TEN YEARS ON: Sorry Sunderland lose again

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Here’s a look back at what the Echo was reporting on SAFC 10 years ago on this date.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 12 2006

SUNDERLAND 2 PLYMOUTH 3

AIN’T NIALL’S DAY:

Dismal Sunderland beaten again

SORRY Sunderland slumped to their third defeat in a row today as Niall Quinn’s brave new world once again failed to materialise and his players were booed by their own fans at half-time and full-time.

Daryl Murphy could not have given the Wearsiders a better start, opening the scoring in the first 30 seconds when he sprinted onto a long ball and drove a low shot home for his second goal in a week.

But the visitors levelled as early as the seventh minute with the first of three defensive howlers which gifted Argyle their goals.

For the first goal, Clive Clark allowed right-winger David Norris to turn and get in a shot on goal and the midfielder’s sublime shot dipped just under Ben Alnwick’s bar.

For the second goal in the 38th minute, Kenny Cunningham underhit a back pass from the left, Alnwick got stranded in no-man’s land and when striker Barry Hayles tried his luck with a shot around the keeper, Danny Collins, who had raced back on to the line, could only head into his own net.

Sunderland kept going after the break and Quinn was positive – playing with four forwards on the field for most of the second half – and it had its rewards when the Black Cats equalised on 67 minutes.

Sub John Stead and Murphy linked up well and the Irishman sent in a cross from the left which Stephen Elliott headed home inside the six-yard box at the far post.

That gave Sunderland fresh hope and they pushed for a winner.

But their attacking came at a price and several times they had to be grateful for saves from Alnwick before disaster struck on 80 minutes, sub Nick Chadwick taking advantage of a slip to steer a low shot home from just inside the 18-yard box.

QUINN PLANS HIT BY STEVE BLOW: Sunderland manager Niall Quinn admits that the loss of Steve Caldwell to injury is a blow to his plans.

The Scotland centre-half suffered medial knee ligament damage against Birmingham City in midweek.

And the manager said: “It’s disappointing because I’ve been impressed with Steve since I got here. I was happy to make him captain, I think it’s something that comes naturally to him and he’d shown signs of being a leader on and off the pitch.”

MAYBUTY LINKED TO CATS DEAL: Reports suggest that Leicester City’s right-back Alan Maybury will be a £200,000 newcome at Sunderland next week.

The former Leeds and Hearts man, a Republic of Ireland international, could switch from the Walkers Stadium to strengthen Niall Quinn’s defensive options.

Quinn has been forced to field Rory Delap at right-back in the opening games of the season with Stephen Wright not fully fit.