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Campbell double ends Blue Birds cup dreams

January 4, 2010

FA Cup 3rd round     

Sunderland 3-0 Barrow   

Malbranque (17)   

Campbell (52), (58)   

Att 25,190    

Stewart McCullough reports from the Stadium of Light    

Greg Blundell of Barrow AFC challenges Sunderland rising star David Meyler

Sunderland booked their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup sponsored by E.ON with a 3-0 victory over non-league Barrow at the Stadium of Light. The Black Cats ended the Blue Square Premier clubs’ dreams of reaching the fourth round to set up an away tie at either Portsmouth or Coventry City.    

Despite the comfortable margin of the score-line, Steve Bruce’s men were made to work hard for their win in front of a bumper away following. 8,000 Barrow fan’s made the treacherous journey across the Pennines to cheer on the Blue Birds in the clubs biggest game since the 1990 FA Trophy Final at Wembley. 72 coaches from the Cumbrian town crammed the Sunderland car park and fans mingled with one another ahead of kick-off.    

Barrow started the game brightly against one of their more illustrious opponents this season. Andrew Bond who battled tenaciously on the greasy surface along-side central midfield partner, Hulbert  forced a brace of saves from goalkeeper, Fulop. His most notable save was a 25-yard free kick which was tipped around the post by the Hungarian international. Shortly after, left winger, Paul Rutherford gave the home fans the jitters as his rasping drive missed the target.    

While Barrow were urged to attack the goal where their army of fans were sat, Sunderland were threatening to release the pacey Darren Bent on the counter. Mike Pearson had the arduous task of keeping the England striker at bay. And after a quarter of an hour, premier league class was on show as Darren Bent’s neat flick in the Barrow penalty area was steered home by Steed Malbranque to the relief of the home fans.    

The goal failed to deter the visiting fans from enjoying their day out as they raised their voices once more and even started some good-natured taunts with the Mackem fans. Barrow joint managers, Darren Sheridan and Dave Bayliss would have been forgiven for urging referee, Neil Swarbrick to blow for half-time as Sunderland looked menacing in attack. And the duo had goalkeeper and man-of-the-match, Tim Deasy to thank for keeping it 1-0 at the break as he made a splendid save to deny Frazier Campbell’s curling effort.    

Tim Deasy put in a man-of-the-match display

But the £3.5m signing from Manchester United last summer, would not be denied his goal. As Barrow disputed a dubious decision to award the hosts a free-kick, Campbell headed home a floated Daryl Murphy cross. The goal seemed to have killed the game and six minutes later Campbell rose above defender Phil Bolland to meet Bardsley’s cross to head past a despairing Tim Deasy.    

With half an hour to go, the worries from the Barrow following were that the flood gates were about to open but Tim Deasy had other ideas as he ensured the score-line did not reach embarrasment for the Cumbrians. Deasy made two outstanding saves in the latter stages, one of which was an instinctive reflex to tip Bent’s close range shot on to the bar.    

Barrow saw out the remainder of the game to send the Barrow fans home proud of their town’s cup exploits. To the amusement of the home crowd, news broke that the road across the Pennines was closed. But that would not stop the thousands of travelling Barrovians from enjoying their big day.    

Thousands of Barrow fans left Weir Side to continue the party

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