WATCH: Derby draw feels like a defeat, say Sunderland fans
Dejected Sunderland fans feel like they've been hit for six - after a last-gasp leveller denied the Black Cats a magnificent seventh straight win over relegation rivals Newcastle United.
Premier League survival fears were heightened after Sunderland let slip two precious points at St James's Park - with a dispiriting draw leaving both struggling sides rooted in the relegation places.
On the back of a superb six consecutive victories over the Magpies in the derby clash, Sunderland fans admit that having to settle for a share of the spoils felt like a defeat.
Jermain Defoe had given the visitors the lead on the stroke of half-time, only for Magpies counterpart Aleksandar Mitrovic to break Wearside hearts late on.
David Gibbon, 37, believes bringing on defender John O'Shea in a bid to see out a narrow 1-0 win was a 'mistake'.
He said: "I expected Newcastle to fly out of the blocks but they didn't - we did. Bringing on O'Shea was a mistake.
"I am disappointed with the way in which we drew the game. It felt like a defeat."
Fellow fan Richard Clark shared the subdued sentiments.
The 54-year-old said: "I think if we had played in the second half like we did in the first half, we would've nicked it.
"The draw does feel more like a loss. I think both teams could go down now."
Joe Rayner, however, feels the stalemate could be a priceless point.
Mr Rayner, 61, from Chester-le-Street, said: "I'm the kind of fan who is happy with a point from an away game.
"I think the energy levels of the team sapped in the last 15 to 20 minutes.
"It is not just between Sunderland and Newcastle for relegation. Everyone from Crystal Palace down is involved."
All bets were off for Charlotte Hughes, 25, who had a flutter on 4-2 and 2-1 wins for the Black Cats.
But she felt the odds were always against a record-breaking win.
She said: "I didn't think the seventh straight win was going to happen.
"It was quite unfortunate as I had bets on 4-2 and 2-1 wins. I am always optimistic and a point is still better than a defeat."
Dave McCourt, 47, added: "I think Newcastle were happier with the point.
"Mitrovic has got them out of jail. But the Benitez bounce has not happened."