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Throwback Tuesday: Burnley 2-2 SAFC, December 2006 - Connolly the comeback King!

Desire and commitment - two words that are not exactly synonymous with Sunderland at the minute. But, in this fixture just over 10 years ago, we showed it by the bucket load.

Sunderland v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Roy Keane's Sunderland side went into this game on the crest of a wave as a result of four wins in five games, the most recent of which being a 2-1 success over Luton Town.

However, as usual Sunderland supporters were soon left cursing themselves for daring to be optimistic and dreaming of the dizzy heights of the play off places.

The lads started slowly and were punished after nine minutes when Kyle Lafferty fired home from inside the penalty area. Things didn’t get much better and after 52 minutes, Lafferty added his and Burnley’s second put them firmly in control. But this was a different era - this was a different Sunderland.

Back then, if we went a goal down there was a belief both in the stands and on the pitch that things could be turned around and this belief was to be rewarded with two goals in the last ten minutes to secure a point for the Wearsiders.

First, Grant Leadbitter halved the deficit with a half volley from just outside the area to give Sunderland hope. Then in stoppage time David Connolly scored an almost carbon copy goal to rescue a point for visitors.

This sparked pandemonium in the away end as the Irishman sprinted over to celebrate with the travelling fans. As fans congregated to the front of the stand to mob the hero of the hour one over enthusiastic chap fell out of the stand into the throng of Sunderland players. It was a moment of raw emotion and togetherness which so typified that era at the club.

Sunderland v Burnley Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images

The 11th placed team in the Championship salvaging a late point away at 9th in the league may not seem a big deal in isolation but it made a statement.

After a season of getting beat on an almost weekly basis in 2005-06 this Sunderland side showed they would not be beaten, they would not give up no matter how hopeless the situation and demonstrated their desire to win valuable points for the club.

In the long run this proved invaluable as we scored several late goals en route to the Championship title. As we travel to Turf Moor tonight in hope rather than expectation we could certainly do with a bit of the spirit of 2006/07.

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