And a deserved point saw the Cod Army climb one place to sixth and into the play-off positions, though Charlton Athletic would replace them by avoiding defeat at Ipswich Town today.
“A draw was a fair result but we deserved the equaliser,” reflected head coach Barton.
“Sunderland shaded the first half and they had us pinned in their territory more than we had them pinned in their half.
“But I asked the lads to respond at half-time and I thought we were much the better team in the second half. I thought we were more likely to win the game.”
After Town had scored nine goals in their previous two games this was unsurprisingly a tighter affair, with almost an hour played before the deadlock was broken.
Barton said of the Black Cats’ opener: “Obviously there was a bit of a mix-up and Charlie Wyke nips in and puts it in the net.
“And knowing how well Phil’s (Sunderland boss Parkinson’s) teams defend and how resilient they are, it’s always going to be a tough task.
“But credit to our lads – they kept plugging away and we thoroughly deserved the equaliser.
“We think we’ll be there or thereabouts this season, which sounds absurd doesn’t it.
“‘Little’ Fleetwood Town being a little bit disappointed drawing with Sunderland, especially when you look at the size of the two clubs.”
It may have been very different to Town’s previous two outings but Barton added: “You can’t blow everyone away. I thought we answered a different question tonight. On reflection I think it’s a good point for both sides.”