Chris Maguire's late tackle, Sunderland man set for suspension plus Lee Johnson's exchange with Kristjaan Speakman: Talking points after Lincoln loss

Chris Maguire’s body language changed in an instant. After appearing to apologise to Sunderland supporters for scoring Lincoln’s opener in this League One fixture, the forward made a sudden burst to the touchline.

Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 1:14 pm

Maguire was keen to let his feelings known to Sunderland boss Lee Johnson – clearly the pair have history after the attacker was hardly played by the Black Cats in the second half of last season.

Yet it was the 32-year-old who made the headlines here, bagging a hat-trick in a 3-1 win which prevented his former side going top of League One.

Maguire was a popular figure during his three years on Wearside but was booed by most of the home crowd following his exchange with Johnson.

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Lincoln player Chris Maguire celebrates his second goal against Sunderland.

Yet the forward was keen to acknowledge the Sunderland fans as he applauded those who stayed at the full-time whistle.

“I hope the Sunderland fans are okay with me. I was getting booed but I’ve got nothing but admiration and respect for them,” Maguire told Sky Sports after the game.

Here are some of the other talking points from the match:

Maguire’s late tackle

Maguire’s reaction in front of Johnson also stemmed from the forward’s tackle on Carl Winchester in the first half, when the game was still goalless.

It sparked a lively reaction from the Sunderland bench, who felt the forward should have been sent off.

Referee Jeremy Simpson only showed a yellow card, in an incident which appeared to fire Maguire up.

Winchester’s set for one-game suspension

Sunderland were once again low on numbers due to injuries and Covid-19 cases, and are now set to be without Winchester for Saturday’s trip to Accrington Stanley.

The Northern Irishman received a straight red card, rather than a second yellow, for colliding with Maguire in the penalty area before Lincoln’s second goal.

Winchester had already been booked for a tackle in the first half, yet the referee felt a clear goalscoring opportunity had been denied – resulting in the sending off.

Still, Winchester will miss only serve a one-match for a professional foul – rather than three.

Lincoln also low on numbers

It’s not just Sunderland who are short of options at the moment.

While picking what looked like a strong starting XI on paper, Lincoln boss Michael Appelton was only able to name four substitutes at the Stadium of Light.

Lincoln’s top scorer Anthony Scully missed out through injury, yet the Imps were still able to record a memorable victory.

What happened to the pitch?

It was clear when people started arriving, over an hour before kick-off, the pitch wasn’t in great condition.

Despite no rainfall on Wearside, large parts of the surface were clearly waterlogged, which didn’t help as Sunderland tried to break Lincoln down.

“It’s nothing against the people, but for some reason, the pitch was waterlogged 40 minutes before the game,” said Johnson in his post-match interview.

“The Sporting Director (Kristjaan Speakman) sent me a picture and said, ‘What’s gone on here? Have you asked for it to be watered?’ Somebody’s got it wrong somewhere because it wasn’t meant to be like that.”

Johnson wasn’t looking for excuses and, despite various factors, Sunderland simply weren’t good enough on the night.

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