Chris Smith: Fading flame still flickers for Sunderland after Southampton win

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THE Black Cats candle is still flickering, and it has an eerie halo glow around it.

Whether it will find its full flame, only time will tell, but the signs are there.

You could see and feel the tension in the air after the first few minutes but the lads settled in and the crowd slowly got behind them. We were duly rewarded with a penalty after Jose Fonte tried to remove Danny Graham’s face with his un-saintly boot. The cultured left foot of Spaniard Jordi Gomez brought the stadium alight.

That light was quickly extinguished 60 seconds later, as we did what we always do, shoot ourselves in the foot, after Pants and Coates collided and gave them a tap in equalizer.

The game changer came in the second half when the effervescent Graham squared to Jermain Defoe, only for him to be taken out by Ward-Prowse 10 yards in front of goal.

After he was given his marching orders, Gomez marched up and planted the ball in the Saints net.

Even with ten men, Southampton still looked dangerous and almost got an equalizer in the dying seconds, but a brilliant save from the big Romanian kept our candle glowing.

With all of the waxing and waning this season, it felt good to get a win on our own ground.

The wax is melting, and the wick is short, but the fading flame still flickers for Sunderland.

* This article was sent into the Echo by a reader for our new Black Cats eight-page supplement, titled The Roar! - which will be in the paper every Wednesday.

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