Scunthorpe United 0 Sunderland AFC 0: Robbin Ruiter impresses again but Cats can only draw with Iron

Aiden McGeady in action for Sunderland against Scunthorpe United.
Aiden McGeady in action for Sunderland against Scunthorpe United.

Sunderland's penultimate pre-season friendly ended in a disappointing goalless draw with League One Scunthorpe United.

It was a poor showing from Sunderland, with little quality on show from either side and it was the Iron that carved out the clearer openings.

Sunderland kick off their Championship challenge at home to Derby County a week on Friday and Simon Grayson will want to see a big improvement ahead of that game.

The Black Cats had triallist Robbin Ruiter to thank late on, with the stopper making a superb late point-blank save.

There was no Jeremain Lens at Glanford Park, the winger had limped off at Bradford City days before but speculation is rife about his future on Wearside.

There was, though, a first start for summer signing Aiden McGeady, his first since he arrived for £250,000 from Everton.

Before the game there was a poignant minute's applause and balloon release from the centre of the Glanford Park pitch in memory of Bradley Lowery.

There was little for either set of supporters to cheer in the opening half hour of what was a dreadfully poor first half lacking in quality.

League One Scunthorpe were more than holding their own against Sunderland, with Graham Alexander's side carving out the better chances.

Triallist Robbin Ruiter was again handed the gloves as he looks to earn a deal and he was busy in the opening stages as Scunthorpe tried to get balls into the box.

Up the other end there was little for Sunderland fans to get excited about with McGeady's snatched effort inside the box - which he failed the connect with - the only moment of note.

Matt Gilks in the Scunthorpe goal wasn't tested all half.

Ruiter was called upon in the 40th minute, the Dutchman making a flying save to his right to deny Hakeeb Adelakun from distance. A strong save from the triallist.

Scunthorpe's Josh Morris flashed a shot wide late on for Scunthorpe, who had offered far greater threat.

It was poor from Sunderland and worrying for Grayson with just one more friendly to go before the start of the Championship campaign.

Half-time: Scunthope United 0 Sunderland 0

Sunderland, unchanged at the break, were out early for the start of the second half.

Adelakun was at the heart of the action for Scunthorpe and he saw his effort deflected wide by John O'Shea in the opening minutes of the second half

Darron Gibson tried his luck from distance but his effort was rash and blazed well wide of the right-hand post.

Moments later Gilks finally made his first save from Honeyman's close-range effort.

Ten minutes into the second half and Funso Ojo saw his 30-yard effort crash back off the crossbar, with Ruiter well beaten.

Grayson made a triple substitution on the hourmark with Wahbi Khazri, Didier Ndong and Lee Cattermole all on for McGeady, Embleton and Gibson.

Ruiter was called on in the 63rd minute, the Dutchman comfortably saving Morris's free-kick from distance. Vocal throughout, he again looked comfortable in the Sunderland goal.

Honeyman should have made it 1-0 in the 68th minute but he failed to connect with Cattermole's superb ball over the top.

Scunthorpe had carved out the better openings all night and Conor Townsend was guilty of missing a good chance in the 71st minute, rolling his effort wide of Ruiter's post.

With James Vaughan departing, Asoro was pushed into a more central role and he almost scored the opener in the 78th minute.

His fierce effort from the edge of the area forced Gilks into a diving save. The game was played at a slow tempo, with neither side dominating.

Sunderland had Ruiter to thank late on, the Dutchman with a superb point-blank save from van Veen before Honeyman saw his effort saved by Gilks.

Full-time: Scunthorpe United 0 Sunderland 0

Sunderland: Ruiter, Matthews, Galloway (Jones, 70, (Beadling, 90)), Gibson (Ndong, 60), O’Shea (C), Kone, Asoro, Embleton (Cattermole, 60), Vaughan (Love, 70), Honeyman, McGeady (Khazri, 60).
Subs Not Used: Mika, E.Robson.
Booked: None
Goals: None

Scunthorpe United: Gilks, Clarke, Townsend, Wallace, Ojo (van Veen, 62), Madden (Margetts, 78), Morris, Bishop, Adelakun (Holmes, 78), Burgess, McArdle (Goode, 78)
Subs Not Used: Watson, Hopper, Sutton, Wootton.
Booked: None
Goals: None
Referee: Darren Drysdale
Attendance: 2,794