"I know I shouldn't have done it but we are fighting for survival in our division and the ref was the only person in the ground who thought it was a penalty," Davidson said. "I spoke for all our fans. We all care passionately about our club and this was an injustice.
"The team had fought hard for a point and it was more than I could stand. I told the referee he should consider retiring." The win stretched Sunderland's lead to eight points but Bristol remain one off the bottom.
Despite falling foul of the law of the ex-player scoring against them, Bolton Wanderers stretched their unbeaten run to 14 games with a 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion at the Reebok Stadium to move into the second automatic promotion place.
The former Wanderer, Fabian De Freitas, scored for Albion but the home side levelled two minutes before half-time when Michael Johansen's cross from the right was volleyed in by Bob Taylor. Neil Cox grabbed the winner six minutes into the second half.
Denis Smith, the Albion manager, was furious that a Lee Hughes "goal" was ruled not to have crossed the line. "It crossed the line twice and it was frustrating that the only people who did not see it were the ones who mattered," Smith said. "Everyone in the ground knew it was a good goal apart from the referee and the linesmen."
Fifth-placed Birmingham City slipped up at struggling Stockport County, where they were beaten by Brett Angell's 17th goal of the season, headed in from a 10th-minute corner, which won the match.
At the bottom, Crewe Alexandra forced a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace, who have now won only once in 15 games. The Londoners led after only six minutes through Clinton Morrison, who collected Jamie Smith's cross, turned his defender and scored from 10 yards. Dave Walton equalised after 63 minutes. And that made it seven consecutive home draws for Palace.
Dean Windass scored both goals as Oxford United beat Swindon Town 2-0 at the Manor Ground. First came a penalty when he was floored by Brian Borrows; the second was a tap in after Frank Talia could only parry Andy Thomson's shot. Windass' seasonal total is 18.
Oxford moved above struggling Bury who lost 2-0 at Fratton Park where Matthew Robinson set Pompey on their way with his first senior goal, a 37th-minute diving header two yards out. Guy Whittingham made it safe on the hour as Pompey extended their unbeaten run to six games.
Steve Basham made an immediate impact at the start of his loan spell from Southampton to Preston North End when he scored both goals as the Second Division high-fliers beat Wycombe Wanderers 2-1 to go above Fulham at the top. The Third Division leaders, Cardiff City, were beaten 1-0 at Barnet, Stevie Searle scoring.Reuse content