Gary Rowell: Doncaster Rovers were helped by the officials but draw was a damaging result for Sunderland

Sunderland might have continued their unbeaten run against Doncaster Rovers but whichever way you dress it up, it was a disappointing performance and a damaging result with two points thrown away.

Monday, 27th January 2020, 12:03 pm

It was classic Sunderland, that just when everyone was back on side with optimism high and on their best run of the season that they would fall short in front of the cameras and a national audience.

Not that I am too bothered what the rest of the country thinks but it would have been nice to put on a show and put out a real statement of intent instead of a damp squib.

In the previous two home games, Sunderland got off to a flyer with an early goal that settled the nerves and led to two big victories but Doncaster were determined not to fall into that trap, they frustrated Sunderland who rarely looked like breaking them down.

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Duncan Watmore is fouled in the goalless draw with Doncaster Rovers at the Stadium of Light.

They were helped by the officials, who missed a blatant foul on Chris Maguire in the first five minutes that should have been not only a free-kick but also a yellow card, then compounded it with the Charlie Wyke incident.

Doncaster should have had two of their defenders on yellow cards within half an hour instead he gave a yellow card to Wyke for the crime of being cynically hacked down.

However, that is probably my frustration getting the better of me.

It wasn’t the officials’ fault Sunderland didn’t have an effort on target until late in the game, regularly picked the wrong option or gave the ball away cheaply.

Sunderland just weren’t on their game against Darren Moore’s well-drilled team who deserved a share of the points and maybe had the better chances.

The unbeaten run proves Sunderland are hard to beat now but too many draws cost us dearly last season and I don’t want the same thing to happen this time.