It was a frustrating afternoon for Sunderland on Saturday, as they played out a 1-1 draw with Ipswich Town at Portman Road.
With the first half looking as though it was set to end goalless, it was the hosts who took the lead in stoppage time at the end of the first half, when James Norwood headed in a deflected cross from Macauley Bonne.
However, Sunderland responded just five minutes after the break, when Nathan Broadhead latched onto Dan Neill’s through ball before firing beyond Ipswich ‘keeper Christian Walton and into the bottom corner.
That was enough to ensure both sides would claim a point apiece, meaning Sunderland now sit third in the League One table, two points adrift of the automatic promotion places.
As a result, there will be plenty for manager Lee Johnson to think about, so we’ve taken a look at three things we learnt about Sunderland from that draw with Ipswich, right here.
They remain hard to beat
With Saturday’s draw at Portman Road, Sunderland have now extended their unbeaten their unbeaten run in League One to seven games.
Indeed, the Black Cats have only tasted defeat in the league on five occasions across 22 league games since the start of the campaign, highlighting the resilience and solidity that they possess during the current campaign.
This result was one the picked up against one of the strongest squads in this division, serving as a reminder that the Black Cats can take points off anyone at this level.
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Nathan Broadhead is key for the Black Cats
After something of a slow, injury hit start to the season, Nathan Broadhead is now starting to well and truly come into his own for Sunderland.
That goal against Ipswich was the on-loan Everton man’s fifth in as many league games, something that has seen the 23-year-old secure some key points the Black Cats in the promotion race.
With Ross Stewart currently enduring a barren patch in front of goal, keeping Broadhead fit, and at The Stadium of Light when you consider Everton do have the option to recall him, could be crucial to the club’s hopes of a return to the Championship.
Concerns over forcing a win
While coming behind to draw with a side with Ipswich’s quality may not be seen as a bad result, it does mean that Sunderland have lost some ground on League One’s top two sides, Rotherham United and Wigan Athletic.
Both the Millers and the Latics claimed all three points in games with Cambridge and Oxford respectively, meaning the Black Cats now face a points deficit to the top two.
Given those wins for Rotherham and Wigan came thanks to goals deep into the second half of tricky away ties, there may be some concerns that Sunderland were unable to do the same at Portman Road. That could therefore, raise some questions about whether the Black Cats can grind out the wins required to keep pace with their automatic promotion rivals.