Ha’way Back When: Relive Mart Poom’s goalden moment for Sunderland on his return to Derby

Mart Poom heads home his stunning equaliser at Derby.
Mart Poom heads home his stunning equaliser at Derby.
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To say Sunderland goalkeepers have not covered themselves in glory this season would be one of the understatements of the year.

But in years gone by, there have been many heroes in the No 1 shirt.

In the club’s history, Jimmy Montgomery, Johnny Mapson and Ned Doig all have legendary status.

And in more recent times, Thomas Sorensen was a popular figure - helped along the way by a penalty save from a certain Newcastle United striker in a 2-1 win at St James’s Park in November 2000.

It’s pretty certain none of the current keepers at the club will go on to be fans’ favourites - though, to be fair, Max Stryjek still has time on his hands.

Loan man Lee Camp will probably be between the sticks on Friday at Derby, a club where he spent the first five years of his career.

Ross Wallace (centre) is grabbed by David Connolly and Ross Wallace.

Ross Wallace (centre) is grabbed by David Connolly and Ross Wallace.

It was a similar story in September 2003 when Sunderland visited Pride Park in a Division One clash.

Mart Poom was the Sunderland keeper, returning to a club where he had enjoyed five years on the playing staff.

Derby had sold the Estonian goalkeeper to Sunderland the previous season for £2million to help ease financial troubles - but no one expected what happened on his return to Pride Park.

In a tight game, the home fans thought the points were theirs when Poom was beaten by an 89th goal from Ian Taylor, scrambling in from Simo Valakari’s corner.

Roy Keane on the sidelines at Derby in hirst game as Sunderland manager.

Roy Keane on the sidelines at Derby in hirst game as Sunderland manager.

But it was the Sunderland fans who ended the game on a high when the keeper headed home an injury-time equaliser.

Time was almost up when the visitors won a corner. Poom raced forward.

Sean Thornton’s set-piece went towards the far post where Poom, unchallenged, made a huge leap to power a header past opposite number Andy Oakes.

The goal hero briefly raised his arms in celebration before turning and running the length of the field to get back to his own goal.

“I will remember this for the rest of my life,” he said afterwards. “It was a special occasion coming back, but to score a goal is unbelievable.”

Even Derby boss George Burley could not begrudge Poom his moment of glory, the former Sunderland defender admitting: “That is my contender for goal of the season. It was a fantastic header.”

Derby: Oakes, Jackson, Boertien, Huddlestone, Mills, Caldwell, Morris (Valakari 46), Taylor, Junior, Svensson, Holmes. Unused subs: Grant, Elliott, Zavagno, Labarthe.

Sunderland: Poom, Williams, Arca, Thirlwell, Bjorklund, McCartney, Oster, Healy, Kyle, Stewart, Butler (Thornton 82). Subs Ingham, Clark, James, Proctor.

Sunderland’s last league trip to Derby came in March, 2008, when the game ended goalless.

It gave Derby one of the 11 points they picked up in that Premier League campaign - not surprisingly finishing rock bottom, 24 and 25 points behind Birmingham City and Reading respectively, with those clubs also suffering relegation.

Derby, who were then managed by Paul Jewell and included former Sunderland defender Alan Stubbs in their team, have been in the Championship ever since.

Roy Keane’s Sunderland finished 15th that season with 39 points.

Derby: Carroll, Edworthy, McEveley, Jones (Ghaly 57), Stubbs, Moore, Sterjovski (Fagan 66), Pearson, Villa, Miller (Earnshaw 80), Lewis. Unused subs: Price, Feilhaber.

Sunderland: Gordon, Bardsley, Higginbotham, Reid (Leadbitter 66), Nosworthy, Evans, Chopra, Whitehead, Jones, Richardson, Murphy (Stokes 86). Unised subs: Fulop, McShane, Prica.

Both clubs were in the top flight that season having won promotion from the Championship the year before.

Sunderland produced a fantastic late surge to claim the title, while Derby - managed by Billy Davies - went up via the play-offs having been dix points clear at the top of the table in February.

The game at Pride Park that season came early on, with the Black Cats claiming a 2-1 September victory in Keane’s first game in charge.

Matt Oakley gave Derby the lead just before half-time, but second half goals from Chris Brown and Ross Wallace, on debut, claiming the points.

Lee Camp, now on loan with Sunderland, was in goal for Derby that day.

The game also saw debuts for Graham Kavanagh, Liam Miller and David Connolly as Keane began a huge overhaul of playing staff.

Sunderland: Alnwick, Delpa, Robbie Elliott, Kavanagh, Varga, Cunningham, Miller, Whitehead, Brown, Connolly (Stephen Elliott 84), Wallace. Unused subs: Ward, Collins, Leadbitter, Hysen.

The 2004-5 season saw Sunderland as Championship champions under Mick McCarthy, while Derby finished fourth and missed out on promotion in the play-offs.

The teams met at Pride Park in January, 2005, with Sunderland winning 2-0 thanks to second half goals from Stephen Elliott and Dean Whitehead.

Sunderland: Myhre, Wright, McCartney, Robinson, Neill Collins, Danny Collins, Whitehead, Whitley, Elliott (Brown 73), Stewart, Arca. Unused subs: Poom, Lynch, Thornton, Welsh.