Game of the Day: West Brom 2 SAFC 3

by Kate Smith

Ball inspires fightback at the Hawthorns.

18 October 1998

Sunderland's very own Captain Marvel, Kevin Ball, inspired a Black Cats fightback as the Lads came back from a 2-0 deficit at the Hawthorns to secure all three points.

The first of a Lee Hughes double put the Baggies in the driving seat just after the 25 minute mark as Michael Gray was beaten on the wing.

Albion's Kevin Kilbane headed the ball into the box for Hughes to fire past a helpless Thomas Sorensen.

The home side's lead was then doubled just before the break as Hughes latched onto a cross from Andy McDermott and beat Paul Butler to fire the ball into the back of the net, his 14th goal of the season.

Sunderland came out for the second period with all guns blazing, inspired by the ever-industrious Ball in the middle of the park.

It wasn't until after the hour mark that their hard work began to pay off and Andy Melville got his head to a sublime Nicky Summerbee free-kick, taking the scoreline to 2-1.

Substitute Michael Bridges brought Sunderland level with an 80th minute strike, much to the delight of the travelling away fans.

Just six minutes later Ball pounced to seal the win, as Summerbee fired a corner onto the head of Niall Quinn, which Ball got on the end of and volleyed into the roof of Alan Miller's net.

Peter Reid's promotion chasers had battled back from two goals down to score three times in less than 20 minutes, taking them to second place in Division One.

West Brom: Miller, McDermott, Van Blerk, Flynn, Murphy, Carbon, Quinn, Bortolazzi (Sneekes, 77), De Freitas (Mardon, 80), Hughes, Kilbane

Sunderland: Sorensen, Makin, Gray (Craddock, 46), Ball, Melville, Butler, Summerbee, Rae, Quinn, Dichio (Bridges, 60), Johnston (Mullin, 73)