Bent [pen] 81
Notts County 2
Mignolet [og] 5, Hughes 75
The thousands of Sunderland fans who gave this game a miss made a wise choice, Notts County deservedly winning a poor game to progress to round four of the FA Cup. Steve Bruce’s side failed to have a serious effort on goal in open play during the entire ninety minutes and were behind as early as the fifth minute. Asked to collect a Craig Westcarr high ball keeper Simon Mignolet allowed himself to be unsettled by home defender Kieran Richardson and County forward Lee Hughes, dropping the ball over the line.
Mignolet did much better in the second to get down at Hughes’ feet as he sought to plunder the away sides second. But when the Sunderland rearguard failed to clear the striker wonderfully curled the ball into the net from an acute angle to the obvious joy of the 2,500 travelling fans behind the goal.
With just nine minutes left Darren Bent, who earlier should have scored with a header from just six yards out, reduced the arrears from the penalty spot but despite then pushing forward the home side rarely looked like forcing a replay.