Jones determined not to fall behind in goal stakes

But angry Bruce puts a stop to Trinidadian pinching his team-mate's penalties
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The Independent Football

Kenwyne Jones was unrepentant after incurring the wrath of the Sunderland manager Steve Bruce. Bruce was less than happy after learning that Darren Bent had handed the ball over at the Trinidad & Tobago international's request when they were awarded a second penalty in Sunday's 5-2 Premier League victory over Wolverhampton.

Jones avoided an ear-bashing by smashing his 48th-minute spot-kick past Wolves' goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, just as Bent had done before the break.

However, while Bruce later insisted that would not happen again, Jones promised the £10m former Spurs striker that he will not have it all his own way in the goal stakes this season. He said: "We always say that the one who wins it, takes it. Darren won the penalty and got hold of the ball, but I got to the spot first and didn't want to move. I don't want to fall too far behind him in goals and thankfully, he handed me the ball. We both want to score as many goals as possible.

"I didn't really feel any more pressure because he gave me the ball. He has a 100 per cent record from the spot this season, but I was confident I would score."

Bent took his tally to six for the season with his ninth-minute penalty, and will try to claim a seventh, although it was the Wolves defender Michael Mancienne's decisive touch which sent his injury-time shot beyond the wrong-footed Hennessey to complete the scoring on an eventful day at the Stadium of Light. The 25-year-old's efforts did little harm to his hopes of attracting the attention of England manager Fabio Capello, while Jones, 25 next week, reminded a crowd of 37,566 of his potency.

However, on a chaotic afternoon when the balance of power repeatedly changed hands, the visitors left Wearside wondering just how they had lost so heavily. A 2-0 lead three minutes into the second half slightly flattered Sunderland and, within seven minutes, Wolves were level. John Mensah's own-goal was unfortunate, the ball rebounding off his chest after goalkeeper Craig Gordon had palmed Christophe Berra's cross straight at him.

However, Kevin Doyle's 55th-minute equaliser was a comedy of errors as Gordon was forced to handle Kieran Richardson's dreadful back-pass to concede a free-kick six yards out.

Karl Henry's close-range blast from Andy Keogh's tap was blocked, but Doyle pounced on the rebound to wipe out the home side's advantage. At that point, Wanderers looked the more likely winners, that is until Jones decided to take matters into his own hands.

With 20 minutes remaining, he picked up possession 25 yards out and, having shifted the ball on to his right foot, unleashed a low drive which flew just inside Hennessey's right post.

Any hopes of a second fightback were dashed within three minutes when the unmarked Michael Turner headed Andy Reid's corner home, and Mancienne's unwitting intervention as Bent threatened was harsh on Mick McCarthy's men.

Sunderland have collected 12 points from their first seven games, but face tougher tests ahead with a trip to leaders Manchester United next weekend and Liverpool's visit to the north east after the international break.

However, Jones for one is confident that progress is being made on both the personal and team fronts. He said: "I feel like I'm scoring different goals this season, and long may that continue. People maybe expect me to head it all the time, but I want to be better than that and bring more to the team."

Disappointed as he was by the result, McCarthy was able to take positives from his side's performance.

He said: "There will be no problem with the team spirit. I have never had issues with that at all. When I was here [at Sunderland] and we were bottom of the league, there was never an issue with team spirit or desire. I don't worry about that."

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