There were very snowy conditions at the Britannia Stadium making it a very tricky playing situation for the players and bringing the quality of the match right down.
Stoke defender Robert Huth was questionably sent off late in the first half when he made a sliding challenge on David Meyler with the icy conditions taking him right into the tackle. It looked more clumsy than malicious but referee Martin Atkinson brandished the red card which infuriated Potters manager Tony Pulis.
After a real arm wrestle, Sunderland finally broke the deadlock on the hour-mark when promising youngster James McClean received a ball from Stephane Sessegnon before advancing into the area and although he had a little stumble on his way through, managed to keep his feet and slide it neatly under the body of Thomas Sorensen for his second league goal of the season.
It was all hustle and bustle from Stoke who had enough of the ball despite the one-man disadvantage but they continued to play it long into the box and created very little even though they had a total of nine shots on goal.
Black Cats keeper Simon Mignolet was tested on a few occasions but came up with the good whenever he was required whilst Sorensen had little to do despite being on the wrong end of the result.
TRIBAL ASKS:Sunderland continue to tick along. Is there any chance of the top five or are they too far off the pace? Stoke have faltered recently at home but have they done enough to see off relegation?
Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent - 27,717
Yellow cards:STO - nil SUN - John O'Shea 52'
Red card:STO - Robert Huth 45'