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Saturday, 11 May, 2002, 15:58 GMT 16:58 UK
Sunderland ensure survival
Derby keeper Mart Poom denies Sunderland's Patrick Mboma
Derby keeper Mart Poom (right) denies Patrick Mboma
Sunderland 1-1 Derby

Sunderland ensured Premiership survival with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Derby.

Peter Reid's men only needed to avoid defeat to stay up and condemn Ipswich to the First Division.

And they should have had the game wrapped up by half-time after dominating the opening 45 minutes - but they only had Kevin Phillips' goal to show for their efforts.

But poor finishing and some bad luck - Sunderland hit the woodwork twice - gave resilient Derby the chance to equalise with a snapshot from Marvin Robinson.

The Black Cats' play became disjointed as the game wore on, although the news of Ipswich's 5-0 hammering by Liverpool at Anfield ensured the mood inside the Stadium of Light remained upbeat.

Peter Reid's men were clearly keen not to rely on the result from Anfield, and on 10 minutes, Thomas Butler was unlucky to see his shot rebound off the post.

Jason McAteer saw a 20-yarder saved, then Phillips' powerful drive whistled just over.

It was no surprise when Sunderland's dominance paid off after 17 minutes.

  Key moments
17 mins: Phillips gives Sunderland the lead
67 mins: Robinson equalises for Derby

Phillips looked to have lost the ball after a tackle from Warren Barton, but the Derby man was involved in a horrible misunderstanding with Poom, and Phillips stole in to score.

Niall Quinn and Jason McAteer both saw shots blocked on the line, before Derby fashioned their first real chance, Thomas Sorensen saving well from a Branko Strupar header.

But Sunderland should have scored again before half-time - Poom produced a good save from a Phillips' curler, before the same player hit the crossbar from close range.

There was a scare for the home side within two minutes of the restart when Phillips collapsed after a high-speed collision with Evatt, but the striker was able to continue.

By now, the atmosphere inside the Stadium of Light had turned from nervous to celebratory, especially as news of Liverpool's dominance over Ipswich filtered through.

That did not aid the game as a spectacle, and the first 20 minutes of the second half yielded few chances, and precious little quality football.

A Sunderland fan tunes in to find out if Ipswich are losing
Fans were just as interested in events at Anfield

Yet, Derby had emerged with more purpose than they displayed in the first half, and the Rams equalised on 67 minutes with the first real chance of the half.

Substitute Marvin Robinson was the scorer, drilling home after being set up by Malcolm Christie.

Quinn made way for Patrick Mboma, and the Cameroon striker forced a brilliant save from Poom with a header. Claudio Reyna also came close, but Poom again rescued Derby.


Sunderland: Sorensen, Gray, Craddock, Bjorklund, Williams, Butler, Reyna, McAteer, Kilbane, Quinn (Mboma 71), Phillips.
Subs Not Used: Macho, Thirlwell, Bellion, McCartney.

Derby: Poom, Zavagno (Jackson 73), Higginbotham, Riggott, Barton, Boertien (Twigg 66), Lee, Evatt, Bolder, Strupar (Robinson 58), Christie.
Subs Not Used: Foletti, Grenet.
Booked: Barton.

Attendance: 47,989

Referee: A Wiley (Burntwood).

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's John Murray
"This draw sums up Sunderland's season"
Sunderland's Niall Quinn
"It's been a long time waiting for this game"
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