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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 September, 2003, 16:25 GMT 17:25 UK
Sunderland 2-1 C Palace
Marcus Stewart secured a dramatic victory for Sunderland just as it looked as though Crystal Palace had rescued a point at the Stadium of Light.

The Black Cats striker scored from the penalty spot in stoppage time after Andrew Johnson had equalised late on for Palace.

Sunderland gave away possession with just 30 seconds remaining and Johnson raced clear to slot the ball beyond keeper Mart Poom to level the scores.

But Hayden Mullins handled the ball in the area and Stewart rifled the ball into the top corner in the sixth minute of injury time to carry on Sunderland's revival.

Striker Kevin Kyle put Sunderland on the way to their fourth successive victory with his first league goal for Sunderland at the start of the second half.

Kyle, who scored the dramatic winner against Mansfield in the Carling Cup last month, made amends for a couple of misses with the opener just 52 seconds after the restart.

Republic of Ireland international Gary Breen created the goal with a neat pass and Kyle applied the finishing touch.

But victory for Sunderland boss Mick McCarthy came at a price as he lost skipper Jason McAteer and Darren Williams to injury in the opening 45 minutes.

Williams made a lively start and created the first opening of a poor first half in the sixth minute, but his cross was headed wide by Kyle.

But Palace, unbeaten on their travels in league and cup this season, could have taken the lead six minutes later through a Neil Shipperley header but he was off target.

The home side finished the half strongly as Breen headed Sean Thornton's corner over the crossbar, while Thomas Butler drilled a shot wide.

Palace were lucky not to concede a second goal after Kyle struck the opener as Thornton forced Berthelin into producing a superb save.

Palace sub Ben Watson went close to sneaking a point for Palace eight minutes from time but Poom was able to save.

Kember thought his side had sneaked a point in the dying seconds, but Stewart ended the Eagles' unbeaten run in dramatic fashion.


Sunderland: Poom, Arca, McCartney, Breen, Williams, Butler, Thirlwell, Thornton, McAteer, Stewart, Kyle. Subs: Clark, Oster, Ingham, Proctor, Healy.

Crystal Palace: Berthelin, Smith, Derry, Mullins, Fleming, Butterfield, Hughes, Routledge, Symons, Shipperley, Johnson. Subs: Cronin, Watson, Riihilahti, Williams, Borrowdale.

Referee: G Salisbury (Lancashire).





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