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Sunderland 3 Barrow 0: match report
Published : 02 Jan 2010 17:05:25
Fraizer Campbell today ensured that Sunderland did not gain the dubious distinction of becoming the first Premier League club to be beaten by non-league opposition in the FA Cup with two second-half goals. The former Manchester United striker's intervention put the tie beyond Barrow whose first-half endeavours had left Steve Bruce's team looking vulnerable despite taking an early lead through Steed Malbranque whose goal was set up by Campbell. The two sides may have been separated by 98 places in English football's hierarchy but that counted for nothing in the early exchanges that the team from the Blue Square Premier just edged. Thanks to left-winger Marc Goodfellow, on loan from Burton Albion, Barrow had the trickiest player on show and after he had a shot blocked by Jordan Henderson he forced Marton Fulop into a decent save after cutting inside George McCartney. A chance came and went for Sunderland defender Phil Bardsley before Barrow's central midfielder Andy Bond then tried his luck from distance with a 35-yard free kick that was struck so well Fulop looked relieved to see push his stinging effort to safety. The 7,100 travelling supporters' hopes of an upset would have been high at this stage but their defence looked far more fragile than Sunderland's back four which was really saying something. After a series of near-misses, Sunderland were swept into the lead when Fraizer Campbell pulled the ball back to the unmarked Malbranque who beat Tim Deasy from ten yards with a sweetly struck first time shot. That was a little unfortunate for Barrow because it was Malbranque's first goal this season and only his second in Sunderland colours. Barrow were by no means done and Bond again forced Fulop into a nervous save as dreams of a cup shock were rekindled. It was little wonder Sunderland were subjected to a few renditions of ''Premier League' you're having a laugh' because Steve Bruce's team were regularly outmanoeuvred down the flanks by Paul Rutherford and Goodfellow. Despite the impressive efforts of David Meyler, Barrow spent so much time on the front foot that Sunderland and England striker Darren had just one half chance throughout the first half, a tame shot that Deasy saved comfortably. That Sunderland were rattled by humble opponents was illustrated by McCartney's two-footed lunge on Bond that would have easily seen a red card brandished rather than yellow by Neil Swarbrick. Sunderland raised their game but found Deasy to be a formidable opponent as he foiled Meyler and Malbranque before Campbell wasted an excellent one-on-one opening. The hosts suddenly went through the gears after the break and doubled their lead in the 52nd minute when a in-swinging free kick from the impressive Daryl Murphy was nodded in by Campbell six yard from goal. The Huddersfield-born forward made the most of a rare starting slot when he doubled his tally for the day in similar circumstances in the 59th minute when he nodded in Malbranque's curling cross for his third goal since leaving Old Trafford last summer. Bruce's half-time pep talk must have been decent because Barrow's goal was under siege as the visitors ran out of steam but Deasy twice denied Bent with excellent saves as well as expertly thwarting Campbell.