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Early Mavrias strike sends below-par Sunderland through
Full-time: Sunderland 1 Kidderminster 0
SUNDERLAND booked a place in the fifth round of the FA Cup with a less than convincing 1-0 victory over non-league Kidderminster this afternoon.
Greek winger Charis Mavrias' fifth minute opener proved decisive as the Black Cats struggled for the remainder of the 90 minutes to extend their lead.
There were shots on goal, plenty of them, but Kidderminster goalkeeper Danny Lewis was rarely posed too many questions on a frustrating afternoon for Sunderland.
Just days after the drama and the excitement of the Capital Cup semi-final win over Manchester United, there was no such entertainment on show for the Wearside crowd who turned up.
The 4,500 away fans can be more than satisfied, however, at the way Kidderminster approached the tie and could easily have pinched a draw with their occasional breaks they created.
Sunderland never showed the sort of desire Gus Poyet had been demanding in the build up, although Emanuele Giaccherini did start the game lively in the middle of a midfield four.
The Italian's flick early on helped create the goal. Defender Josh Gowling failed to deal with the clearance and rolled a pass straight in to the path of Mavrias.
The summer recruit from Panathinaikos picked his spot to mark his second start for the club with a lovely finish in to the bottom corner of Lewis' net.
After that Sunderland – who only included Lee Cattermole of the Old Trafford starting line-up in midweek - struggled to really test Lewis again.
Fans became frustrated with a lack of creativity, despite really comfortable debuts for goalkeeper Oscar Ustari and defender Santiago Vergini, who joined last week from Almeria and Estudiantes respectively.
Not even the introductions of Fabio Borini, Craig Gardner and Jack Colback in the latter stages could inspire more goals.
In fact Kidderminster could even have earned a replay late on when both Danny Jackman and Frederick Ladapo went close with low drives.
But Sunderland do have a place in the next round before a return to Premier League action on Wednesday against Stoke City.
SUNDERLAND (4-1-4-1): Ustari; Celustka, Diakite, Vergini, Roberge; Cattermole (Colback 72); Larsson, Ba (Gardner 65), Giaccherini (Borini 65), Mavrias; Altidore. Subs (not used): Ki, O'Shea, Watmore, Pickford Kidderminster (4-4-1-1): Lewis; L Vaughan, Gowling, Demetriou, Jackman; Morgan-Smith (Ladapo 68), Dyer (Aloi 82), Storer, Johnson (Gittings 68); Byrne; Gash. Subs (not used): N Vaughan (gk), Dunkley, Malbon, Angus.
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