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Last Updated: Saturday December 20 2008 19:03 GMT

Allardyce off to winning start

Benni McCarthy (Photo by: ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images))

Sam Allardyce has got off to a good start as Blackburn Rovers manager, with the team beating Stoke City 3-0 in their first game with him in charge.

Benni McCarthy scored a penalty after nine minutes, with Jason Roberts doubling the lead after 18.

McCarthy made it three with his second goal of the match, just before the half-hour mark.

Meanwhile, Sunderland have jumped out of the Premier League relegation zone, after beating Hull 4-1.

Steed Malbranque put Sunderland ahead early on, but Nicky Barmby equalised for Hull in the 19th minute.

Steed Malbranque (R) celebrates after scoring (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Blackburn 3-0 Stoke
Bolton 2-1 Portsmouth
Fulham 3-0 Middlesbrough
Hull 1-4 Sunderland
West Ham 0-1 Aston Villa

But Sunderland secured their victory with three goals in the last 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, Bolton went up to ninth in the Premier League table after beating Portsmouth 2-1.

Bolton went two goals ahead in the first three minutes thanks to goals from Matthew Taylor and Ricardo Gardner.

Peter Crouch scored Portsmouth's only goal of the game.