Kieran Richardson v Birmingham

Game of the Day: SAFC 3 Birmingham 1

by Stuart Vose

Midlands side downed at the SoL.

Sunderland 3 Birmingham City 1

20th March 2010

Sunderland proved too strong for Birmingham as Darren Bent scored twice in a 3-1 win on Wearside.

The Black Cats’ seventh home win of the season made it just one defeat in eight games.

Striker Darren Bent opened the scoring after just five minutes, popping up inside the box to slot home after Benjani’s shot was blocked.

Bent struck again six minutes later, profiting from excellent work by Steed Malbranque to twist beyond Scott Dann and crack the ball beyond Joe Hart.

Stunned into life, Birmingham began to exert more of an influence on the game and Craig Gordon was forced into a string of fine saves, including a superb tip-over to deny Christian Benitez.

The visitors continued to generate chances and pulled a goal back on the hour as Cameron Jerome broke through down the left to beat Gordon high in the top corner.

Only a fine challenge from John Mensah denied former Sunderland man Kevin Phillips an equaliser, but the visitors were leaving gaps at the back and Roger Johnson was forced to clear off the line after Bent lobbed Hart on the break.

But Sunderland made sure of the points when Jordan Henderson’s fine cross found Fraizer Campbell, who tucked the ball into the net from close range.

Sunderland: Gordon, Hutton, Ferdinand, Turner, Mensah (Bardsley, 72), Malbranque (Cattermole, 80), Richardson, Meyler, Campbell, Bent, Benjani (Henderson, 72).

Subs not used: Carson, Da Silva, Kilgallon, Zenden.