Match ends, Gillingham 0, Sunderland 2.
Sunderland scored twice in the final six minutes to earn a tempestuous 2-0 victory over 10-man Gillingham, who themselves missed a penalty in their League One match at Priestfield.
Black Cats keeper Lee Burge saved Jordan Graham's second-half penalty before substitute Chris Maguire scored from the spot and Lyndon Gooch wrapped up the win in added time.
The Gills, who saw manager Steve Evans booked for his reaction to the penalty decision, slumped to a fifth-consecutive league defeat for the first time since February 2012.
Sunderland thought they had taken the lead on 26 minutes but Luke O'Nien's diving header from Josh Scowen's free-kick was disallowed for offside.
The game turned when former Gills loanee Tom Flanagan clumsily bundled Ryan Jackson over, Burge parried Jordan Graham's penalty and Dominic Samuel somehow fired the rebound over.
Gillingham midfielder Alex MacDonald was then dismissed for an horrendous tackle on O'Nien on the hour.
Charlie Wyke forced Gills' debutant goalkeeper Joe Lumley - signed on an emergency loan from QPR on Friday - into a stunning fingertip save, before the visitors opened the scoring.
Zech Medley fouled Wyke inside the penalty area and Maguire coolly sent Lumley the wrong way for Sunderland's opener.
Gooch wrapped up his side's success in the fifth minute of stoppage time with a solo goal on the counter-attack.
Match report supplied by PA Media
- 2JacksonBooked at 40mins
- 10GrahamSubstituted forCoyleat 87'minutes
- 16MacDonaldBooked at 61mins
- 9SamuelSubstituted forRobertsonat 66'minutes
- 19OliverSubstituted forAkindeat 70'minutes
- 14ScowenSubstituted forMaguireat 80'minutes
- 11GoochBooked at 23mins
- 10O'BrienSubstituted forGrahamat 70'minutes
- Sam Purkiss
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Gillingham 0, Sunderland 2.
Corner, Gillingham. Conceded by Grant Leadbitter.
Corner, Gillingham. Conceded by Conor McLaughlin.
Goal! Gillingham 0, Sunderland 2. Lynden Gooch (Sunderland) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Chris Maguire following a fast break.
Conor McLaughlin (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by John Akinde (Gillingham).
Substitution, Gillingham. Trae Coyle replaces Jordan Graham.
Attempt missed. Danny Graham (Sunderland) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Denver Hume.
Goal! Gillingham 0, Sunderland 1. Chris Maguire (Sunderland) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.
Penalty Sunderland. Charlie Wyke draws a foul in the penalty area.
Penalty conceded by Zech Medley (Gillingham) after a foul in the penalty area.
Attempt missed. Danny Graham (Sunderland) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Luke O'Nien with a cross.
Substitution, Sunderland. Chris Maguire replaces Josh Scowen.
Lynden Gooch (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by John Akinde (Gillingham).
Attempt blocked. Grant Leadbitter (Sunderland) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.
Attempt blocked. Grant Leadbitter (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Tom Flanagan.
Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Joe Lumley.
Attempt saved. Charlie Wyke (Sunderland) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner.