LIGHT'S OUT; SUNDERLAND 1 McFadzean 40 LINCOLN CITY 1 Morton 63 Imps force Black Cats to rue errors.
Byline: IAN MURTAGH at the Stadium of Light
SUNDERLAND conceded their first goal in more than nine-and-a-half hours as their promotion charge spluttered at the Stadium of Light.
After five straight wins and that long-awaited Wembley success in the EFL Trophy, Lee Johnson's side looked primed to close the gap on League One leaders Hull when Callum McFadzean headed them into a 40th-minute lead.
But they slipped back into old bad habits as Lincoln rescued a point with a 63rd-minute equaliser from Callum Morton, who turned Luke O'Nien far too easily before finding the net.
And only two excellent saves by Lee Burge to deny Cohen Bramall and Morgan Rogers prevented Lincoln leapfrogging Sunderland into third place.
The Black Cats hoped they'd cured their home blues. They went almost three months without a win on Wearside midseason and need to rediscover their cutting edge to keep alive hopes of going up automatically.
Johnson said: "I'm not going to be too critical of my team because they have put in a massive shift in recent weeks.
"We lost a bit of discipline but that's probably down to fatigue with the schedule we've had.
"I don't like losing leads but I'm not too disappointed and with other results, we haven't really lost any ground."
In-form Charlie Wyke was kept in check throughout but McFadzean proved it's not just the 27-goal striker who's handy in the air for the Black Cats.
Five minutes before half-time he threw himself at a Max Power cross to bullet a downward header past Alex Palmer.
Moments earlier, Aiden
McGeady's dancing feet looked to have done the trick when he skipped past two defenders only to blast his shot over the top.
Just before Lincoln's equaliser, Palmer had kept out a McGeady blockbuster while substitute Chris Maguire's effort went wide.
Imps boss Michael Appleton feels his side are now back on course after a sticky patch.
"Hopefully, that will give everyone a real lift," he said.
"To show the courage we did after going one down against a Sunderland side on a terrific run showed great character." SUNDERLAND: Burge 8; McLaughlin 7, O'Nien 5, Sanderson 6, McFadzean 7; Power 6, Leadbitter 6 (Stewart 71, 6), Winchester 6 (Scowen 63, 5); McGeady 7, Gooch 5 (Maguire 77), Wyke 6.
LINCOLN: Palmer 7; Poole 6, Jackson 6, Montsma 6, Bramall 6; Bridcutt 6, McGrandles 7, Edun 5; Rogers 6, Johnson 6 (Scully 74, 6), Morton 7.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Lee Burge. Preserved a point for the Black Cats.
REFEREE: Carl Boyeson 4.
VITAL STATS SUNDERLAND LINCOLN CITY 6 ........ Shots on Target .........4 3 ........Shots off Target .........2 7 ................Corners .................5 20................ Fouls.................. 14 0............... Offsides.................4 75.2...Passing Success %....67.3 432....... Total Passes........300 58.8 ....Possession % ......41.2 56.3 .Territorial Adv % .. 43.7
CALLUM... AND CALLUM Lincoln's Callum Morton celebrates after he scores... as does Sunderland's Callum McFadzean after his goal (below)