A goal-of-the-season contender from Grant Leadbitter was not enough to secure three points for Sunderland.
It was a difficult watch at the Stadium of Light, one which has brought Phil Parkinson's managerial reign under significant scrutiny.
It wasn't the prettiest match - but this is League One remember!
Sunderland returned to winning ways against a dogged Gillingham side and with other results going in our favour, we're just four points off automatic promotion with a game in hand.
After a fantastic defensive start to the season, a solitary point and five goals conceded in two games threatens to derail Sunderland's season.
A home defeat and a red card, as far as a bump back down to earth goes
The cleanest sheets in the country are on Wearside - who'd have thought?
Including the departure of Jordan Willis early in the first half, Sunderland had five defensive absentees to contend with away to Swindon Town - yet still managed to claw a clean sheet.
Eight points from a possible twelve after four games - including three against teams expected to be in the mix for automatic promotion and/or play off spots. It's a satisfying start to the season, though not one without concerns.
Sunderland showed massive improvement a week on from the opening day disappointing draw against Bristol Rovers.