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Last Updated: Friday, 26 December, 2003, 17:17 GMT
Sunderland 3-0 Bradford
Sunderland continued their impressive home record as goals from Jason McAteer, Tommy Smith and Kevin Kyle added to Bradford's relegation worries.

The Black Cats have lost just once at the Stadium of Light this season and registered back-to-back home wins for the first time since September with a deserved victory.

McAteer fired Mick McCarthy's men ahead just before the break before Tommy Smith capped a superb performance with his first goal for the club midway through the second half.

Kyle completed the scoring after 82 minutes to condemn Bryan Robson's Bradford to their fifth straight defeat.

Bradford were under pressure from the start and goalkeeper Mark Paston needed to be alert after just 50 seconds to keep out Smith's close-range header from McAteer's cross.

Sunderland midfielder John Oster then drilled a right-foot shot wide before Bradford created their first opening but Andy Gray's effort was blocked by George McCartney.

The home side were dominating and could have broken the deadlock when Smith's cross found Marcus Stewart but he fired wide.

Paston was eventually beaten in the 26th minute but the keeper was relieved to see Smith's well-struck shot from the edge of the area hit the woodwork and stay out.

The Black Cats went close to an opener five minutes before the break when McAteer's shot flew just wide.

But the Republic of Ireland international found his range four minutes later when he produced a brilliant finish from 25 yards.

Sunderland continued to dominate after the break, with Oster curling a right-foot shot wide and McCartney blasting over.

Sunderland keeper Mart Poom had been a spectator for much of the match but did well to parry Michael Branch's shot as Bradford created a rare opening before the hosts had Wright booked for his challenge on Gray.

But any hopes of a Bradford comeback were dashed after 67 minutes when the ever-dangerous Smith firing home.

Kyle added to the Bantams' misery late on when he headed home Oster's corner from the left and he could have had a second but his header struck the woodwork late on.


Sunderland: Poom, McCartney, Bjorklund, Babb, Wright, Oster, Whitley, Thirlwell, McAteer, Stewart, Tommy Smith.
Subs: Kyle, Ingham, Proctor, Williams, Butler.

Bradford: Paston, Heckingbottom, Atherton, Gavin, Francis, Gray, Farrelly, Kearney, Muirhead, Windass, Branch.
Subs: Combe, Forrest, Bower, Jacobs, Standing.

Referee: L Mason (Lancashire).





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