Sunderland, Derby share the points in Championship opener
Sunderland’s opening match of their Championship campaign has ended in a 1-1 draw against Derby County.
Bradley Johnson scored the opening goal for Derby after just 11 minutes before Lewis Grabban equalised from the penalty spot on the verge of half time.
Sunderland started strongly and new signing Aiden McGeady nearly got in at the back post but Andre Wisdom made the block on the line to clear the ball behind.
The resulting corner fell kindly for Grabban but the debutant could only volley the ball over the bar.
Johnson opened the scoring three minutes later. Johnny Russell cut inside past Brendan Galloway before playing the ball across goal to his teammate who was left with a simple finish.
Summer signing Tom Huddlestone nearly doubled Derby’s lead after 20 minutes but his shot towards the bottom left was kept out by Luke Steele.
Scott Carson was called into soon after to turn Lee Cattermole’s shot behind, and Grabban sent a shot over the bar as Derby maintained their lead.
Sunderland did get the goal in the 42nd minute though. Grabban tucked his penalty past Carson after Jacob Butterfield’s handball.
The Black Cats should have taken the lead after the restart. A rebound fell to James Vaughan but the midfielder’s shot went narrowly wide of the post.
Play then went up the other end and Richard Keogh nearly put Derby ahead. The centre back rose highest at a corner but his header was cleared off the line by Cattermole.
Grabban nearly added a second debut goal on the hour mark, picking up Cattermole’s pass on the edge of the box before rifling a shot against the post.
Cattermole nearly got a late winner from Grabban’s cross but his volley went over the bar.