MART POOM poked fun at Sunderland's misfiring strikers last night after his amazing equalising goal at Pride Park.

Poom, 31, has scored more goals than Michael Proctor this season following his stoppage-time header that salvaged a point for Sunderland.

It was the goalkeeper's first goal since he swapped Estonia for England in 1994 and he could not have chosen a more apposite time to break his duck.

Stewart twice nodded straight at Derby keeper Andy Oakes, while Kevin Kyle sent an early diving header over the crossbar.

Poom's effort put them to shame and he said: "I got good power behind the header. Andy Oakes had no chance; he couldn't possibly have saved it.

"I've just been telling the other lads all about it, especially Marcus Stewart - who had a couple of headers himself."

Poom was given a rapturous send-off from Sunderland and Derby fans alike at the end of his first match back at Pride Park since moving to Wearside last November.

Having promised beforehand that the day would be "emotional", Poom struggled to comprehend the enormity of his feat in the dying stages.

He said: "Seldom do these things happen and it's something special.

"To come back to Derby, where I had a great time, was great but I can't believe I've scored an equaliser in injury time.

"It's something I've never really practised in training.

"I just sprinted forwards and I didn't break my run; the ball was there and I just had to head it.

"When I scored, half of me wanted to celebrate, but I've got great respect for Derby County and great respect for the fans.

"I got a fantastic reception before the game and then again after the match finished, even though I'd scored against Derby.

"The home fans gave me a great round of applause and it's something I'll remember for the rest of my life."

Mick McCarthy paid a glowing tribute to Poom the person after he had stopped his side slipping to what would have been a second successive defeat.

The Sunderland manager said: "He's intelligent and he's the best professional you'll ever come across.

"He's the quietest, most humble guy around and what happened was an unexpected bonus.

"I've told him we'll keep the lights on at the training ground until six o'clock tomorrow as a special treat.

"He works so hard and we have to throw him out of the place.

"We waved Mart forward more in hope than anticipation, but he was an awesome sight and there weren't too many defenders trying to pick him up."

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