Revealed: Sunderland’s home woe is their longest run without Wearside win

Patrick van Aanholt scores the winner against Watford back in December
Patrick van Aanholt scores the winner against Watford back in December
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Sunderland fans are enduring their longest ever run without witnessing a home victory.

By the time tomorrow’s game against Cardiff comes around, it will be 280 days since David Moyes’ side edged a 1-0 Premier League win against Watford.

Patrick van Aanholt was on target to give the Black Cats three points against the Hornets.

Sunderland have failed to win at the Stadium of Light in an incredible 15 attempts since. They have suffered nine defeats and had six draws in that time.

The poor run of home form is the Black Cats’ worst since 1985 when they went 223 days without a win at Roker Park.

Two Colin West goals clinched a 2-0 League Cup victory over Chelsea on February 13, 1985, but that was the last Sunderland win supporters watched for a while – with the side failing to win again at Roker Park in the next 12 attempts.

The drought was finally broken when Swindon Town came up to the Wearside in the League Cup on September 24, 1985. Goals from Clive Walker, Eric Gates and Gary Bennett secured a first win at home in a staggering seven months for the manager Lawrie McMenemy’s side (albeit, like the current run, it takes in the close season break).

The Sunderland team that day was: Bolder, Venison, Kennedy, Agboola, Bennett, Gray, Pickering, Hodgson, Swindlehurst, Gates, Walker. Sub Gayle.

Sunderland aren’t strangers to winless home runs.

Another came in 2003 when the Black Cats went 201 days without a win at the Stadium of Light.

On February 5 that year, under Howard Wilkinson, Sunderland beat Liverpool 2-1 in the Premier League with Michael Proctor getting the winner.

The rest of the season was largely a disaster (and it wasn’t great before that!).

In the league, Sunderland didn’t win another league game all season – in 20 attempts. Nine of those matches were at home, with eight lost and one drawn.

Sunderland’s last 15 league games all brought defeat.

However, cup games did bring a little respite, with Sunderland beating Bolton and then Blackburn in the FA Cup, both after extra-time, with the Rovers game finally won 3-0 on penalties, with Kevin Phillips, Kevin Kilbane and Gavin McCann scoring from the spot.

After relegation, the Black Cats – now managed by Mick McCarthy – had a 2-0 home win over Watford in Division One in August, 2003, thanks to goals from Marcus Stewart (pen) and Stephen Wright. That ended a run of 253 days since the previous home league victory, and 201 days since the cup win against Blackburn.

This was the Sunderland team that won against Watford: Poom, Wright, Arca, Thirlwell, Breen, McCartney, Oster, Thornton, Kyle, Stewart (Proctor 90), Kilbane (Healy 90). Subs not used: Ingham, Babb, Butler.

McCarthy’s team finished third that season and lost out to Crystal Palace in the play-offs, but then won the title in season 2004-5.

They won the final home game of that season against Stoke, but the following season was a nightmare as the collected only 15 points.

They did not win at home in the league until their very last home game, beating Fulham 2-1.

That was 361 days between home league wins – but fans at the Stadium of Light did see two more wins that season, against Cheltenham Town in the League Cup in September 2005, and Northwich Victoria in the FA Cup in January 2006.

This was the team that beat Fulham, managed by caretaker boss Kevin Ball: Davis, Nosworthy, McCartney, Miller, Breem, Caldwell, Hoyte (Kyle 74), Whitehead, Brown, Le Tallec (Murphy 81), Welsh. Subs not used: Alnwick, Collins, Leadbitter.

Of course, Sunderland – and all clubs – have had long spells of home misery, but the last three relegation seasons have been particularly bad.

Last season, Sunderland only had three home wins, the same as in the 2002-3 season. The 2005-6 campaign brought just the one home win.

Other relegation seasons brought better results at home, in comparison - 1957-58 (7), 1969-70 (4), 1976-77 (9), 1984-85 (7), 1986-87 (8), 1990-91 (6), and 1996-97 (8).