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Saturday, 25 January, 2003, 16:54 GMT
Yorke rescues Blackburn
Marcus Stewart scored the opening goal at Ewood Park
Stewart's goal was the quickest of the day in the cup
Blackburn 3-3 Sunderland

Sunderland were denied a place in the fifth round of the FA Cup for only the second time in 11 years by a late strike from Dwight Yorke.

Premiership strugglers Sunderland looked to have made it a bad week in the cups for Graeme Souness' side, leading 3-1 with 20 minutes to go.

We were unlucky and I would like to see their first goal again. I thought Cole was offside

Howard Wilkinson

But Andy Cole grabbed a lifeline before Yorke struck deep in added time to secure a replay at the Stadium of Light on 5 February.

The two clubs had played out two rather drab goalless draws in the league this season and that was probably reflected by a rather sparse crowd of just over 14,000.

Any fears of a third game without a goal were ended after just 69 seconds when the visitors went in front.

Key moments
2 mins: Marcus Stewart gets Sunderland off to a flier
14 mins: Andy Cole gets the equaliser for Rovers
52 mins: Michael Proctor restores the visitors' advantage
70 mins: Kevin Phillips puts Sunderland 3-1 ahead
73 mins: Cole gets his second for Rovers
90 mins: Dwight Yorke grabs a dramatic equaliser at the death

Rovers lost possession to Michael Gray and he found Michael Proctor whose cross was fired home first-time by Marcus Stewart arriving from deep.

It was Stewart's fifth goal since arriving at the club - all of them in cup competitions.

Sunderland were close to adding a second when a Julio Arca corner was won in the air by Kevin Phillips, but his header was just wide of the post.

The Blackburn defence appeared half asleep and Phillips went even closer, but his powerful shot was directed too near Brad Friedel and the American keeper saved.

Blackburn equalised with virtually their first attack of the game when Andy Cole latched onto a cross from Lucas Neill and beat Sorensen from a narrow angle.

The goal seemed to spark the home side to life and Matt Jansen could have put them in front a minute later, but Sunderland keeper Thomas Sorensen was quick off his line to save.

David Thompson tried his luck twice from long-range as Rovers came more into the game.

Rovers striker Andy Cole
Cole scored twice for Rovers

The lively Proctor was denied a goalscoring chance when he was adjudged offside by referee David Elleray, despite receiving the ball from Rovers' Tugay.

But moments later he was not to be denied.

A mistake from Andy Todd let in Proctor and he turned well before firing a powerful right-foot shot that gave Friedel no chance.

Blackburn went to three up front but it was Sunderland who looked the more dangerous.

Kilbane's effort was deflected but the ball fell the wrong side of the post for the Irish international.

A flick-on from Phillips then released Arca but he was denied by Friedel and Stewart scuffed the follow up.

Sunderland earned a two-goal cushion when Jody Craddock set-up Phillips and he made no mistake from close range.

We were dead and buried at 3-1 but we came back - that's the upside. Our defending was a shambles at times

Graeme Souness

Three minutes later Rovers were back in it when Cole linked up well with Yorke before side-footing past Sorensen.

Blackburn piled forward in search of an equaliser and Cole was denied a hat-trick by Sorensen.

Proctor should have made sure of the win when he hit the bar from a quick breakaway and Phillips was denied by a desperate lunge.

Moments later Rovers poured forward and Yorke grabbed a dramatic equaliser.

Blackburn: Friedel, Douglas (Ostenstad 59), Todd, Taylor, Neill, Jansen (Gillespie 45), Thompson, Tugay, Dunn (Johansson 83), Cole, Yorke.
Subs not used: Short, Robinson.
Booked: Dunn.

Sunderland: Sorensen, Gray, Babb, Craddock, Clark, Proctor, McCann, Kilbane, Arca, Phillips, Stewart.
Subs not used: Thome, Kyle, Medina, Oster, Macho.

Booked: Kilbane.

Attendance: 14,315

Referee: D Elleray (Middlesex).

BBC Five Live's Stuart Hall
"It was super entertainment"

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