Lads claim cup replay.Sunderland managed to fight back from 2-0 down to keep their cup dream alive by getting a replay against Championship outfit Bolton.
The 5,000 Sunderland fans witnessed a bad mistake by the normally reliable Carlos Cuellar on 12 minutes. The Spaniard tried to pass across his goal to Titus Bramble but the ball fell straight to South Korean Chung Young Lee. The midfielder then tapped the ball in from the edge of the box. The stranded Mignolet could do nothing.
A nervous Sunderland tried to get back in the game. Colback, who had just replaced the injured Danny Rose, played the ball to David Vaughan. The Welshman then released a powerful effort that made the Bolton stand in ‘keeper produce a finger tip save.
On 30 minutes, Adam Johnson’s 30 yard free kick again tested Lonergan as he pushed it round the post for a corner. The Lads’ final corner count was 16 to the home side’s 3!
As the Red & White army, who were 2,000 short of having more fans than Bolton, began to get back into voice, the Trotters doubled their lead early in the second half. An early corner seemed to have been cleared when Mignolet punched the ball out but it was headed back in and from a short range, Marvin Sordell saw his header loop over Colback and into the net. With only two real chances, Bolton were 2-0 up.
Carlos Cuellar was then subbed with a hamstring injury so 19 year old Connor Wickham came on to replace him. He made an immediate impact on 61 minutes. The ex-Ispwich player was stationed at the back post for a corner and when the ball eventually fell to him, his left foot half volley beat the ‘keeper and went into the net to give Sunderland some hope.
The lads could have got back in the game when another powerful long range effort, this time from Gardner, which was saved by the Bolton ‘keeper on 75 minutes, though, Sunderland did find their equaliser. With most of the 22 players on the pitch in the Bolton box, the ball came out to Craig Gardner. 25 yards out, most people knew what was coming next as his shot flew into the top corner in front of the ecstatic visiting supporters.
They would have been even more ecstatic if Lee hadn’t been on the goal line to clear Johnson’s corner in the dying minutes at the end of the game.
Sunderland will now play West Ham at home next Saturday. Bolton will visit the Stadium of Light the Tuesday after to battle it out for a place in the 4th round.
Andy Lonergan, Joe Riley (Tyrone Mears), Zat Knight, Sam Ricketts, Marcos Alonso, Darren Pratley, Keith Andrews ©, Lee, Marvin Sordell (Kevin Davies), Martin Petrov and David N’Gog (Chris Eagles)
Simon Mignolet, Phil Bardsley ©, Titus Bramble, Carlos Cuellar (Connor Wickham), Danny Rose (Jack Colback), Seb Larsson, David Vaughan, James McClean, Adam Johnson, Craig Gardner and Steven Fletcher.