Sunderland 1-1 Gillingham
Sunderland 1-1 Gillingham

Gillingham face a Tuesday night FA Cup replay after they held follow League One side Sunderland to a 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light.

Aiden McGeady gave the hosts the lead with a low effort on 15 minutes before Oliver Lee struck back just after half time thanks to a mistake from Jon McLaughlin.

The Gills have only ever beaten Sunderland once with this coming back in the 1987 and it was a shaky start for both teams.

The visitors had a couple of early corners which came to nothing and at the other end Will Grigg flicked a Lourens De Bock cross against a defender.

It took 15 minutes for the Black Cats to score the opening goal through McGeady. The tricky Irishman picked up the pall on the edge of the area and fired a low shot under Jack Bonham who could have done  better to get to the weak effort.

This kicked the Gills into life and they nearly scored a quick equaliser thanks to Oliver Lee. The midfielder’s free kick was nodded on by a Sunderland head onto the post.

A quick counter attack on 20 minutes also nearly made the game 1-1. A combination of passes between former Sunderland striker Mikeal Mandron, Oliver Lee and Brandon Hanlan ended with Mandron unable to get onto a Hanalan header into the six yard box.

With time running out in the first half, Chris Maguire connected perfectly with a clearance to hit a volley towards Bonham’s goal but his shot flew inches wide.

Whatever Steve Evans said in his team talk, it certainly seemed to work with Lee scoring the equalising goal just a minute into the second half. His shot from a free kick rocketed into the feet of McLaughlin who fumbled the shot between his legs.

A marauding run from Conor McLaughlin gave space for substitute George Dobson to hit a shot which was blocked by Stuart O’Keefe.

The chances kept coming for both sides with Luke O’Nien just missing a low ball across the Gillingham box. Lee remained dangerous and he had a shot deflect off George Dobson and fly inches past the post.

Sunderland had one final chance through Aiden McGeady but his long-range effort was brilliantly tipped wide by McLaughlin.

Sunderland: J McLaughlin, C McLaughlin, Lynch, Willis, Power, Maguire (Watmore, 76), O’Nien, Dobson, McGeady, Grigg (McNulty, 66’), De Bock

Subs not used: Burge, McGeouch, Flanagan, Leadbitter, Kimpioka

Goals: McGeady, 15

Gillingham: Bonham, O’Keefe, Ehmer, Ogilvie, Hanlan, Mandron, Fuller, Jones, Byrne, Lee (Charles-Cook, 90+1), O’Connor

Subs not used: Walsh, Hodson, Ndjoli, Pringle, Jakubiak, Tucker

Goals: Lee, 46

Attendance: 7,892

Referee: Mr M Sailsbury

Assistants: Mr G Mellor and Mr M Cunliffe

Fourth Official: Mr A Miller