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Sunderland 1 Rovers 2


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Sunderland: Gordon, McShane, Nosworthy, Higginbotham, Collins, Leadbitter, Yorke (Murphy 66), Miller, Wallace (Connolly 65), Chopra (O'Donovan 66), Jones.

Subs Not Used: Ward, Harte.

Booked: Collins.

Goals: Leadbitter 90.

Rovers: Friedel, Emerton, Samba, Ooijer, Warnock, Bentley, Tugay (Savage 75), Mokoena, Dunn (Rigters 86), Derbyshire (Pedersen 66), Santa Cruz.

Subs Not Used: Brown, Khizanishvili.

Goals: Bentley 53, Santa Cruz 55.

Att: 41,252.

Ref: Peter Walton

League Position 6th


After a goal less first half Rovers took the lead, within ten minutes of the restart when Santa Cruz made a thirty yard run into the Sunderland penalty area, only to see his shot blocked by Danny Higginbotham, however David Bentley pounced on the rebound to volley the ball home.

Within 2 minutes Rovers went further ahead when the provider of the first goal, Santa Cruz volleyed home Bret Emertons cross goal header.

Match comment from Revidge Blue

Great result today despite a poor first half from both sides. During that period our five man midfield meant we looked solid enough but the excellent Santa Cruz was left isolated with the result that we posed no threat up front.

Just like on Wednesday night we appeared to crank it up several gears after the break, getting more support up to Santa. Two quick goals killed it off ten minutes into the second period and the only minor quibble was that we rather casually tossed away two or three golden opportunities to put the match completely beyond doubt. On another day that might have cost us, particularly as we let one in right on the final whistle leading to an unnecessarily tense four minutes of injury time.

Overall though we never looked in any real danger of not winning once we got the two goals ahead. Maybe not a result to go completely overboard about as Sunderland did look very poor - or was that because we did such a good job on them?

Man of the match by some distance was Santa Cruz imo. Samba (again) and Ooijer (who I'm not a fan of) were excellent and Emerton did brilliantly leading up to the decisive second goal. Everyone else was solid and workmanlike rather than dazzling apart from Derbyshire who had an off day.

Very satisfactory all in all. One or two egos left on the bench or even out of the squad recently and two wins out of two

Mark Hughes post match comment

"I wanted my team to dictate the tempo and I felt we did that with the quality of our passing.

"We had good angles to our passing to get good players into good areas in between the lines, and we caused Sunderland a problem.

"They struggled with our movement and it was difficult for them to get a foothold in the game and gain some momentum.

"In the second half, we got two quick goals and from that point, we were very comfortable and never looked like losing the game."

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