Tuesday 22 August 2017

Bruce hails Campbell after brace

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce hailed striker Fraizer Campbell after his two second-half goals along with one in the first half from Steve Malbranque helped the Black Cats through a tricky FA Cup third-round clash with Barrow, 3-0.

Bruce admitted his side suffered a few hairy moments before Campbell's headed double early in the second period ensured there was no chance of an upset.

"I'm delighted for Fraizer because he's had to wait patiently and he's a young player. The young players have done particularly well today," Bruce said. "The second goal was the important thing because Barrow played their part. They made a proper cup tie out of it."

Meanwhile, Bobby Zamora fired Fulham into the next round in a 1-0 win over Swindon at Craven Cottage. Fulham started well and took only two minutes to create the first chance, for Zamora. He paused and dummied a challenge but could only shoot wide of David Lucas' goal from 10 yards when he should have hit the target.

Zamora soon made amends for the miss, however, when he gave Fulham the lead after 15 minutes. The striker latched onto Stephen Kelly's long ball before calmly lifting the ball over Lucas.

Fulham broke once more shortly after and earned a penalty when Johnson was brought down in the box by the advancing Lucas, who was lucky to receive only a booking for the foul.

Johnson picked himself up but his tame penalty was easily saved by the former Sheffield Wednesday stopper to his right and Swindon were let off the hook, but Fulham still held on to claim victory.

Nottingham Forest and Birmingham kept their unbeaten records after England's two in-form sides could not be separated in a 0-0 draw at the City Ground yesterday.

Forest, on a 16-game run without defeat in the Championship, created the better chances and would have beaten Premier League opposition at this stage for the second successive season had Robert Earnshaw not put a 62nd-minute penalty over the crossbar.

Birmingham arrived at the City Ground on the back of a club record 11-game unbeaten streak in the top flight and their best chance fell to Kevin Phillips, who was denied by Lee Camp when one-on-one with the Forest 'keeper midway through the second half.

Elsewhere, Coventry held Portsmouth to a 1-1 draw at Fratton Park to set up a richly deserved third-round replay.

The Sky Blues went ahead against the run of play after half an hour when David Bell battled hard for possession on the Pompey 18-yard line, before squaring for Aron Gunnarsson, who unleashed a precision right-foot shot low into Asmir Begovic's bottom corner.

It was Richard Hughes' brilliance which got Pompey back into the game in first-half stoppage-time, when he crossed from the left of the box for Kevin-Prince Boateng to nod home with ease.

Bolton caretaker manager, Chris Evans, saluted his players after they secured a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup. The 4-0 victory against League Two Lincoln was achieved only three days after Gary Megson's sacking.

An own goal from Moses Swaibu set Bolton on their way, with Chung-Yong Lee, Gary Cahill and substitute Mark Davies also on target.

"Given the circumstances of the last few days, it was very important the players were focused," Evans said, who is working alongside coaches Steve Wigley and Alan Cork.

"It is very difficult when the attention of the football world and the media are on you. But we did a professional job and are pleased to be in the hat."

Meanwhile, Burnley can concentrate on the battle to keep manager Owen Coyle after the Clarets booked their place in the fourth round with a 2-1 win at League One side MK Dons. Coyle has been heavily linked with a return to former club Bolton to replace Gary Megson but saw his current side turn in a solid display to dispatch the Dons.

First-half goals from captain Graham Alexander and Steven Fletcher put the Premier League side before Dean Morgan struck late on for the Dons.

Elsewhere, Plymouth earned themselves a replay at St James' Park after holding a Newcastle United to a goalless draw in their third-round clash at Home Park.

Sunday Independent

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