SUNDERLAND’S frustrating season continued after they were held to a goalless draw with Fulham at the Stadium of Light.

It was a game the Black Cats should have won though, had it not been for a magnificent reaction save from Mark Schwarzer in the dying seconds and the woodwork, which denied Steve Bruce’s side twice.

It was an all too familiar afternoon for the Black Cats, who have failed to pick up maximum points in other games this season that they should have.

A win would have lifted Bruce’s men away from the bottom end of the Premier League but again it wasn’t meant to be with players, manager and fans alike leaving the Stadium of Light frustrated.

It was a bright start from the Black Cats, Phil Bardsley firing a long-range effort wide of Mark Schwarzer’s post, before Kieren Richardson’s header struck the bar after some fine work from Stephane Sessegnon down the left.

The midfielder, playing in a more advanced role alongside Nicklas Bendtner, pounced on Bobby Zamora’s stray pass before dinking a cross into the box to an un-marked Richardson, but his effort pinged off the woodwork.

In between those chances, Fulham did have one for themselves when Moussa Dembele weaved in between Turner and Brown and unleashed a rising shot but Keiren Westwood pulled off a brilliant save to deny the Fulham forward.

The home side continued to pile the pressure on with Sessegnon seeing his downward header saved from the six-yard box, and then once again, Martin Jol’s side had the woodwork to thank.

Former Newcastle winger Damien Duff made a hash of attempting to clear Elmohamady’s right-wing cross, leaving Jack Colback to lash his powerful strike off the bar.

Having spent the majority of the opening half in the driving seat, Sunderland were perhaps lucky not to go into the interval one down after the visitors had two goal-bound efforts blocked.

Fresh from his second England cap on Monday, Bobby Zamora had a header blocked by Bardsley and then an even better chance fell Dickson Etuhu’s way, but his header was cleared off the line by Lee Cattermole.

Sessegnon continued to be a threat in the second half, drifting to the left on a number of occasions, but too many times there was no one near the final ball.

Jol introduced Andy Johnson to inject a bit of pace and after the visitors had cut out a Sunderland attack, the forward broke down the right but his low shot whistled inches past the post.

With moments remaining to try and win the game Sunderland pushed forward. Bardsley found Sessegnon on the edge of the area with his strike deflecting off Philippe Senderos towards goal and just when it seemed the hosts would steal three points, the feet of Schwarzer deflected the ball away brilliantly to deny Bruce and his men the win.