Fleetwood Town were denied all three points at Sunderland on Tuesday night due to a last minute equaliser from Max Power.
The Black Cats midfielder scored in the seventh minute of added time, tucking away his effort from 10 yards to send the 28,000 home fans into raptures.
Barrie McKay had opened the scoring with superb team goal five minutes in, with the Cod Army holding their lead until the last kick of the game.
Despite the late goal, Joey Barton's side remain unbeaten in their last nine Sky Bet League One fixtures.
It couldn’t have started any better for Fleetwood as McKay was played through by striker partner Paddy Madden after 30 seconds, but the Scotsman failed to lift the ball over McLaughlin between the sticks.
Just four minutes later, he did make the Black Cats pay for their error as he slotted his effort under the Sunderland stopper who couldn’t do too much to deny the Swansea City loanee from giving the visitors the lead at the Stadium of Light.
The Sunderland fans were getting frustrated as the minutes ticked down and every pass failing to connect with a red and white shirt. Barton’s side were great out of possession, making it difficult for the Black Cats.
It seemed that Fleetwood wanted to counter attack the hosts when they pushed bodies forward, and with Wes Burns running up and down the right flank, he did well to get to the byline, but with him looking to pick out Madden inside the penalty area, it got a block out for a corner.
Chris Maguire was the dangerman for Sunderland, and when the winger received the ball from target man, Charlie Wyke, he was only able to find the crossbar with his powerful effort. The atmosphere inside the ground was growing with the hosts on top. Half an hour on the board.
Wyke went so close to making it 1-1 after Maguire picked out the former Bradford City forward, but he failed to convert his effort from four yards out. It looked harder to miss than score.
Town looked to end the half stronger after withstanding a lot of pressure from Sunderland, but with two corners whipped in from Paul Coutts, the Cod Army failed connect to double their lead.
As the second half got underway, it was Sunderland who started the half as they finished it with Max Power having a effort from 30 yards out, but Alex Cairns was there to comfortably save the shot.
McKay continued to cause Phil Parkinson’s side problems when he had the ball, and when Ozturk brought him down 30 yards from goal, he picked it up and struck the set-piece well towards goal, but McLaughlin was well position to save.
Again Fleetwood had a chance with an overload on the right side and when Lewie Coyle looked to find Madden, his cross was deflected towards to Sunderland goal, but out for a corner. The resulting corner did find Harry Souttar – who couldn’t direct his header goal wards.
Despite Sunderland having plenty of possession, the didn’t really make that count with the chances they had. When the did get into dangerous area, their final pass or the shot towards goal was way off target, giving Town a breather.
Josh Morris and Jack Sowerby came on for Fleetwood with 15 minutes to play to give the Cod Army some fresh legs and bodies in key areas of the pitch.
With the last kick of the game, Sunderland broke Fleetwood hearts with Power scoring inside Fleetwood’s penalty area when the game looked dead and buried.
It will feel like a defeat for the Cod Army, but it’s important that the players stand strong with an important game against Tranmere coming up at the weekend.
Sunderland XI: McLaughlin (GK), Willis (Watmore 86'), Ozturk, Power ©, Maguire, Wyke, Gooch, Flanagan, O’Nien, Dobson (Lafferty 75’), Hume (Semenyo 65’).
Subs not used: Burge (GK), C. McLaughlin, Smith, Scowen.
Town XI: Cairns (GK), Coyle, Souttar, Gibson, Burns (Saunders 84’), Whelan, Coutts (Sowerby 75’), Connolly, Andrew, McKay (Morris 75’), Madden,
Subs not used: Crellin (GK), Thorvaldsson, Biggins, Holgate
Attendance: 28,253 (173)