Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Cats Grab a Point. and Make One Too

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Cats Grab a Point. and Make One Too

Article excerpt

Byline: JAMES HUNTER

DEBUTANT Lewis Grabban's first-half penalty earned new boss Simon Grayson a point against Derby County in his first game in charge of Sunderland.

The Rams took the lead against the run of play in the 11th minute through Bradley Johnson, but on-loan Bournemouth striker Grabban made no mistake from the spot a couple of minutes before half-time after Jacob Butterfield had handled inside the area.

Sunderland were good value for their point and could easily have taken all three at the Stadium of Light, with Grabban hitting the post and James Vaughan sending a shot inches wide of the target.

Derby had chances too, with Chris Martin missing a good opportunity in the second period and Richard Keogh seeing a header cleared off the line by Lee Cattermole.

But while Grayson will have been disappointed not to see the Black Cats begin their Championship campaign with a win, he will have been encouraged at the way his side fared against a Derby side expected to be amongst the promotion contenders.

Grayson handed competitive debuts to six of his seven summer signings, with only latest arrival keeper Robbin Ruiter not making the starting XI.

Jason Steele started ahead of Ruiter in goal, with fellow new men Ty Browning, Brendan Galloway, Aiden McGeady, Grabban, and Vaughan were all in the side.

The only change to the side that began the final pre-season friendly against Celtic last weekend saw George Honeyman replace of Wahbi Khazri, who went off with an ankle injury in that game.

Khazri was included on the bench, as was Darron Gibson despite the Irishman having made headlines for all the wrong reasons this week.

Derby boss Gary Rowett included three new signings in his line-up, with former Hull City men Tom Huddlestone and Curtis Davies starting, as did ex-Liverpool man Andre Wisdom.

Sunderland started strongly and almost took the lead in the 10th minute as Grabban released Honeyman in the righthand channel, he reached the ball ahead of Scott Carson inside the area and lifted his shot over the Derby keeper.

The ball was heading wide but McGeady got on the end of it and turned it goalwards from a tight angle, only for Wisdom to make a goal-saving block. …

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