Stewart takes revenge on Palace

Sunderland 2 - Crystal Palace 1

The gale that damaged the roof of the Stadium of Light and caused the closure of the north-east stand yesterday was probably the most forceful blast in Sunderland since Mick McCarthy's raging reaction to the Black Cats' pussy-footing play-off semi-final penalty shoot-out loss to Crystal Palace last season.

There was not a great deal of power behind the left-foot shot that Marcus Stewart dispatched from the penalty spot on Palace's return to Wearside in the FA Cup yesterday, but it had sufficient direction to beat Gabor Kiraly, and leave Sunderland's manager in a mood of mellow satisfaction.

Stewart's 60th-minute delivery, into the north stand goal where Michael Hughes won the play-off shoot-out for Palace, earned McCarthy's men a measure of revenge for their defeat at the penultimate promotion hurdle last May.

It settled a feisty contest in which Sunderland were once again in danger of shooting themselves in the foot. The Black Cats were obliged to claw their way back on to level terms after Neill Collins had gifted Palace the lead with an own goal. They did so courtesy of an in-swinging free-kick by the highly impressive Andy Welsh, on this evidence a £15,000 steal from Stockport.

Still, it was a deserved success for Sunderland, who showed greater hunger - a fact not lost on Iain Dowie. "We did not play in the manner of a side who thought this was an important competition," the Palace manager said, distinctly unhappy on the occasion of his 40th birthday. "We didn't perform enough for our pride and for the supporters who were here and who were stuck on the A1. I'm not going to accept a performance like that."

Palace were off the pace from the start, and fortunate not to be a goal or two behind in the opening quarter of an hour. Welsh, making his full debut after a substitute appearance at Preston last week, ought to have opened the scoring in the fifth minute but snatched hastily with a left-foot volley, hitting the cross-bar from five yards. Stephen Elliott and Stewart also spurned openings for Sunderland and it took 33 minutes for the much-vaunted Andy Johnson to make any impression for Palace. His over-the-top tackle on Collins deserved a booking, and invited the retaliatory challenge that earned the Sunderland defender a yellow card a minute later.

Johnson was celebrating in the 41st minute when Wayne Routledge's low cross from the right was poked in at close range, though television replays showed clearly that it was Collins who had applied the scoring touch - a fact the defender himself later volunteered. As it was, though, the Palace celebrations did not last very long. Four minutes later, from a free-kick wide on the right, Welsh curled the ball directly into the Palace net.

It was little more than Sunderland deserved, and they were in front on the hour, Stewart burying his penalty after collapsing to the ground, apparently tripped by Fitz Hall. "The penalty was immaterial," Dowie said, when asked if he thought contact had been made. "Sunderland deserved to go through."

Indeed, they did. And they would have done so by a greater margin had Sean Thornton not twice clipped Kiraly's crossbar in the last five minutes. Still, Sunderland had reason enough to be happy with their victory. "Of course I'd swap it for a win in the play-offs," McCarthy reflected. "I'd rather be in the Premiership than in the fourth round of the FA Cup. But it still doesn't half taste nice."

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas