Accrington Stanley 1-1 Sunderland report: Match abandoned due to heavy rain

Sunderland’s game at Accrington Stanley was abandoned amid monsoon conditions with the scores locked at 1-1 and with less than 20 minutes to play.

Chris Maguire had given the Black Cats the lead just after the hour but the home side had levelled soon after through substitute Connor Hall, before referee Oliver Langford abandoned the game minutes later as the rain poured down, meaning the sides will have to do it all again.

Heavy rain in Lancashire overnight and on the day of the game saw Langford make three pitch inspections before giving the goal-ahead to start the match as the weather eased, which meant the crowd of more than 5,200 – which was a record for the Crown Ground, and which included 2,600 Sunderland fans – did at least get to see some football.

But conditions worsened significantly midway through the second period and after talking to managers Jack Ross and Jon Colman on the touchline, he ordered the players off the pitch in the 73rd minute out of concern for their safety.

The referee Oliver Langford calls an end to proceedings
(Image: Sunderland AFC via Getty Images)

After making wholesale changes to the side for the midweek Checkatrade Trophy game against Notts County, Jack Ross reverted to a starting XI resembling that he fielded in the FA Cup at Walsall last weekend.

There were two changes to the side that began at the Bescot Stadium, however, with Chris Maguire – who pulled out of that game after picking up an injury in the warm-up – and skipper George Honeyman returning to the team.

They took the places of Bryan Oviedo and Luke O’Nien.

Accrington boss Colman also made changes for the Checkatrade Trophy but named a stronger line-up this afternoon.

He still made three changes to the side that beat Cheltenham in the FA Cup last weekend, however, with Offrande Zanzala, Nick Anderton, and Ross Sykes coming into the side, in place of Michael Ihiekwe, Ben Richards-Everton, and Seamus Conneely.

The conditions made it a struggle for both sides, with on-off rain falling on the already sodden pitch, which meant there was little quality football on show and clear-cut chances were hard to come by.

Chris Maguire of Sunderland celebrates
(Image: Sunderland AFC via Getty Images)

Maguire won a free-kick on the left which he drove into the wall, and the ball cannoned into the path of Max Power but his first-time effort went wide.

Aiden McGeady blasted a good chance over the bar midway through the half after he had controlled Josh Maja’s right-wing cross.

Jordan Clark fizzed a low shot across goal and wide of the left-hand post on the half-hour, and towards the end of the first period both Clark and Sam Finley sent efforts over the bar from outside the box.

And it was not until the 44th minute that the game saw its first shot on target, with on-loan Middlesbrough man Connor Ripley getting down at the foot of his near post to save a low shot from Oviedo – who had replaced the injured Adam Matthews inside the first 20 minutes – from outside the box on the right.

Sunderland took the lead in the 63rd minute when Finley gave his goalkeeper what was, in these conditions, an awkward backpass to deal with, Ripley controlled it but Maguire charged down his attempted clearance and the ball rolled into the empty net.

Soon after that, the heavens opened and mistakes began to creep in, playing a part in the build-up to the equaliser.

The bounce of the ball beat Jack Baldwin as he tried without success to half-volley a clearance in an almighty goalmouth scramble, and Hall forced the ball home from close range.

And the players struggled on for another few minutes before Langford called proceedings to a halt.

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How they lined up

ACCRINGTON STANLEY: Ripley, Johnson, Sykes, Hughes, Anderton, Clark, Barlaser, Finley, McConville, Zanzala (Charman 68), Kee (Hall 46). Subs not used: Maxted, Richards-Everton, Brown, Mingoia, Conneely

BOOKED: Sykes, McConville, Finley

SUNDERLAND: McLaughlin, Matthews (Oviedo 18), Flanagan, Baldwin, James, Power, Honeyman, Gooch, Maguire, McGeady, Maja (O’Nien 62). Subs not used: Ruiter, Loovens, McGeouch, Ozturk, Sinclair

BOOKED: Maguire

REFEREE: Oliver Langford (West Midlands)

ATTENDANCE: 5,257