Josh), his pin point pass for the third goal was a real treat. He was quick and linked up well with Armstrong on occasions. He was also ready to get rough when the Sunderland players tried it on and made some excellent clearances to relieve pressure. Excellent pressing to create chances, too.

David Wheater – 5

Knocked the ball down for Gary Madine’s goal but other than that was relatively understated. He, like Beevers, maybe should have done better for the second goal when his attempt to intercept failed.

The Defence – 3

It is difficult to criticise the defenders last night individually as, despite conceding three goals, they all put in relatively solid performances. The goals were the result of team errors that can’t be blamed on an individual, so giving Robinson or Beevers a low score seems harsh. Arguably this is promising as it shows the pieces for a solid backline are there, Bolton just need to work on positioning and communication and it should be fine. On one of Sunerland’s more promising attacks during the second half, Wheater pointed at the empty space a winger was running into and screamed at Little, who remained stationary, allowing them to whip a cross in. We just have to hope we iron out these mistakes but this time, it cost us the two valuable points against a relegation rival.

Darren Pratley – 6

Not bad and not great, lost the ball on occasion but not his worst performance by a long shot. He is clearly benefitting from playing in an improved midfield unit.

Karl Henry – 7

I moaned when we signed Henry but he has proven me dead wrong over the last few matches. Whenever he was on the ball it felt secure, unlike the nervous apprehension I felt when anyone started to approach Jem Karacan, and you could see that we were looking to play out to the wings. Good job all round and great positioning to get the goal, a deserved reward for his efforts.

Josh Vela – 7

Bolton are undoubtedly a better team when he plays, another understated but solid performance that’s worthy of praise.

Sammy Ameobi – 8

On the morning of the game I spoke to one of my lecturers, a Sunderland fan, who told me Sammy was nailed on to score because he always does. I stuck some money on it and won back the cost of my ticket. This one’s for you Dr Miller.

For an actual break down of his performance read Eddie’s piece here

Gary Madine – 7

It’s been said before and I’ll say it again, Gary Madine does not get the fouls he deserves. There were times that he was wrestled to the floor by defenders and nothing was called. This was for two reasons:

1 – He goes down too easily when he’s got the ball at his feet in dangerous areas and so referees assume he is diving

2 – He is a big guy whose physicality means refs assume it’s his fault

That aside, another good performance who knocked down everything that was asked of him.

Adam Armstrong – 6

His pace was useful, and he tried to create chances, although some of his one-on-one runs were too easy to deal with. I like him though, I think he did a good job.

Subs

Craig Noone – 4

Usually when players come on in the 84th minute they don’t have enough time to make an impact; Noone did and it was poor. He immediately lost the ball during a promising counter attack and then failed to get forward on his side for the rest of the game.