CHRIS COLEMAN’S hopes of seeing his early days in charge of Sunderland manager deliver the long-awaited victory for the supporters at the Stadium of Light were left in bits this afternoon.

Reading ensured the Black Cats’ winless run on home turf extended to 21 games – an English record – by scoring three times in the second half after Callum McManaman had been red carded just before the break for a second caution.

Coleman stood shell-shocked in the technical area after the Modou Barrow scored twice inside three second half minutes to build on David Edwards’ earlier goal eight minutes after the restart.

Loading article content

Sunderland, who are deep in relegation trouble ahead of next weekend’s trip to leaders Wolves, will head into the visit of Fulham on December 16 knowing that a failure to win that will mean they have gone an entire year without winning at the Stadium of Light.

Swedish forward Joel Asoro did brighten Sunderland up in the closing stages and he won the penalty for Lewis Grabban to pull a goal back with 14 minutes remaining.

But the damage had already been done and Coleman, who had to listen to boos and frustrations of the fans annoyed by a lack of intensity, certainly knows all about the club’s problems now.

Sunderland might have a new manager but the problems continue to come along for Coleman to contend with. He was already James Vaughan, Lamine Kone, Didier Ndong, Duncan Watmore, Billy Jones and Jonny Williams when Paddy McNair injured himself in the pre-match warm-up.

McNair was due to start in the middle so Darron Gibson was recalled, and then McManaman’s red card followed which will rule him out of the trip to league leaders Wolves.

Coleman had hoped the same set of players who won at Burton a week earlier would have delivered another success story, but the late change meant he had to mix things up.

George Honeyman almost put Sunderland ahead when he curled an effort from distance wide of the far post during a bright opening, but Reading were more dangerous on the attack after that.

The lively Yann Kermorgant struck an effort over the bar and then his low cross should have been turned in by David Edwards rather than high and wide in the 21st minute.

Then referee Keith Stroud and McManaman made things harder for the second half. Lee Cattermole could easily have collected his second booking earlier for a trip on Sone Aluko, but McManaman was not as fortunate.

Adam Matthews’s dipping cross to the back post looked like it might even drop in itself, but McManaman’s attempts to make sure saw him use his arm to find the net despite the heavy presence of a defender.

On top of the winger’s challenge deep in the Reading half on Barrow that earned a yellow card, McManaman could not really complain – and Coleman’s goal celebrations turned to frustrations.

And within eight minutes of the restart Reading were ahead. After McGeady gave the ball away at one end, the Royals broke and the move ended when Aluko’s effort was deflected into the path of Edwards to slide in and finish from close range.

Sunderland struggled to make inroads after that, much to the frustration of the home fans, and Honeyman went closest to levelling things with 25 minutes remaining when he beat his man and had an effort turned away for a corner by Vito Mannone.

It was game over soon after when Barrow struck his two goals in three minutes. His first was a volley inside goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter’s near post and the second a cool finish following a flick from Kermorgant.

Swedish teenager Joel Asoro sparked Sunderland into life after coming on and he earned the penalty for Grabban to convert his 11th of the season and that was how things stayed.

SUNDERLAND (4-2-3-1): Ruiter; Matthews, O’Shea, Browning, Oviedo (Galloway 58); Cattermole (Gooch 81), Gibson; McManaman, Honeyman, McGeady (Asoro 68); Grabban. Subs (not used): Steele (gk), Love, Maja, Wilson.

READING (4-3-2-1): Mannone; Gunter, McShane, Moore, Bacuna; van den Berg, Edwards, Kelly (Clement 81); Aluko (Beerens 81), Barrow; Kermorgant (Bodvarsson 90). Subs (not used): Jaakkola, Ilori, Blackett, Popa.