SUNDERLAND’S misery continues at the Stadium of Light after yet another day of frustration in front of their own fans ended in defeat against Bristol City.

Despite seeing Lewis Graabban cancel out Bobby Reid’s 28th minute opener at the end of the first half, it was the Robins who managed to seal the victory when giant striker Milan Djuric headed in the winner with 17 minutes remaining.

While Bristol City climbed up into a play-off place after an impressive start to the campaign which has seen them lose just once in the league since August, the disappointment just rumbles on for Sunderland.

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It is now 18 matches, dating back to December last year, when Sunderland last won in front of their own supporters and this latest reversal leaves them second from bottom after 14 games.

They face an embarrassing bottom of the table tussle with Bolton on Tuesday night when they will end up either finally bringing to an end their woeful run or defeat would see them prop up the rest of the Championship.

Simon Grayson, who has still only won once since taking over, made changes to his starting line-up but even those didn't work. He left out Lee Cattermole and George Honeyman.

That meant opportunities for Darron Gibson and Jonny Williams and both were lively enough initially in a half empty stadium.

Sunderland started reasonably well, causing problems and they could have been ahead.

Left-back Bryan Oviedo had an effort held by City goalkeeper Frank Fielding, while John O’Shea struck a back post effort that rose over the bar with the help of a slight deflection.

There was an even greater chance too. Grabban, on loan from Bournemouth, saw a lob over the keeper drop just over the bar after his run was brilliantly picked out by the vision of Duncan Watmore’s.

Missed chances paved the way for Bristol City to strike a blow at the other end and it was a stupid goal to concede, again.

Reid was allowed far too much space at the back post to nod down Callum O’Dowda’s corner, with goalkeeper Jason Steele nowhere near and Gibson seemingly too far away from the man he was supposed to mark.

Frustrations in the stands grew at that point. But, after a few nervous moments, Sunderland recovered before the break.

Fielding had to dive right to prevent a deflected shot from Gibson, recalled for the rested Cattermole, from hitting the net, while there were strong penalty claims waved away when Eros Pisano’s arm stopped Didier Ndong’s drive.

But the equaliser arrived in stoppage-time. Aiden McGeady, looking to impress Ireland’s No 2 Roy Keane in the stands, saw his initial cross-shot palmed away only as far as the crowded box. Billy Jones was next to react, and then Watmore before Grabban was hand to force over the line.

After the restart neither side took control and struggled to retain possession, leading to a quiet period for both Steele and Fielding at opposite ends of the pitch.

Steele was strong in his area after the restart. He should have been tested by O’Dowda, though, when he charged through on goal, after a weak Billy Jones header, only to waste an effort by firing over.

And O’Dowda made amends seconds later when he got to the line, sent in a teasing centre for the towering Djuric to nod into the empty net.

SUNDERLAND (4-2-3-1): Steele; Jones, Kone, O’Shea, Oviedo; Gibson (McNair 79), Ndong; Watmore (Vaughan 79), Williams (McManaman 66), McGeady; Grabban. Subs (not used): Ruiter (gk), Cattermole, Matthews, Honeyman.

BRISTOL CITY (4-4-2): Fielding; Baker (Pisano 36), Flint, Wright, Bryan; Paterson (Djuric 55), Brownhill, Pack, O’Dowda; Reid, Taylor (Smith 64). Subs (not used): L Steele (gk), Woodrow, Magnusson, Leko.