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LONDON: Sunderland went out of the FA Cup to second-tier Bolton Wanderers after losing their third-round replay 2-0 on Tuesday night, while Fulham celebrated the narrowest of narrow escapes against Blackpool.
Sunderland have enjoyed an upsurge in Premier League fortunes in recent weeks, moving six points clear of the relegation zone, but they joined north-east rivals Newcastle United in falling at the first hurdle in the cup.
England Under-21 striker Marvin Sordell was the match-winner at the Reebok Stadium, striking twice in the space of nine second-half minutes to earn Bolton a home game with Everton in the fourth round.
His first goal arrived from the penalty spot in the 64th minute after a foul on Darren Pratley by Jack Colback, before he dispatched a Tyrone Mears cut-back in the 73rd minute to complete the scoring. “This is a big club and we shouldn’t be spending 40 years without winning something, we really shouldn’t,” said Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill.
“I know some people field weakened sides but we didn’t. We tried to win tonight and we weren’t able to do it, and that was very disappointing.”
On the prospect of a meeting with Everton, Bolton coach Dougie Freedman said: “We’re looking forward to it.
“We feel right now that we can perform against anyone, and if we defend like we did tonight and keep our discipline, we have definitely got every chance.”
Fulham were on the verge of elimination to Bolton’s Championship rivals Blackpool after on-loan Aston Villa forward Nathan Delfouneso put the hosts 1-0 up in the 82nd minute at Bloomfield Road.
However, a stunning 25-yard strike by Kieran Richardson in the last minute took the game to extra time and Fulham skipper Brede Hangeland scored the winner with four minutes left to secure a 2-1 win. Jon Walters went some way towards atoning for his horror show in Stoke City’s 4-0 loss to Chelsea at the weekend by scoring twice as Tony Pulis’ side saw off Championship club Crystal Palace 4-1 after extra time. Walters scored two own goals and missed a penalty in Saturday’s game but he netted twice in extra time. afp