Derby Victory - 26/10/2003

Derby Victory

Last week's win against Sunderland reserves was probably the most enjoyable game of the season. It’s always great to put one over Sunderland – albeit only a second string fixture. The match was played at Durham City’s ground, where the pitch is in excellent condition. There’d been a heavy shower before kick-off, and as a result the ball pinged along the surface – making for an excellent passing game. With both teams putting out strong sides, the quality of football played was very good, and getting the result made it all the more pleasing.

No disrespect to Kingston Park, but it’s a rugby stadium, and although the stands and general facilities are top class, the grass is grown for rugby. As a result it’s not kept as short as we’d like and it’s difficult to play a quick passing game.


Luke Edwards match report - ‘The Journal’


Goals from Michael Chopra, Nikos Dabizas and Bradley Orr condemned the Black Cats, the reigning champions, to their third successive defeat at the Archibald Stadium.

Thornton collapsed in agony after unleashing a shot on the edge of the United penalty area in the opening stages. It seemed an innocuous incident but the Wearside medical staff quickly called for a stretcher.

Thornton is suspected to have suffered ankle ligament damage. Jocky Scott's side claimed an early advantage when Michael Proctor was on hand to record his sixth goal of the season for Sunderland's second string from close range.

The Magpies drew level on 17 minutes when a dreadful mistake from Craig James gave Chopra the simplest of opportunities to fire home. The striker made no mistake as he beat the helpless Ingham.

Having given Stephen Wright the opening 45 minutes Sunderland brought Paul Thirlwell on at half-time. Both have spent time on the treatment table in recent weeks and their returns came as the only welcome news of the evening for the watching McCarthy.

It proved the turning point as moments later Jonjo Dickman slipped as he attempted to clear from Viana. The ball dropped for Orr and the Scot's simple finish put the result beyond any doubt with half-an-hour still to play.

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