A DEFLATED Phil Parkinson admitted he was “hurting” after Sunderland conceded a stoppage-time equaliser to throw away two points in a 1-1 draw at Doncaster Rovers.

The Black Cats looked to be heading for a deserved three points when they headed past the 90-minte mark with a one-goal advantage thanks to Grant Leadbitter’s superb first-half strike.

Remi Matthews had barely been tested all afternoon, but the Sunderland goalkeeper was beaten in dramatic fashion as Fejiri Okenabirhie bundled home Brad Halliday’s low cross from close to the goalline.

The equaliser means Sunderland drop to eighth position in the table, and Parkinson was left feeling extremely frustrated as the final whistle blew.

He said: “It’s cruel. It’s hard to take when you concede to the last kick of the game, to really their only chance. It was their one moment. We tried to win the ball on the edge of the box and it’s come in, and how it’s ended up in the back of the net I don’t know because we had three defenders around their one player.

“It hurts when you concede late in the game, but I thought that first half was the best we’ve played for a long time. I thought we were excellent. Some of the football we played and some of the movement in the wide areas, I was very pleased.

“They came into it in the second half to a certain degree, which you would expect. They’ve beaten some good teams here, but I still felt we had enough control in the game, we just needed to go and get that second goal.

“It’s a game where we should be talking about three points, but we’re not. We’re disappointed with that, but I do take heart from a lot of the football we played because I thought it was a lot better and we looked a lot more threatening.”

Sunderland were unable to build on Leadbitter’s lead, but Parkinson is adamant his side should already have had a chance to score from the spot before they broke the deadlock two minutes before the break.

Lynden Gooch was clearly fouled by Joe Wright after nipping ahead of the Doncaster defender to reach Luke O’Nien’s cross, but referee John Busby failed to point to the spot, leaving Parkinson furious.

“We weren’t given a penalty, and when you look at that, you just don’t know how,” said the Sunderland boss. “Last week, we had the penalty against us and I had to say in the current climate, maybe it would be given. But if you see this one back, you will not believe it.

“How he has not given the penalty there, I don’t know. They’re big moments in games, and refs have to get those decisions right. And even if he hasn’t seen it, or he’s seen it but not given it, the linesman on this side has got to say, ‘You’ve got that wrong’.

“It’s an absolute stonewall penalty, it really is. I’m frustrated with that because refs have to get those big decisions right and it’s proved costly, but equally, we had enough control, we just had to see the game through. We should be sat in the dressing room with another three points from our travels.”