Defensive and goalkeeping errors topped off a performance that was limp and devoid of character, with the first-team appearing to give up the moment that the Saints took the lead through Santiago Vergini’s own goal which opened the scoring.
It was reported that goalkeeper Vito Mannone - at fault for two of the goals - was in talks with his teammates to refund the traveling supporters, who had to endure a round trip of over 600 miles - with the return journey dominated by the misery brought on with the events witnessed at St Mary’s Stadium.
And now it has been confirmed that the playing squad will refund the cost of tickets to roughly 2,500 fans - at an expense of around £60,000.
Speaking to the Standard, club captain John O’Shea admitted the reason behind the decision, claiming that the enduring support shown in the face of despair was something that should be acknowledged.
He said: “We win and lose as a team, players, staff and fans, however we wanted to acknowledge and thank the supporters who travelled such a long way to give us their backing and despite everything, stayed with us until the final whistle.”
Any tickets that are not refunded will have their proceeds donated to Grace House, a Sunderland-based charity.