IT is an overused footballing cliche but manager Lee Johnson admitted that is was a tale of two halves in Sunderland's 1-1 friendly draw with York City this evening. 

Dan Neil put the Black Cats in front in the first half with a well-worked move before Kurt Willoughby lashed home from close range for the hosts following a set-piece shortly after the second half restarted. 

Benji Kimpioka had the chance to seal the win for Sunderland with a penalty in the 87th minute but was denied by keeper Ryan Whitely.

It's the second time the Black Cats have drawn against a National League North side in pre-season and they're up against League Two opposition at the weekend a stone's throw away from York. It's a trip to Harrogate Town.

Sunderland enjoyed the lion's share of possession throughout this evening's game but failed to make it count.

"I thought first half we were good. We were in total control," said Johnson. "We probably saw 85 or 90 percent of how we want to play. It was a high line and we were winning the ball back quick. We had a press nice and early. We got in behind five or six times.

"It was a little bit toothless I thought. We didn’t have quite enough numbers in the box. We had to score the perfect goal, which we did.

"I’d have liked to have worked the keeper a little bit more considering our dominance so that’s just an attitude thing.

"We’ve got to get Corry Evans (to) continue to play forward relentlessly because what happens is if you don’t get that two-goal lead, that’s what happens.

"The other team get a head of steam, a set-play and individual error, refereeing decision, whatever can happen.

"If this was the equivalent of playing Gillingham for example, you know you’re going to have to defend your box and they can bombard you from set plays so it’s something we’ve got to get the balance of as a team."