Sunderland 2 West Ham United 2

Last updated : 31 October 2009 By Footymad Previewer
In the end it was a happy Halloween for Steve Bruce as ten-man Sunderland avoided a West Ham horror show.

The Black Cats fought back from two goals down to earn a draw against the Hammers in a heated encounter at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland boss Bruce will no doubt feel his side could and should have taken all three points in the end, but having been down to ten men for the entire second half, perhaps the 2-2 draw was the best they could hope for.

The Black Cats looked to have left themselves with a mountain to climb as they went two goals behind to the Hammers.

The Londoners went in front on the half-hour mark Guillermo Franco beating the offside trap to fire past Craig Gordon.

Five minutes later Gianfranco Zola's side were two goals to the good as Carlton Cole broke into the box and fired into the net.

There was some relief for the Wearsiders three minutes later as Andy Reid curled a free-kick past England's Robert Green - the Hammers keeper rooted to the spot as the ball nestled in the back of the net.

Then with the hosts looking to get back on terms, the red mist descended on Kenwyne Jones right on half-time.

The Sunderland striker was wrestled and manhandled by Herita Ilunga and reacted badly. He was rightly red-carded for raising his hands, but the way Ilunga reacted left a sour taste in the mouth.

The Democratic Republic of Congo international went down clutching his face and was treated by the Hammers physio for a blow to the head, but replays showed he had been pushed in the chest.

The Wearsiders battled on after the break and had a number of chances to level.

Darren Bent went close, on a couple of occasions, but fired wide and only the width of the crossbar denied them as first Lorik Cana and then Paulo Da Silva headed on to the woodwork within seconds of each other.

West Ham also went close through the outstanding Cole and substitute Zavon Hines.

However, it was the Black Cats who looked the most likely and the equaliser came on 76 minutes.

Bent's cross looped up off the foot of Matthew Upson and Kieran Richardson was at the back post to finish it off, his momentum carrying him into the net with the ball.

Both sides had opportunities to win, but once Radoslav Kovac got his marching orders on 87 minutes for a second yellow card, a draw was most likely.

Bruce now has to start planning for the trip to Tottenham next Saturday without the services of Cana, who is suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season, while Jones is likely to serve a three-match ban for his red card.