Scott is spot on

NICHOLAS HARLING

Sunderland 1 Crystal Palace 0

The first real signs that Sunderland, too, can play their part in the revival being staged by Newcastle and Middlesbrough in the North-east came yesterday on a damp and miserable afternoon at Roker Park. With a victory over Crystal Palace that enabled them to complete a League double over the south London club, Sunderland moved up six places to join the First Division front runners.

Even if they did not always look convincing, especially when Palace staged a belated second-half comeback that on earlier evidence had looked beyond them, Sunderland possessed just enough resolution in defence to carry them through.

For a side searching for a three-goal win that would have sent them to the top, Sunderland must have dampened their early fire far too easily for the liking of their manager, Peter Reid.

It took them until the 39th minute to make their pressure count and then it was from the penalty spot, although to be fair to Sunderland, the referee, Mike Riley, could have pointed to the spot on three previous occasions. Not surprisingly, for a team which had squandered two penalties on their visit to Selhurst Park two months ago, Sunderland did not protest too vigorously for any of them.

Their first claim came in the 13th minute when Jamie Vincent upended David Kelly, who was tearing along the byline. As the ball ran loose, Gareth Davies appeared to take umbrage at Lee Howey's attempt to make capital of the incident and was lucky not to have his name taken for grabbing the Sunderland forward around the neck.

Following further dubious challenges by Ray Houghton on Martin Smith, and Dean Gordon on Howey, which merely led to Mr Riley waving play on, he, at last, satisfied the demands of the raucous Fulwell End. Smith's cross shot gained a deflection which would have left Kelly with a gaping goal to aim at had he not gone down in a tangle with Andy Roberts. It looked the least valid of Sunderland's appeals but a penalty it was and Martin Scott duly obliged, beating Nigel Martyn's dive.

Palace, fielding a flexible five-man rearguard, were creating very little. Gareth Taylor had a low drive saved by Alec Chamberlain, who was then rescued by Richard Ord's magnificent tackle after Dougie Freedman had latched on to one of many boots out of defence from Gordon. Palace could only improve and, after Freedman had failed with a header, they brought on Leon McKenzie and Jeroen Boere to add to their attacking options. Both substitutes came agonisingly close: McKenzie after bursting through and Boere with almost his side's final effort that just cleared the bar.

Sunderland (4-4-2): Chamberlain; Kubicki, Melville, Ord, Scott; M Gray, Ball, Agnew, Smith (Atkinson, 46); Howey (P Gray, 65), Kelly. Substitute not used: Holloway.

Crystal Palace (5-3-2): Martyn; Edworthy, Roberts, Davies, Gordon, Vincent (McKenzie, 69); Hopkin, Houghton, Pitcher; Freedman (Boere, 79), Taylor. Substitute not used: Sparrow.

Bookings: Sunderland: Agnew (46); Palace: Davies (36), Boere (89).

Man of the match: Ord.

Attendance: 12,777.

Referee: M Riley (Leeds).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Exciting career prospect for ...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Media Sales - OTE up to £30,000

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award-winning company, whi...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Software Developer

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique & exciting opp...

Recruitment Genius: UX Consultant

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working with a 8 st...

Day In a Page

A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935