Head-to-head record on Wearside...
Sunderland wins: 13 | Hull wins: 6 | Draws: 2
Last time on Wearside...
Sunderland 3-0 Hull City (Defoe 34, Anichebe 62, 84)
Sunderland 1-0 Hull City - Stadium of Light - 18/04/2009
Two teams unable to buy a win, a low morale, an unhappy fan-base and scrapping for points down the bottom of the league... Sound familiar? Of course it does.
Fast forward nine years and bugger all has changed at the two clubs apart from perhaps Hull’s name (temporarily) - though time moves on, not much changes as we both seem to lurch from one crisis to the next.
Much like this six pointer, Saturday’s duel against Nigel Adkin’s side is massive and will go a long way to determining if we have the bottle to fend off a second successive relegation.
Back in 2009, however, a goal from cult hero Djibril Cissé on the stroke of half time gave Ricky Sbragia’s faltering Black Cats a first win in seven and plunged the Humberside club into further despair.
As it was, neither team won again until the season’s end. But we needn’t have worried, as a Newcastle United side managed by a man with a haircut reminiscent of a singular Weetabix stepped forward to save our blushes to get them relegated instead.
Sunderland 2-0 Hull City - Roker Park - 25/02/1989
You couldn’t beat Roker Park could you? You can throw all your Stadium of Light moments at me, you can reminiscence of the good times all you want, but Roker Park was class even when we weren’t.
As it was, Denis Smith’s Sunderland had started to drastically improve their form over the Christmas period, but three straight defeats heading into the game had realigned expectations and gave the Wearside faithful cause for some concern.
It wouldn’t be like the Roker Roar to give into that concern though, and despite a few hairy moments a dogged Sunderland performance finally broke the Hull resistance in the last twenty as Colin Pascoe placed past our former number one Iain Hesford, before fan favourite Marco Gabbiadini sealed the three points - killing off any hope Eddie Gray’s side had of getting back into the game by adding a clinical second with nine minutes to go.
The game would include a Wearside willkommen for German beanpole Thomas Hauser - a player who certainly divided opinion but would go on to hit eleven goals during his stint at Roker Park.
Sunderland 2-0 Hull City - Stadium of Light - 17/03/2007
We touched on this in last week’s classic clashes, but the Keano era was genuinely mint, wasn’t it? The days when you’d turn up to the SOL and be almost 100% confident that the Lads would dispatch the opposition, absolutely no one would get past Nyron, and we’d swan off over the bridge singing Hey Jude.
Right in the midst of the euphoria of that Championship winning season we entertained a Hull side that we’re suffering badly at the opposite end of the table, desperate for points to fend off a pending relegation - but a ruthless Sunderland side were handing out no favours.
As early as the third minute Jonny Evans scored his first goal for the club, nodding home from Dean Whitehead’s free kick. From then on we exerted almost total domination, but had to wait until the last minute to seal the points.
Hilariously, with just two minutes to go, Hull ‘keeper Boaz Myhill sliced his attempted clearance, meaning the ball hurtled towards his own goal and presented Trinidadian substitute Stern John with the simplest of tasks.
It was our seventh game without defeat at home as league leaders Birmingham began to feel the heat. It feels like a lifetime ago doesn’t it? Now I’m depressed again.