Campbell puts injury woes aside to keep Sunderland in Cup

Sunderland 1 Middlesbrough 1

Fraizer Campbell emerged from his latest bout of injury misery to keep Sunderland's FA Cup dreams alive and deny Middlesbrough a famous victory.

The former Manchester United striker was introduced as a half-time substitute, in the process making his first senior appearance since August 2010 as a result of two serious knee injuries.

He needed just 18 minutes to make an impact, sliding the ball past Boro keeper Danny Coyne from James McClean's pinpoint pass to cancel out Barry Robson's first-half opener.

The Black Cats had earlier seen a Craig Gardner strike controversially ruled out, but their npower Championship neighbours were good value for a replay after a full-blooded fourth-round contest in front of a crowd of 33,275.

Sunderland were dealt a major blow ahead of kick-off when skipper Lee Cattermole, who made his name as a teenager at Boro, was ruled out by a hamstring injury, a misfortune which was to prove significant before the break.

Gardner took his place in the middle of the field, but without Cattermole's bite, the Teessiders were able to prosper as Rhys Williams, Marvin Emnes and Robson, aided when not in possession by Faris Haroun and Scott McDonald, made life intensely difficult for their counterparts.

The visitors started brightly and Black Cats keeper Simon Mignolet was relieved to grasp McDonald's third-minute volley to his chest after it has initially threatened to squirm from his grasp.

Sunderland gradually worked their way into the game and might have gone ahead seven minutes later, only for Sebastian Larsson to head wastefully wide after Stephane Sessegnon had tricked his way past Robson and crossed from the right.

Boro had a lucky escape three minutes later when defender Seb Hines headed a David Vaughan corner straight at team-mate Haroun and saw the ball loop just over Coyne's crossbar.

But it was they who took the lead in spectacular style with 16 minutes gone.

Emnes made life difficult for defender John O'Shea, captaining Sunderland in Cattermole's absence, and he could only loop a weak header towards Robson on the left side of the penalty area.

The former Celtic midfielder needed no second invitation and unleashed a stinging volley which flew past Mignolet's despairing dive and into the bottom corner.

The travelling fans behind Coyne's goal were in raptures, but as the half worse on, it was they who started to see far more of the ball than they would have liked.

Coyne got down well to block McClean's 23rd-minute shot and was in the right place at the right time to claim the winger's close-range header seconds later.

However, the game erupted into controversy with six minutes of the half remaining after the Black Cats thought they had dragged themselves back into it.

Gardner controlled Kieran Richardson's cross with a hint of handball and fired home off the inside of the far post with striker Connor Wickham watching the ball home at close hand.

But the celebrations were ended abruptly by a flag, and after consulting his assistant, referee Kevin Friend ruled out the effort, apparently for offside against Wickham, despite the fact that he had not intervened.

Sunderland's mood might have darkened further on the stroke of half-time when Lukas Jutkiewicz found himself in on goal, but Mignolet saved his initial effort and when Haroun fed the rebound back to him, he fired harmlessly across goal.

Campbell replaced Wickham at the break, although it was Boro who enjoyed the better openings during the early exchanges.

Emnes volleyed just wide with 50 minutes gone and Robson curled a free-kick a yard past the post with the visitors refusing to sit on their lead.

The home side's fortunes took a turn for the worse when defender Wes Brown limped off after landing awkwardly following an aerial challenge with Emnes.

However, the 10 men levelled in stunning style as Michael Turner prepared to replace him.

McClean ran on to Robson's poor back-pass before squaring for Campbell, who slipped his shot unerringly past Coyne to send a sigh of relief around the stadium.

O'Neill's men tore into their opponents as the momentum swang firmly their way, although Boro continued to make a real fight of it.

Play switched rapidly from end to end, but neither side was able to find the killer blow in a rousing finale during which Williams was perhaps fortunate to see yellow rather than red for a wild challenge on Vaughan.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'