Watmore and Ba make first-team debuts in FA Cup success.Sunderland managed to secure a safe passage through to the fourth round of the FA Cup with Budweiser after a 3-1 win over Carlisle United.
Phil Bardsley, Valentin Roberge, Modibo Diakite, Lee Cattermole, Emanuele Giaccherini and Steven Fletcher were all rested after the 1-0 home defeat to Aston Villa. The six players were replaced by Andrea Dossena, Wes Brown, Craig Gardner, Seb Larsson, Jozy Altidore and Adam Johnson.
The first real chance in front of the 22,000 crowd was created by Johnson, who managed to turn the defender on half way before slipping in Altidore but the American international striker could not get past Greg Fleming in goal with the keeper saving via an outstretched leg.
Gardner then hit wide a volley from a Larsson corner as the Lads looked to build the pressure on Graham Kavanagh’s Carlisle, who were backed by a vocal 5,600 fans.
Prince Buaben then finished off some good play on the left by forcing Vito Mannone into a diving save after beating several players on the wing.
It was Sunderland, though, who took the lead eleven minutes before half time when Gardner, who had previously seen a shot saved, was fouled on the right. The free kick suited a left footed player so Johnson stepped up and managed to curl the ball into the back of the net.
Carlisle responded well, forcing Ondrej Celustka to almost score an own goal but fortunately for Gus Poyet’s men the ball went out for a corner.
David Amoo then capitalised on a Johnson mistake and crossed the ball into the back post, where it was headed down by striker Lewis Guy to Matty Robson, eight yards out, who then volleyed into the top corner to send the away fans into raptures.
There were no changes at half time but the score line changed after five minutes when a Johnson cross resulted in the Cumbrians’ captain Sean O’Hanlon unluckily slicing the ball across goal and into the top corner of Fleming’s net.
The arrival of Duncan Watmore turned Sunderland into more of an attacking threat, with the winger’s direct running causing problems for the Carlisle defence. Watmore was unlucky to see his close range shot saved after linking up well with Altidore in the box.
Another substitute, El-Hadji Ba, did manage to find the back of the net, again linking up with Altidore before slotting the ball home from close range in the dying moments.