GRANT LEADBITTER'S first goal since his Sunderland return handed Phil Parkinson’s side their first home win of the season.

The veteran midfielder coolly smashed an 80th minute penalty past Posh keeper Christy Pym after Denver Hume had been tripped just inside the box.

It was Leadbitter’s first Sunderland goal since March 2009 and since he completed his return from Middlesbrough in January last year.   

Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson clearly felt Hume had been fouled by Jack Taylor outside the box and the Scot’s protests echoed round the Stadium of Light long into a bitterly cold afternoon. He was still at it in the centre circle after the final whistle and in his touchline press conference. 

Ferguson said: “It was an appalling decision, disgraceful and decided the outcome of the game.”

But Parkinson said: “It was a Premier League penalty and not only that but Grant cleared one off the line at a corner after that. 

“They are the difference between winners and losers and drawing a game 0–0. 

“I am really pleased for Grant, he deserved that moment and at times he controlled the game.

“There is no one more determined to play a part this season than Grant. He loves the club, his family all support the club and he wears his heart on his sleeve. He will be feeling ten foot tall tonight.

“And it was a penalty and I don’t think Darren will complain when he sees it back.”

Sunderland’s goal had led a charmed life until the winner with Sammie Szmodics coming closest to breaking the deadlock when his free-kick smacked into the crossbar.

In a bright start from the visitors, Lee Burge also made two crucial saves when he denied Siriki Dembele and Taylor from another free-kick.

It was another frustrating afternoon for Charlie Wyke, who was preferred to Will Grigg and Danny Graham. He had a couple of bundled efforts from close range but failed to seriously trouble Pym.

Josh Scowen, who was handed a Sunderland debut by Parkinson, created one opening for Aiden O’Brien but the Irishman nodded over. Scowen, Chris Maguire and Jonson Clark-Harris also wasted opportunities before Leadbitter’s winner.