FRUSTRATIONS among the fans boiled over again inside the Stadium of Light this afternoon when Sunderland suffered more misery on Wearside against Cardiff City - and dropped into the bottom three.

Chants of Ellis ‘Short out’ could be heard as the final whistle approached on another day when the confidence drained Black Cats failed to inspire at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland’s wait for a home win – the last one was recorded on December 17 last year – goes on and Simon Grayson’s side have slipped embarrassingly into the Championship’s relegation zone.

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Cardiff, sitting pretty in second spot, took the lead in the seventh minute when Craig Bryson was gifted an opening when Sunderland’s weaknesses were there for all to see.

Lynden Gooch’s first league goal for Sunderland, a penalty, seven minutes into the second half raise spirits slightly, but not for long because Joe Ralls converted a penalty of his own with 17 minutes remaining to inflict yet another defeat on the Black Cats.

Sunderland, who with just one win all season in the league, are lacking in confidence all over the pitch and that was clear – and the absence of window signings Callum McManaman and Jonny Williams certainly didn’t help.

Cardiff were far more comfortable in possession and had more efforts on goal, certainly initially anyway.

And they were rewarded early on when they scored a cheap goal from a defensive viewpoint.

When Adam Matthews burst down the right and delivered a low cross towards Lynden Gooch, the ball eventually ran behind for a goal-kick and goalkeeper Neil Etheridge lumped it quickly into the Sunderland half.

Powerful forward Kenneth Zohore, a nuisance for the home defence, flicked the first ball on and the lively Nathaniel Mendez-Laing helped it on again. Bryson, allowed to run in behind cheaply, struck sweetly beyond Robbin Ruiter.

Cardiff could have added a second during a decent spell of pressure after that and after Aron Gunnarsson and Bryson had efforts go close inside 13 just minutes sections of Sunderland’s crowd booed.

Grayson changed the three-man defensive system he started with and Sunderland went closest to equalising soon after.

It was no surprise though that it was from range, when Bryan Oviedo, moved to left-midfield from wing-back, turned 25 yards from goal and hit a dipping shot off the post. There was very little threat after that.

Then Gooch found an extra gear after the restart to get Sunderland and the crowd going. He had already forced Etheridge into a save from a tight angle before he was hauled down in the area eight minutes in by Cardiff skipper Sean Morrison.

Sunderland’s versatile American midfielder picked himself up and calmly sent the keeper the wrong way to level things up and breathe new life into the game.

Cardiff found an extra gear themselves though after that and moments after Rutier denied Bruno Ecuele Manga he had to face a penalty of his own.

Lamine Kone, who got away with one in the first half, hauled down Morrison as he looked to reach a corner and then Ralls made no mistake from the penalty spot.

After that Sunderland never looked like getting themselves level again and now it is a question of how soon Grayson can get this group of players out of the drop zone.

Sunderland (3-5-2): Ruiter; Browning, Kone, Wilson; Matthews, Honeyman (McGeady 60), Cattermole, Ndong (Asoro 79), Oviedo (E Robson 79); Gooch, Vaughan. Subs (not used): Steele (gk), Galloway, O’Shea, Gibson.

Cardiff City (4-2-3-1): Etheridge; Richards, Manga, Morrison, Bennett; Ralls, Gunnarsson (Bamba 90); Feeney (Hoilett 68), Bryson, Mendez-Laing; Zohore (Bogle 84). Subs (not used): Murphy (gk), Halford, Damour, Tomlin.