Phil Smith's Sunderland AFC player ratings: Who shone and struggled in frustrating Gillingham draw?

Sunderland missed the opportunity to make it three wins on the spin with a 2-2 draw against Gillingham – but which of their players caught the eye?

Saturday, 30th January 2021, 3:13 pm
Who impressed for Sunderland against Gillingham?

First-half goals from Aiden McGeady and Grant Leadbitter looked to have sealed the win for the Black Cats, only for the visitors to net a late leveller.

But who were the star men at the Stadium of Light?

Scroll down and click through the pages as chief football writer Phil Smith dishes out his merit marks:

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A mixed afternoon. Made one absolutely superb stop from MacDonald but was otherwise unconvincing against Gillingham’s bombardment of the box. 5
Steady performance defensively, and did well in the air when called upon. Couldn't get forward to contribute much. 5
By far Sunderland’s best defender and deserved the win for his contribution. Did very well against a physical side, but for the most part his team-mates were unable to match that. 7
Recalled to the side ahead of Dion Sanderson to deal with Gillingham’s physical threat. Did OK for the most part, but it was an afternoon where Bailey Wright was clearly missed. 5
Struggled against the lively Jordan Graham all afternoon. In a side mostly based on physicality, Graham’s craft is key and he got the better of this contest. 5
One of his brighter games of the season, disrupting the play well and covering a huge amount of distance. Just not able to produce that final touch in the opponent third again. 6
Showed good awareness to score after the initial penalty save, and one tremendous clearance shortly before he was taken off looked as if it might secure the points. A good performance on a difficult afternoon. 6
In possession this was his sharpest display on the ball, crucial in both goals. Is building some rhythm and in truth he was unlucky to be on the losing team. 6
Flashed one or two dangerous deliveries across goal but for the most part struggled to get into the game as Gillingham dominated territory. Replaced early in the second half as Lee Johnson looked for some momentum. 5
Unlucky to see another effort blocked moments before Gillingham landed their equaliser. Not as influential as he has been of late, a touch slack in possession and unable to make much of an attacking contribution. 5
Didn’t have much in the way of chances to shoot but battled really well and was a good outlet for his side, playing his part in the opening goal. 6
Brought a real lift to Sunderland’s performance after his introduction, but couldn’t quite find the key composure in the final third. 6
Brought some energy to the final third but no defining contribution. N/A
Little chance to help his side defend the lead, Graham scoring within moments of his introduction. N/A