Accrington Stanley boss makes incredible claim about Sunderland victory

By James Hunter

Accrington boss John Coleman described the last half-hour of his side's defeat against Sunderland as 'one-way traffic' - with his side applying the pressure.

The Black Cats beat Accrington 2-1 at the Stadium of Light thanks to goals either side of half-time from Dan Neil and Carl Winchester to make it five wins out of six in the league this season, and go two points clear at the top of League One.

But Coleman believes his team should have taken at least a point, insisting that Sunderland were defending for their lives after Winchester had put them in front for the second time in the game just before the hour.

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"I thought we did enough to get something out of the game," said Coleman, whose side levelled at 1-1 through Michael Nottingham in the first half.

"We gave as good as we got, made as many chances as them, probably had the same amount of shots on target if truth be known, but if you give up silly chances like we did…

"We gave the ball away too cheaply in the first half, got a grip of the game, got the equaliser and looked the stronger [side] going in to half-time.

"They [Sunderland] started brightly in the second half, pinned us back and in that spell they scored, which has probably undone us because the last half-hour was one-way traffic."

Coleman is in his second spell in charge at Accrington having originally taken over in 1999 when they were in the Northern Premier League Division One and led them into the EFL via three promotions.

But he says he could not have imagined back then bringing his team to Sunderland and pinning back the Black Cats.

He said: "No disrespect to the likes of Bamber Bridge, Gainsborough, Matlock, but if someone had told me 20 years ago that we'd come here and in the last 15 minutes they would have five rigid defenders trying to keep us out, and it would be one-way traffic and we would be kicking in, they'd have probably carted me away.

"But it counts for nothing because you don't get any points for it.

"We can't look at these [games] as days out and just be happy to be here. We're here on merit, and we showed that we have got a team that can compete in this league.

"I don't want to be the plucky loser, because we have as much right to be here as they have.

"I'd like to see Sunderland thrive, it's a massive club and I'd like to see them in the Premier League, but every time we play them we will give them our best shot.

"I know they don't like playing us, and you could see that in the last 20 minutes in how much we forced them back."


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