Sunderland sack Grayson after thrilling 3-3 draw

Sunderland v Bolton

Sky Bet Championship 

Sunderland 3-3 Bolton Wanderers

Grabban 45, 57 McNair 79  Ameobi 32  Madine 60 Henry 67

Sunderland have this evening sacked manager Simon Grayson just 20 minutes after the conclusion of an entertaining six-goal thriller against fellow-strugglers Bolton Wanderers.

Sammy Ameobi took the lead for Bolton initially, but Sunderland fought back with two goals from Lewis Grabban either side of half-time.

The hosts’ lead didn’t last long though as Gary Madine and Karl Henry found the net to regain the lead for the visitors.

Paddy McNair rescued an equaliser for the Mackems but they couldn’t go on to get a winner, and as a result Grayson has been dismissed following a poor start to the season.

Sunderland controlled the game for much of the first half, but Bolton were first to take the lead.

Sammy Ameobi was given acres of space by the Sunderland midfield and he finished coolly with a well-driven shot around 25 yards out to reach the bottom-left corner in the 32nd minute.

Home fans began to sing chants such as “Grayson out” and “You’re not fit to wear the shirt” but the hosts gave themselves a lifeline when Lewis Grabban equalised on the brink of half-time.

The experienced forward beat full-back Mark Little and put the ball past keeper Ben Alnwick one-on-one in the 45th minute.

Grabban scored again just 12 minutes into the second half.

Aidan McGeady worked well on the left and gave the ball to Bryan Oviedo on the overlap, and the full-back gifted the ball to Grabban who netted coolly from close range.

Sunderland’s lead only lasted three minutes as awful defending meant that Gary Madine was able to put the ball away from close range with ease for the visitors.

Seven minutes later, Sunderland were back to square one as Karl Henry put Bolton back in front.

Didier N’Dong made a poor back pass to the keeper, and Adam Armstrong picked up on the loose ball and crossed it in-towards the former Wolves man who smashed it into the bottom-left corner.

Midfielder Paddy McNair came off the bench and rescued a point for Sunderland in the 80th minute.

The former Manchester United man fired the ball into the bottom-corner on the edge of the box as the ball fell to him – scoring his first professional league goal.

The result means Sunderland move up to 22nd in the Championship table, whilst Bolton Wanderers remain bottom.

Sunderland: Ruiter, Matthews, O’Shea (c), Wilson, Oviedo, Gibson (McNair 75), N’Dong, McManaman (Watmore 61), Williams (Vaughan 45), McGeady, Grabban.

Booked: Grabban

Subs not used: Steele, Cattermole, Kone, Honeyman.

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Little, Wheater, Beevers, Robinson, Pratley, Henry, Ameobi, Vela, Armstrong (Noone 84), Madine.

Subs not used: Howard, Le Fondre, Buckley, Noone, Cullen, Derik, Darby.

Attendance: 26,395


FC United lose narrowly in pre-season game against Bolton XI

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FC United 0-1 Bolton Wanderers XI

Trialist 30

FC United were defeated narrowly by a young Bolton side on Friday evening at Broadhurst Park. Bolton’s trialist left-winger scored the only goal of the game connecting with the ball at the far post in the 30th minute.

It was a quiet start to the game, and it wasn’t until the 14th minute that the first real chance of the game occurred. A trialist winger cut through on the right hand side for Bolton, who fielded eight trialists, and cut in towards goal but he was stopped in his tracks by United centre-half Jordan Fagbola.

The home side came close seven minutes later when ex Morecambe full back Danny Wisdom found an opening on the left-hand side following some good passing play, and his shot was kept out by keeper Jake Turner’s legs.

FC United keeper Lloyd Allinson looked shaky at times and one of these moments came in the 24th minute when he found himself battling for the ball with Bolton forward Connor Hall on the edge of the box. Hall won the battle with his height advantage but his header at an open goal went just wide of the mark.

Bolton took the lead six minutes later. Two trialist wingers linked up well with the number 7 right-winger putting in a good ball to the left-winger (11) at the far post and he was able to beat Allinson from close range.

It was still anyone’s game though as FC United piled on the pressure shortly before the break. Connor McCarthy worked brilliantly on the left-hand side for the hosts and he came close with an excellent volley in the 38th minute but it was pushed away by the keeper to his left. It wouldn’t have mattered either way as McCarthy was adjudged to be in an offside position.

Nathan Lowe later forced a great save from Turner to his left before his second attempt was blocked by a defender. At the other end, two minutes from half-time, Bolton’s Connor Hall forced a great save from Allinson from close range – cutting in from the right. Bolton led 1-0 at the interval.

FC United improved in the second half, looking a lot more lively. Connor McCarthy impressed for the hosts, and in the 54th minute the winger found the ball on the left-hand side only for his eventual shot to go over the bar.

Just moments later, striker Lewis Lacy picked up the loose ball and found himself one-on-one with Turner. The Bolton keeper denied Lacy with his legs once again – keeping the visitors in front.

Substitute Michael Jones forced another save from Turner to his left in the 62nd minute shortly before his fellow substitute Jason St.Juste’s effort on the volley went just over the bar.

FC United had many chances to equalise in the second half, with all substitutes making an impact. Tom Greaves controlled the ball in the air and his shot went wide in the 69th minute, just ten minutes after he was brought on.

Chances were few and far between for Wanderers in the second half, but they still looked very threatening when they did come close. In the 74th minute Connor Hall put in a good ball from the right-hand side and the substitute trialist forward could only shoot wide at the far post.

This meant it wasn’t game, set and match for Bolton yet, as United continued to test them. Substitute Jason Gilchrist came close on two occasions for the hosts – firstly heading just wide on the end of a good ball from St.Juste in the 78th minute before hitting the ball on the volley just wide of the mark four minutes later.

It was a quiet ending to the game, and as a result Bolton won the game 1-0.

FC United are in pre-season action again at home to Fleetwood Town on Tuesday night shortly before their season opener away to Brackley on the Saturday.

FC United: Allinson, Senior (Corbett 67), Baird (Williams 67), Fagbola, Wisdom (Crowley 67), Brown (c), Baker (Jones 38), Lowe (Nicholas 67), Logan (St.Juste 59), McCarthy (Greaves 59), Lacy (Gilchrist 59).

Bolton Wanderers XI: Turner, Trialist, Trialist (c), Trialist, Lonsdale, Trialist (Politic 86), Trialist, Trialist (Earing 72), Trialist (White 86), Hall, Trialist (Trialist 63).

Subs not used: Aspinall, Moulden, Fearnley.