MARVIN Sordell’s double dumped Sunderland out of the FA Cup after the Black Cats suffered Stadium of Light humiliation to Championship Bolton.
The Black Cats were a shadow of the side who were so impressive against West Ham at the weekend, as they produced a tepid performance in the third round replay.
Sunderland enjoyed by far the lion’s share of possession in the first half, yet their best efforts came from free-kicks – Craig Gardner and Adam Johnson both drawing smart saves out of Bolton stopper Andy Lonergan.
Bolton grew in confidence in the second half and after Sordell spurned a one-on-one against Simon Mignolet, he opened the scoring from the penalty spot when Jack Colback was harshly adjudged to have fouled Darren Pratley.
Sordell then doubled the advantage when he punished Matt Kilgallon’s mis-hit clearance to send Sunderland crashing out of the competition.
The one positive for Martin O’Neill was the return of Lee Cattermole, with the fit-again skipper enjoying a late cameo from the bench.
Connor Wickham made only his second start of the season up front as a replacement for Steven Fletcher, who missed out through injury.
Matt Kilgallon replaced another injury victim in John O’Shea, while Phil Bardsley came in for Seb Larsson – a switch which saw Craig Gardner push forward into midfield.
There was also a welcome boost among a six-man bench, with skipper Lee Cattermole returning from knee ligament damage ahead of schedule.
Bolton made six changes from the side which drew with Millwall last weekend, with Andy Lonergan, Tyrone Mears, Josh Vela, Darren Pratley, Benik Afobe and Marvin Sordell all handed starts.
After a tepid opening in which the visitors produced the better football, Sunderland mustered their first effort on goal in the 18th minute when Adam Johnson caught out the Bolton defence with a right wing free-kick unexpectedly delivered to Gardner on the edge of the area.
Gardner had time to control and unleashed a right-footed shot which just cleared the crossbar.
Bolton stopper Andy Lonergan was forced into his first save three minutes later when James McClean’s cross from the left was only headed clear as far as Gardner on the edge of the area.
Instead of letting fly himself, Gardner moved the ball right to Johnson, who went down the outside of left-back Marcos Alonso before unleashing a right-footed shot which Lonergan tipped over the top.
Lonergan didn’t produce another meaningful save until the 33rd minute when he got down low down to his right to collect Gardner’s skidding free-kick from 30 yards.
The keeper was forced to produce a more impressive save from a free-kick six minutes later, when Johnson’s left-footed curler from 20 yards required a smart tip around the post.
From the resulting corner, the ball went through a crowded box to Stephane Sessegnon on the far side of the area.
Sessegnon picked out Titus Bramble with a square pass that the centre-half directed just wide of the far post.
Wickham then spurned an inviting opportunity a minute before the break when he was picked out by James McClean’s left-wing cross, but could only direct his header from six yards out straight at Lonergan.
HALF-TIME Sunderland 0 Bolton 0
Sunderland continued to provide a threat from free-kicks – Gardner sending a right-foot piledriver from 25 yards inches wide of the far post four minutes into the second half.
But Bolton had a golden chance to break the deadlock in the 54th minute when Jay Spearing’s header arrived at the feet of Marvin Sordell, who was left one-on-one with Simon Mignolet as the Sunderland defence appealed in vain for offside.
Sordell tried to slot the ball into the far corner from 15 yards out, but Mignolet got down well to block with his body.
It was the Trotters who opened the scoring in the 64th minute though, in controversial fashion.
Colback looked to have cleanly tackled Bolton midfielder Darren Pratley as he burst into the area, but the linesman raised his flag for a penalty.
Sordell stepped up and sent the spot-kick down the middle, with Mignolet diving to his right.
It got worse for Sunderland in the 73rd minute as Sordell doubled his tally after a succession of errors from the Black Cats.
Tyrone Mears burst forward and got the wrong side of Colback on the right-hand touchline, with Kilgallon fluffing his attempted clearance to the full-back’s cross.
The ball dropped into the path of Sordell who hit a low shot on the turn that bobbled under the diving Mignolet.
Free-kicks continued to provide Sunderland’s biggest hopes of an unlikely comeback – substitute Seb Larsson’s effort from 20 yards in the 86th minute drawing an athletic parry away from Lonergan.
FULL-TIME Sunderland 0 Bolton 2
SUNDERLAND: Mignolet, Bardsley, Bramble, Kilgallon, Colback (Cattermole 76), Johnson (Larsson 72), Vaughan, Gardner, McClean, Sessegnon, Wickham (Campbell 72). Subs not used: Westwood, McFadden, Saha.
BOLTON: Lonergan, Mears, Knight, Ricketts, Alonso, Vela (Holden 74), Spearing, Pratley, Eagles, Afobe (Lee 70), Sordell (Davies 86). Subs not used: Bogdan, Ream, Odelusi, Ngog.