Saturday 5 February 2022 17:51, UK
Jermain Defoe's second debut ended in a shock defeat for Sunderland as their automatic promotion hopes took a major dent in a 2-1 loss to Doncaster.
Almost 40,000 fans had packed out the Stadium of Light to welcome Defoe back, but by the time he was introduced with just under 20 minutes to play the damage was already done.
It was a quite staggering result for Rovers, who had been rooted to the bottom of the table and staring down the barrel of relegation to League Two before kick-off.
Managerless Sunderland looked short of ideas in an insipid first half, with debutant Reo Griffiths and experienced campaigner Tommy Rowe firing Doncaster into a 2-0 lead at the break.
There was major controversy midway through the second half when Ross Stewart looked to have reduced the deficit with a back-post header, but the officials ruled Jonathan Mitchell had clawed the ball clear and waved play on, to widespread bewilderment.
The introduction of Defoe was not enough to inspire the Black Cats, who reduced the arrears through a late Corry Evans goal but ultimately fell short.