Aiden McGeady's unseen influence in Sunderland's draw at Hull City - and as two big moments of bravery revealed
Thousands of Sunderland fans will have watched the draw at Hull City via live streams – but there are those few moments that the cameras don’t capture.
We take a look at some of the moments you might have missed from the League One stalemate – from Aiden McGeady’s unseen influence to two moments of real bravery:
AIDEN McGEADY’S UNSEEN INFLUENCE
Aiden McGeady was a notable absentee for Sunderland at Hull City, with swelling on the winger’s foot seeing him miss out.
There are hopes that the injury is not a serious one, with the 35-year-old set to be key for the Black Cats as they look to enter the play-offs with some momentum behind them.
But while McGeady’s impact on the field is what he’s generally renowned for, he played an important role off the pitch at the KCOM Stadium.
Having travelled with the squad to Humberside, McGeady was a vocal supporter from the touchlines – and was urging the team forward in the final minutes of the contest, where it was the Wearsiders who were looking more likely to snatch victory.
While he will no doubt be keen to return to action as soon as possible, someone as experienced as the former Celtic man will undoubtedly be equally as key off the field in the final weeks of the season given his knowledge of such pressurised decisions.
SET PIECE INVENTIVENESS – BUT SIMILAR FRUSTRATIONS
The trip to Hull was another game where Sunderland failed to make their set pieces count.
While some of their deliveries from wide areas were good – particularly in the first half – many of their corners and free-kicks were too easily cleared.
There were, however, some further signs of the Black Cats trying to do things differently when it comes to dead ball situations.
Indeed, their first corner of the evening brought an interesting routine in which every Sunderland player started from outside the box – before darting closer to goal after the ball was swung in.
Unfortunately for them, the delivery failed to clear the first man.
It’s an area Sunderland undoubtedly need to improve upon – especially as they prepare to enter the play-offs, where fine margins can prove key.
THE PRESS BOX SHOUT
This was a seriously entertaining clash, and one which arguably could have yielded more than the four goals we were treated too.
Both teams came close to adding to their tally – with Mallik Wilks guilty of missing a big early chance for Hull before Aiden O’Brien twice hit the woodwork in injury time.
And then there was Keane Lewis-Potter’s free-kick in the first-half, which was tipped wide by Lee Burge.
But such was the quality of the Hull man’s strike that one radio commentator within the press box had already declared ‘IT’S A GOAL!’ as the ball arrowed towards the top corner.
Little did he count on Burge, who enjoyed a strong game after some shaky signs at Blackpool on Saturday.
TWO MOMENTS OF REAL BRAVEY
To go and play the way they did at table-topping Hull City took some real bravery from the Sunderland squad.
And there were plenty of moments on the pitch that showed that level of bravery – and perhaps none more so than Josh Scowen’s heroic second half block.
The midfielder, who put in one of his better performances at the KCOM Stadium, made a potentially goal-saving block to deny Josh Magennis after he found space in the box.
It was an excellent piece of defending and one which no doubt played a key part in the Wearsiders securing the point – which was the least they deserved for their efforts.
But arguably the bravest moment of the match came from referee Charles Breakspear.
While his performance was an inconsistent one, he deserves great credit for the way he handled the penalty situation.
As Lynden Gooch’s flick appeared to hit the hand of Callum Elder, the linesman on the near side flagged for a penalty appealed.
That was met with furious appeals from the hosts, who surrounded the referee and his assistant
And how many times have we then seen the officials pressured into rethinking their decision, holding talks before ultimately reversing the call?
Breakspear was not to be swayed though, and dismissed the Hull complaints – trusting the call made by his assistant.
Some brave refereeing, it must be said.
HULL CITY AND SUNDERLAND’S SHARED FRUSTRATIONS
It wasn’t just the penalty incident that had Hull up in arms, though.
They were left angered in the first half when what they perceived as an elbow from Charlie Wyke on Jacob Greaves was not punished with more than a yellow card, and felt that Lee Burge was often taking too long when holding onto the ball – so much so that one Hull player began loudly counting out the seconds while the ball was in Burge’s gloves.
But the hosts were not alone in feeling frustrated, with Lee Johnson an animated figure on the touchline after some inconsistencies in the decisions that were made.
As previously stated, Breakspear deserves some real credit for the way in which he handled the award of Sunderland’s penalty. But, has been a regular occurrence throughout the club’s time in League One, there were some questionable calls from the officials.
Johnson was quick to make his point to the referee on the full-time whistle and at one point had his hands on his head in frustration during the conversation.