Sunderland 2 Blackburn Rovers 1 KENWYNE JONES scored a goal in each half to secure Sunderlands second win of the season, despite falling behind to Blackburn Rovers.
Having lost to Chelsea just days after opening the season with victory at Bolton, Black Cats boss Steve Bruces hopes of a quick recovery were realised at the Stadium of Light.
This was by no means a convincing display from Sunderland, who struggled repeatedly to deal with Blackburns aerial powers in the penalty area.
Yet, despite numerous scares, Blackburn were unable to build on the 21st minute lead they earned from a poorly defended Morten Gamst Pedersen corner.
Pedersens delivery was flicked on at the near post and cleared on the line by Lee Cattermole. But, lurking on the edge of the area, French full-back Gael Givets first time strike floated through a crowded area and into Marton Fulops net.
Rovers lead did not last long, with Sunderland managing to equalise against the run of the play ten minutes later.
Cattermole intercepted a Blackburn throw in the Sunderland half, Steed Malbranque floated a delightful through pass for Jones to chase and, after lifting his first touch around Paul Robinson, the striker tapped into an empty net.
That should have been the kick-start to a period of Sunderland dominance. Instead, though, Blackburn continued to look the more dangerous, with Fulop looking susceptible to crosses into his area.
And after Nikola Kalinic had wasted a close range effort from one of the Hungarian goalkeepers fumbles, Sam Allardyces men were made to pay.
Kieran Richardsons pass down the line to Cattermole turned defence into attack. The £6m buy from Wigan then delivered a perfect left-foot centre for Jones to head beyond Robinson from six yards.
That arrived nine minutes after half-time and, once again, should have provided Sunderland with the platform to make the game safe.
In the end they did manage to see out the full 90 minutes, but Blackburn who correctly had a Steve Nzonzi header ruled out for offside wasted plenty opportunities to draw level. Th worst of which was in the last seconds, when Kalinic fluffed his hero lines to miss the target from eight yards.
SUNDERLAND (4-4-2): Fulop; Bardsley, Ferdinand, Collins, McCartney (Nosworthy 61); Malbranque (Henderson 77), Cana, Cattermole, Richardson; Jones, Bent (Campbell 90). Subs: Gordon (gk), Leadbitter, Reid, Healy.
BLACKBURN (4-4-2): Robinson; Jacobsen, Samba, Nelsen (Olsson 46, Givet; Pedersen, Andrews, Nzonzi, Diouf (McCarthy 71); Roberts, Di Santo (Kalinic 14). Subs: Brown (gk), Emerton, Grella, Hoilett.