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    L Orient


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Stadium of Light, England

Referee: L Mason | Attendance: 19323

* Local time based on your geographic location.


  • Neill Collins 6'
  • Dean Whitehead 41'
  • Anthony Le Tallec 70'

3 - 0


Postponed - now being played Sun, Jan 8

Sunderland 3-0 Northwich

Sunderland boss Mick McCarthy was able to celebrate victory for the first time since September as Conference North side Northwich became the first team to lose to the Black Cats in 15 attempts.

Goals from defender Neill Collins - his first for the club in his first appearance of the season - and Dean Whitehead before the break laid the foundation for a routine win for the Barclays Premiership strugglers with Anthony Le Tallec making it 3-0 on 70 minutes, and they could have triumphed even more handsomely as the visitors struggled to cope.

Victory over a side lying 97 places below them in the league ladder in front of a crowd of just 19,323, boosted by around 4,000 travelling supporters may not count for very much.

But a win - just their third of the campaign in all competitions - is a win and will at least send McCarthy's players into next weekend's league clash with reigning champions Chelsea with a little more confidence.

  • McCarthy pleased with performance
  • The only thing missing for the Wearsiders was a first goal in a red and white shirt for striker Jon Stead, who made two for his team-mates and hit the post as a series of other opportunities, including one from two or three yards out, went begging.

    Having seen derby rivals Newcastle struggle to overcome League Two Mansfield and Middlesbrough return from non-league Nuneaton Borough facing a replay yesterday, the Black Cats were prepared not to have things all their own way.

    But if counterparts Graeme Souness and Steve McClaren had endured uncomfortable afternoons 24 hours earlier, McCarthy was for once able to enjoy a relatively untroubled 90 minutes as his side overwhelmed their opponents.

    The gulf in class was apparent as they repeatedly tore Northwich open with midfielder quartet Julio Arca, Dean Whitehead, Liam Lawrence and Tommy Miller simply having too much for their opposite numbers and Stead bamboozling the men at the back.

    Stead is yet to score for his new club, but he should have netted in the 33rd minute when he fired against an upright after goalkeeper Kris Rogers had beaten away Arca's initial shot.

    However, the Wearsiders were already in the lead by that point after Collins drilled home off the underside of the crossbar with just six minutes gone to mark his first appearance of the season for the club after returning from a loan spell at Hartlepool with his first goal in English football.

    Whitehead doubled his side's advantage four minutes before the break when he sidefooted home from close-range after the selfless Stead had provided him with the simplest of opportunities, and although Kelvin Davis had earlier saved well from Danny Mayman's audacious flick and Jonny Allan called the keeper into action again two minutes before half-time, the traffic was largely one-way.

    Former Newcastle midfielder Stuart Elliott, who still works for the Magpies as a part-time Academy coach, drilled a blistering drive just wide on 48 minutes, but Sunderland passed up two glorious chances either side of it.

    First Lawrence and Whitehead tried to walk the ball into the net when an early shot would have denied Elliott the chance to intervene, and then Lawrence fired over the top after he and Le Tallec had left the visitors' defence standing with a well-executed one-two.

    Stead's luck continued to desert him as he planted a firm header wide and then fired over in the 67th minute, but he proved his worth again three minutes later when he set up the goal which ended Northwich's resistance.

    His cross eventually reached Lawrence at the far post, and when the midfielder's shot was saved by Rogers, Le Tallec converted the rebound to make sure of the win.

    Lawrence fired against the bar and then forced another good save from Rogers as the visitors wilted, and his pace and direct approach were proving too much for the Conference North side to handle as he drifted across the frontline.

    It was Lawrence who provided the ammunition for Stead nine minutes from time, but the striker was inches away from getting a touch in front of goal.

    Substitute Daryl Murphy might have done better after getting to Stead's 86th-minute cross, before the latter failed to force Lawrence's pass over the line seconds later.

    But it was Davis who had to make the game's final save from Elliott's dipping long-range effort.

  • McCarthy's relief
  • Sunderland boss Mick McCarthy was a happy man after seeing his side end their

    14-game wait for a victory by dumping Conference North side Northwich out of the

    FA Cup.

    Asked if it was the manner of the victory as much as the fact of it that

    pleased him, McCarthy replied: 'It's the victory.

    'It was all we could do, win the game. We weren't ever going to take any

    credit out of it because we had to win and we were expected to win, which we

    have done.

    'Yes, the manner of it was pleasing, but there's never been any question

    about the attitude of the players. I was never worried about that at all.

    'It was a good cup tie. I don't think it ever looked like there was ever any

    danger of being an upset, but having said that, Kelvin Davis made three very

    good saves to my recollection.

    'Mind you, their keeper made one or two saves as well and we had missed


    Northwich boss Steve Burr was proud of the way his side bounced back from the

    early reverse to make a game of it and give the 4,000 travelling supporters

    something to shout about.

    'I couldn't have asked for anymore, really,' he said. 'We said before the

    game, 'Come here and have a go', and we did that.

    'We got off to the worst possible start, conceding a goal inside six minutes,

    and obviously, that was disappointing from our point of view.

    'But in saying that, we could quite easily have caved in and we kept having a

    go. We had a little spell just before half-time and then Sunderland hit us with

    a break and a quality goal to go 2-0 up.

    'I was just hoping we could get in at half-time at 1-0, but it wasn't to be.

    In the second half, again we started quite well and had a little spell and I

    thought Carlos Roca was going to tap one in for us, and Sunderland went up and

    scored the third, which killed it off.

    'I was pleased with the lads and the way they kept going. But it would have

    been nice to have got a goal today for our fans.'

    Scoring Summary

    • Sunderland
    • Northwich Victoria

    Match Stats

    • Sunderland
    • Northwich Victoria
    23(11) Shots (on goal) 9(6)
    16 Fouls 9
    9 Corner kicks 7
    5 Offsides 7
    65% Time of Possession 35%
    1 Yellow Cards 1
    0 Red Cards 0
    8 Saves 10


    • Sunderland
    • Northwich Victoria
    Yellow Cards
    Tommy Miller (79')
    Paul Brayson (54')