Sunderland 1 Wigan 1: Kenwyne Jones rescues struggling Black Cats

06 February 2010 11:05
Kenwyne Jones emerged from a month of uncertainty to shield Sunderland manager Steve Bruce from the fury of their supporters.

Those fans are still far from happy after an 11th game without a win but it could have been worse for Sunderland, whose chairman Ellis Short made a rare appearance.

He will not have enjoyed what he saw for at least half the game, as Sunderland trailed to an excellent first-half goal from Mohamed Diame and Wigan had chances to extend their lead before Jones headed in the equaliser midway through the second-half.

Pure delight: Mohamed Diame is ecstatic after firing Wigan a goal up against troubled Sunderland

Jones, who also hit the post, played better than at any time duringa period of transfer turmoil when he was linked with several clubs.

Bruce said: 'It was arguably his best game of the season. I thoughthe was terrific and he produced a big performance for us today when weneeded him.

'We're now in a group of 10 teams who are all looking over theirshoulders. We have to get a win to turn it round. I'm not undulyworried, but I'm not enjoying it. We've had a horrible run after afantastic start and we have to end it.

Keeping up with the Jones: Sunderland's Kenwyne Jones rises to head home

'I'm not going to give up I've never given up in my life and I've got to make sure we are ready for the challenge ahead.'

Diame's goal came after 20 unsatisfactory minutes. Lorik Canahesitated on the ball, allowing Diame to take possession, surge roundMatthew Kilgallon and fire inside the near post. Wigan boss RobertoMartinez said: 'You won't see a better strike than that today in thePremier League.'

Not this time: Darren Bent runs past Wigan Athletic goalkeeper Chris Kirkland but fails to score

Sunderland went close to an equaliser when Jones' persistence earnedhim a 30th-minute chance that was deflected off Maynor Figueroa andonto a post. Jones remained their best hope of a goal after theinterval and was marginally offside when he beat Chris Kirkland in the55th minute.

Finally, Jones levelled with a 64th-minute header from a cross by Jordan Henderson, who went off five minutes later with an ankle injury that could keep him out for the rest of the season.

It was an equaliser Sunderland deserved for the way they clawedtheir way back after the interval. But there would have surely been noescape for Bruce's team if James McCarthy or Charles N'Zogbia hadaccepted chances to give Wigan a two-goal cushion.

 Sunderland's Geordie boss Steve Bruce: I can handle the flak from fansTHE FIRING LINE: Avram is tops of the league. of managers on their way outSUNDERLAND AFC

Source: Daily_Mail