Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

A Slice of Luck ... but Cats Make Fulham Pay Price; Fulham ......................................1 Sunderland ...............................3

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

A Slice of Luck ... but Cats Make Fulham Pay Price; Fulham ......................................1 Sunderland ...............................3

Article excerpt

Byline: James Hunter at Craven Cottage james.hunter@ncjmedia.co.uk

SUNDERLAND are through to the last 16 of the FA Cup after winning their fourth-round replay against Fulham at Craven Cottage.

The Black Cats trailed to Hugo Rodallega's first-half strike, but an own-goal from Fulham keeper Marcus Bettinelli, Ricky Alvarez's first goal for the club and a late penalty from Jordi Gomez turned the game round and sent Sunderland through.

Gus Poyet's men will now face League One Bradford City at Valley Parade in the fifth round a week on Sunday.

Despite the comfortable scoreline in West London, Sunderland had to do things the hard way.

And their problems started even before kick-off when they were dealt a late blow as Connor Wickham withdrew through injury just five minutes before the game was due to begin, with Steven Fletcher stepping up from the bench to start.

Sunderland made a positive start and put Fulham under pressure right from the off, winning a succession of early corners but without making them count.

Gomez tested Bettinelli with a low shot which the keeper did well to keep out at the foot of his right-hand post.

On the quarter-hour mark Fletcher had the ball in the back of the net, but his effort was ruled out for offside.

Sunderland threatened to overrun Fulham at that point, but the Londoners stunned the 4,000-strong travelling support when they took the lead against the run of play from virtually their first attack on 28 minutes. Ross McCormack's left-wing flag-kick found Cauley Woodrow inside the area and his shot came back off the bar, with Rodallega forcing the loose ball home from close range.

Fulham missed a great chance to double their lead early in the second half when another left-wing McCormack cross caught out the Sunderland defence but this time Kacaniklic put a free header wide of the target.

And they paid the penalty three minutes later as the Black Cats levelled the game - albeit thanks to a terrible error from Fulham keeper Bettinelli.

Van Aanholt's cross from the left was deflected up into the air and it should have been a routine catch for the Italian but he somehow fumbled and, despite Fulham's desperate attempts to clear, the referee's assistant immediately flagged to indicate the ball was over the line. …

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