Sunderland 0-2 Bolton Wanderers

  • January 15, 2013 | By Chris Mann
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Marvin Sordell shrugged off his critics as Bolton secured their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 2-0 win at Sunderland.

Sordell has endured a troubled time since arriving at Bolton in a £3million move from Watford in January 2012, but responded in perfect fashion as he scored both of Wanderers' goals at the Stadium of Light and set up a home tie against Everton in the next round.

The England under-21 international opened the scoring with a 64th minute penalty, before sealing the Trotters' passage into the next round with a second, nine minutes later.

On top of Sordell's impressive performance, there were further positives for the visiting supporters - who saw Bolton collect their first away clean sheet since September 2011 and also the first-team return of Stuart Holden, whose last outing for the club came in that win at Villa Park 16 months ago.

Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman made six changes to the side that drew at home to Millwall on Saturday afternoon, with Andy Lonergan, Tyrone Mears, Josh Vela, Benik Afobe, Darren Pratley and Marvin Sordell all handed starting roles against Premier League opposition.

There was a distinct lack of attacking movement in the early exchanges, with a tame header from Zat Knight about as close as either side could manage inside the opening 15 minutes.

Sunderland's first chance arrived at the 20 minute mark and they couldn't have come much closer. Adam Johnson's short free-kick gave Craig Gardner a sight of the Bolton goal. The former Aston Villa midfielder was on target in the original tie at the Reebok, but, this time, his strike flew agonisingly over the top of Lonergan's crossbar.

Johnson was next to try his luck for the hosts, with his curling left-footed strike tipped over the top by the Wanderers goalkeeper.

Gardner looked set to open the scoring after 26 minutes, but, with the goal at his mercy, Pratley slid in with a superb challenge to nick the ball away and keep the game goalless.

Lonergan had been alert to deny the hosts on a number of occasions in the first half and he was required once more ten minutes before the break, as Gardner's low free-kick seemed destined for the bottom corner but for the interception of the Trotters goalkeeper.

At this stage, Wanderers needed an attack but the closest they came to the Sunderland goal was eight minutes before the break, as a free-kick from Chris Eagles flew well wide of the target.

Lonergan had single-handedly kept Bolton in the game during the opening 45 minutes and further saves from Johnson and then Connor Wickham ensured the two side went in goalless at the break.

Both teams emerged unchanged for the start of the second half and it looked like we were in for more of the same when Lonergan was at full stretch to deny Gardner, yet again, five minutes after the restart.

The game seemed to change on 55 minutes, however, as Sordell sprung the offside trap before bringing a top-drawer save out of Simon Mignolet in the Sunderland goal. The Wanderers forward should have done better with his strike, although he appeared to have been standing in an offside position.

Eagles struck a shot over the bar on the hour mark, before Wanderers were given a golden opportunity to break the deadlock on 64 minutes.

Jack Colback was guilty of bringing down Pratley inside the Sunderland box and Sordell calmly stepped up to slam the resulting penalty down the middle of the goal, giving the visitors the lead.

Changes from both sides resulted in a spell of ten minutes without incident, but the game soon came back to life as Sordell scored his and Bolton's second with little over 15 minutes left to play.

A great ball from Eagles set Mears free down the right flank. The former Burnley right-back pulled the ball back to Sordell, who turned and shot low past Mignolet to extend Wanderers' advantage.

The biggest cheer of the night arrived just moments later, as Holden emerged from the bench to replace Vela. The United States international was making only his second appearance since March 2011 and his first in 16 months.

The Trotters came close to adding a third with eight minutes to go, but Phil Bardsley's timely interception denied Lee Chung-Yong a tap-in, in what was to be the last attack of the game.

Victory for Bolton will see them play host to Everton in the next round of the competition. Freedman's side return to league action on Saturday, when they make the trip to his former club, Crystal Palace.

Sunderland: Mignolet, Bardsley, Kilgallon, Bramble, Colback (Cattermole 76), Johnson (Larsson 71), Vaughan, Gardner, McClean, Sessegnon, Wickham (Campebll 71)
Subs Not Used: Westwood, McFadden, Saha

Bolton Wanderers: Lonergan, Mears, Knight, Ricketts, Alonso, Vela (Holden 74), Spearing, Afobe (Chung-Yong 70), Pratley, Eagles, Sordell (K Davies 85)
Subs Not Used: Bogdan, Ream, Ngog, Odelusi
Goals: Sordell 64(pen),73

Referee: Kevin Friend
Attendance: 17,505

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
View Full Standings >>


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