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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 October 2005, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
Sunderland 1-4 Portsmouth
Matthew Taylor
Portsmouth produced four second-half goals to secure a come-from-behind win at fellow strugglers Sunderland.

The home side led after four minutes when Dean Whitehead scored from the spot after Brian Priske had handled.

Zvonimir Vukic levelled early in the second half before Matthew Taylor scored twice in eight minutes.

His first came after a defensive mix-up but his second was an opportunistic effort from 45 yards. He then crossed for Dario Silva to head a fourth.

There was drama before the game when Portsmouth winger Laurent Robert apparently refused to take up his place on the bench, leaving Alain Perrin's side with only four substitutes.

Things got worse for the south-coast club when Sunderland took the lead inside four minutes.

After Justin Hoyte had been denied by a good, one-handed save from Jamie Ashdown, Priske touched the ball with his arm as he challenged Andy Gray.

Referee Mark Halsey pointed to the spot, Whitehead keeping his cool to sidefoot into the bottom corner past Ashdown's dive.

Whitehead was the one outstanding player in the opening 45 minutes - and he came close to adding a second goal.

Priske headed an Andy Welsh cross into his path but his thumping volley flashed just wide.

There was a nervous moment for the Sunderland defence when stand-in skipper Alan Stubbs aimed a simple header back to Kelvin Davis, who slipped before regaining his feet just in time to prevent an own goal.

Sunderland were looking dangerous, with Welsh and the overlapping Hoyte combining well down their left side.

But poor defending by Hoyte almost gifted Pompey an equaliser.

His weak attempt at a clearance went straight to the feet of Gary O'Neil but his equally feeble effort went straight to the Black Cats keeper.

The under-fire Perrin obviously said the right things at half-time, Portsmouth drawing level three minutes after the break.

Gregory Vignal's chipped cross was flicked on by Taylor into the path of Vukic, who found the bottom corner with a well-struck shot.

Sunderland reacted well with a good period of possession and plenty of balls into the box without anything to show for it.

Portsmouth were struggling to create anything going forward but they were gifted a second goal by some woeful defending by the home side.

Stubbs did not deal with a long ball into the box, first of all failing to head clear and then getting in a tangle with Davis, which left Taylor with the simple task of slotting into an empty net.

Eight minutes later, Davis was forced to pick the ball out the net for a third time after a fantastic strike from Taylor.

He picked up the ball 10 yards into the Sunderland half, spotted Davis well off his line and produced a wonderful, swerving shot from 45 yards out.

Portsmouth added a fourth when Taylor curled a cross to the back post and Silva got in front of Nyron Nosworthy to head in.

The goal ensured just a second Premiership win of the season for Portsmouth, while a frustrated Sunderland slipped back to the foot of the table.

  • Sunderland boss Mick McCarthy:
    "The fans have paid their money and seen their team capitulate against a team around us at the bottom of the league.

    "If I had been in with them I would have probably left as well.

    "We were a bit brittle throughout the game. Even in the first half our passing wasn't as crisp and our confidence wasn't high."

  • Portsmouth manager Alain Perrin:
    "It was difficult. It was a tough game against Sunderland, who started well and scored quickly.

    "In the second half we were lucky, each time we shot we scored a goal.

    "It was very important to get the first goal just after half-time to give confidence to the team."

    Sunderland: Davis, Nosworthy, Stubbs, Caldwell, Hoyte, Lawrence (Stead 62), Whitehead, Miller (Robinson 50), Welsh, Elliott, Gray.
    Subs Not Used: Alnwick, Woods, Murphy.

    Goals: Whitehead 4 pen.

    Portsmouth: Ashdown, Priske, Primus, Stefanovic, Vignal, Vukic (Viafara 68), O'Neil, Griffin, Hughes, Taylor (Todorov 84), Silva (Mbesuma 77).
    Subs Not Used: Westerveld. Booked: Griffin.

    Goals: Vukic 48, Taylor 59, 67, Silva 74.

    Att: 34,926.

    Ref: M Halsey (Lancashire).

    Interview: Sunderland manager Mick McCarthy

    Interview: Portsmouth boss Alain Perrin


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