Conflict in the stands and Sunderland fans' reaction to Elliot Embleton's red plus Dennis Cirkin and Tom Flanagan fears

The Black Cats defeated the Gills in dramatic fashion on Saturday - but there are some moments that can easily be missed amidst the chaos.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 4:18 pm

Lee Johnson’s men came from a goal down to win 2-1 in a League One game that produced much drama.

But there are some moments that can easily be missed whilst standing on the away end or following the game from home.

Here, we take you through some of the more interesting episodes from Kent that you might not have caught in real-time:

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The tackle that saw Elliot Embleton receive his marching orders.

Embleton’s red card walk of shame and reaction from fans

Elliot Embleton’s red card will likely provide a topic of debate for Sunderland fans in the coming days.

But disregarding that discussion for a moment, the reaction from Wearsiders towards the attacking midfielder was overwhelmingly positive as he trudged past the 2000-strong away end and down the tunnel.

Embleton, though, had eyes only for the dressing room and didn’t react to the adulation... perhaps concerned that his rash tackle would cost his team all three points.

Elliot Embleton following his red card at Gillingham.

Is there a better way to celebrate signing a new long-term contract with your boyhood club than getting sent off?


But Embleton can surely be forgiven given his tremendous form this season.

Conflict in the stands as Sunderland faced Gillingham

There was quite the drama in the stands at Priestfield Stadium as Sunderland took on Gillingham.

Gills fans are keen for chairman Paul Scully to leave the club and weren’t shy in making their voices heard.

Indeed, they took their efforts up a level after hiring a plane to circle overhead early in the game.

The banner attached read “Time for Change: Scally Out”.

But the drama didn’t seem to bother Sunderland too much in the end as they (just about) emerged victorious from a breathless fixture.

The worrying Cirkin moment and Flanagan fears

In the second half, defender Dennis Cirkin was played in down the left flank as Sunderland pushed for the win.

As usual, the left-back showed great pace to get around his man and to the byline.

But there was a coming together and Cirkin was sent flying into the advertising board at Priestfield.

Following the customary roar from fans, there was genuine concern for Cirkin as Gillingham players called and waved frantically for Sunderland’s medical team to attend to the stricken player.

Johnson’s physios sprinted onto the field with Cirkin holding his leg in some discomfort on the floor.

Everybody feared the worst.

Another injury for Sunderland would not have been good news after the announcement that fellow full-back Niall Huggins will be absent until the New Year.

Moreover, Cirkin’s potential replacement in the Sunderland squad to face Gillingham also provided cause for concern.

That’s because Denver Hume is yet to feature the first team this season following a serious hamstring problem.

Thankfully, though, Cirkin was able to continue and played the full 90 minutes.

Tom Flanagan, too, found himself in the wars against a physical Gillingham side.

The defender put his body firmly on the line to net Sunderland’s winner and was seen holding his shoulder and grimacing in the moments following his goal.

Like his teammate, though, Flanagan was able to carry on and played a vital role in Sunderland closing the game out with 10 men.

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