Nigerian striker Utaka joined Portsmouth in the summer of 2007
John Utaka's double ensured crisis-club Portsmouth came from behind to beat out Sunderland in the FA fourth round.
The Portsmouth fans launched a protest at the club's problems outside the ground and they intensified when Darren Bent volleyed in from eight yards.
But Utaka headed in after a mistake by visiting keeper Craig Gordan and after the break raced clear to finish calmly.
Asmir Begovic saved Bent's free-kick and Sunderland were furious late on as they felt the ball crossed the line.
The win provides brief respite for relegation-threatened Pompey, who have failed to pay their players three times this season and are the subject of a transfer embargo and a winding up order.
And around a thousand supporters voiced their displeasure at the way Pompey are being run in a pre-match protest around the city.
They besieged the directors' entrance in Frogmore Road, and subjected under-fire chief executive Peter Storrie to a chorus of boos.
However, there was no chance to question mysterious current owner Ali al-Faraj, who was again conspicuous by his absence, having failed to watch the team since taking over.
Sunderland might not have Pompey's financial problems, but they arrived at Fratton Park without an away win in 10 matches.
Even so the visitors had the better of the scrappy opening exchanges and took the lead when Jordan Henderson flicked on a Boudewijn Zenden long throw and Bent buried the chance for his 15th goal of the season.
With Portsmouth failing to create chances in a dour encounter, two exasperated home fans invaded the pitch before they were escorted off by players.
Portsmouth felt they should have had a penalty when Sunderland's Paulo Da Silva appeared to charge down with his hand as Kevin Prince Boateng tried to burst through.
The home side were soon gifted a reprieve, however, courtesy of an awful mistake from Gordon, returning to the side for the first time since November following injury.
The Scottish international needlessly wandered too far off his line as Mark Wilson aimed a hopeful diagonal into the box and Utaka, despite toppling backwards, managed to head the ball over him.
Utaka might have scored again following another rash moment from Gordon.
But the Nigerian international was soon celebrating his second as Gordon's goal-kick was powered back into the Sunderland half by a thunderous Younes Kaboul header, and Utaka streaked free to slot home.
Gordon did well to save Boateng's left-footed volley before Sunderland mounted a late charge.
Bent's firmly-struck shot was saved and Boateng then scrambled a Da Silva header off the line when the visitors were convinced it had gone over the line.
Sunderland could find no way back though and their miserable run without an away win, which stretches back to a Carling Cup match at Norwich on 24 August, continues.
Portsmouth's fans, by contrast, were able to sing for the right reasons as their team completed an impressive recovery and sealed a morale-boosting win ahead of a crucial league game against West Ham on Tuesday.
They were determined to reiterate their views, however, and returned to the directors' entrance after the game to ensure the Fratton Park hierarchy were left in no doubt about their feelings.
Portsmouth first-team coach Paul Groves: "It was fantastic spirit from the players. What they showed on that pitch was great togetherness and they came away with a great result and good reward for it.
"I also have to give credit to the fans for the way they got behind us.
"They showed their frustrations, no doubt, but once they came into the stadium, they got behind the players.
"I think the players focused on the game in hand. It's a difficult task to play Sunderland, but they were well-focused on making sure they got a good result and a good performance."
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce on David Healy's disallowed late goal: "Some would say the ball was over the line and David was convinced it was.
"Obviously, I couldn't tell from where I was but we needed that little bit of luck to maybe turn the corner.
"There was a header towards goal and I think David hooked it over the line. But I don't know for sure."
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