Blackpool 1 Sunderland 2 – Who needs Darren Bent?

Kieran Richardson scores at Blackpool
Kieran Richardson scores at Blackpool
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TWO-goal Kieran Richardson was Sunderland’s hero today as Steve Bruce’s men made light of Darren Bent’s £24m defection to Aston Villa.

The Black Cats only had one striker available for this afternoon’s game – Asamoah Gyan playing the lone frontman’s role but Richardson, playing in the hole just behind him, caused chaos in the Blackpool defence.

He put Sunderland ahead in the 15th minute when he ran on to Asamoah Gyan’s perfectly-weighted ball into space, left of goal, and drove a low left-foot shot through keeper Richard Kingson and into the far corner.

He doubled the lead in the 36th minute with a very similar goal – this time benefiting from a defence-splitting pass from Steed Malbranque tostrike a low left-foot shot from left of goal, which this time beat Kingson at his near post.

Sunderland were indebted though to Craig Gordon for keeping the scores level at the break – the keeper making several outstanding saves to deny the Seasiders.

Steve Bruce’s men were good value in the second-half but could not add to their score and with barely five minutes remaining Blackpool got back into the game from the penalty spot.

David Vaughan went down easily and Charlie Adam converted confidently but Blackpool could not quite force a leveller despite six minutes of injury time and Sunderland had a fine victory which puts seven points between them in sixth place and Newcastle United in seventh.

Read the rest of the match report in tonight’s Football Echo.