SUNDERLAND’S relegation worries intensified when they failed to engineer a thrilling second half comeback for the second week in a row.

The Black Cats missed out on a chance to close the gap to Championship safety after they were made to pay for a dreadful opening 45 minutes when Brentford went two goals up.

The Bees secured three points on their first ever visit to the Stadium of Light by following up Kamo Mokotjo’s 14th minute opener by adding the second in the 28th minute through striker Neal Maupay.

Sunderland – who have won just two of their last 26 matches on Wearside – remain slumped in the bottom three, with Chris Coleman’s side three points adrift of safety. Hull have a game in hand.

Coleman was desperate to see a positive performance on the back of last weekend’s dramatic draw at Bristol City but it never materialised and the fans let them know about it – with chants of ‘you’re not fit to wear the shirt’ and plenty of boos.

On the evidence of this latest performance Sunderland will be playing in League One next season.

Aiden McGeady and Ethan Robson both started and there was a switch from a four-man defence. But for the second week, despite the changes, Sunderland left themselves with an uphill task by falling two goals behind.

Brentford went on the attack from the first whistle and Sunderland looked shocked, conceding four corners in as many minutes.

Ollie Watkins and Henrik Dalsgaard had already been denied by goalkeeper Lee Camp before the opener arrived.

Maupay held the ball up, rolled the ball towards Mokotjo and his lowly driven first time shot from 20 yards rolled inside Camp’s bottom left corner.

McGeady had an effort held by David Bentley at the other end but Sunderland looked disjointed and lacking composure.

Brentford’s second arrived when Maupay cleverly flicked a Watkins centre inside Camp’s near post.

Sunderland had a couple of chances, with George Honeyman hitting the the crossbar on the stroke of half-time and Joel Asoro thwarted by Bentley beforehand.

Coleman introduced Jonny Williams and Adam Matthews at the start and within a few minutes Sunderland almost pulled one back.

Asoro’s strong run and pass ended with McGeady directing an effort wide from eight yards. The Swedish forward also saw another of his runs end with his own effort stopped by Bentley but Sunderland deserved this defeat.

SUNDERLAND: Camp; Jones, Browning (Matthews 46), O’Shea, Clarke-Salter; Cattermole, Robson (Williams 46); Asoro, Honeyman, McGeady; Fletcher (Maja 73). Subs (not used): Steele (gk), McManaman, Gooch, Kone.

BRENTFORD (4-3-2-1): Bentley; Clarke, Bjelland, Egan, Dalsgaard; McEachran (Woods 57), Mokotjo (Judge 75), Sawyers; Jozefzoon, Watkins; Maupay (Marcondes 83). Subs (not used): Daniels, Macleod, Barbet, Mepham.