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sunderland 1000x500The anticipation, if there was any, soon went last night when we were the fifth tie drawn out for the 3rd round of the FA Cup with an away tie at the Stadium of Light against Sunderland. The tie will be played one week after they’ve been to the Turf for a Premier League game although I suspect both clubs will have very different line ups for the cup tie when it comes around.

Back in 2011, we won a home tie in the 3rd round against Port Vale. Any away draw really doesn’t come as any surprise. Clarke Carlisle, Tyrone Mears, Chris Eagles and Graham Alexander all scored in a 4-2 win at a time when Stuart Gray was in charge as caretaker manager.

Eagles was on the scoresheet again in the next round. He scored twice with Martin Paterson also netting in a 3-1 home win against Burton in what was Eddie Howe’s first home game in charge of the Clarets.

Since then, I think it is fair to say, the FA Cup hasn’t been too kind to us with the draws. We went out in the 5th round, taking a 5-1 battering at West Ham and in the next three seasons we went out in the 3rd round having received away draws at Norwich (1-4), Barnsley (0-1) and Southampton (3-4).

We did get a home draw two seasons ago against Spurs. We could only draw and then lost the replay 4-2 after taking a 2-0 lead in the opening eight minutes, but it was back on the road in the 3rd round last season as we headed north east to Middlesbrough.

Finally, five years after Burton, we won an FA Cup tie again, coming from behind to beat Boro 2-1 with goals from Rouwen Hennings and Stephen Ward. The reward was another away draw at Arsenal and a 2-1 defeat.

So it really was no surprise that we were drawn out away again. Given there’s a 50/50 chance, it’s remarkable that seven of the last eight have been away from home as we head north east again on 3rd round day with the game most likely to be played on Saturday 7th January.

It will be the eighth time the two sides have met in the competition with Sunderland currently having the upper hand with five wins against our three. One of their wins came in the 1912/13 semi-final with Burnley exacting revenge a year later with a 4th round win on the way to our first ever FA Cup success.

The last FA Cup meeting also went our way some 38 years ago during the shockingly bad winter of 1978/79. Drawn at home in the 4th round having beaten Birmingham at St. Andrew’s, the game was called off a considerable number of times before we drew 1-1 with Jim Thomson scoring.

The replay at Roker Park was played on a Monday night with the winners forced to travel to Anfield on the Wednesday for the 5th round. Goals from Paul Fletcher, Billy Ingham and Steve Kindon gave us a 3-0 win. We lost by the same score at Liverpool in the next round.

The Full Draw

Ipswich v Lincoln
Barrow v Rochdale
Manchester United v Reading
Hull v Swansea
Sunderland v Burnley
QPR v Blackburn
Millwall v Bournemouth
West Ham v Manchester City
Brighton v MK or Charlton
Blackpool v Barnsley
Wigan v Nottingham Forest
Birmingham v Newcastle
Chelsea v Notts County or Peterborough
Middlesbrough v Sheffield Wednesday
West Brom v Derby
Everton v Leicester
Liverpool v Newport or Plymouth
Wycombe v Northampton or Stourbridge
Watford v Burton
Preston v Arsenal
Cardiff v Fulham
Stoke v Wolves
Cambridge v Leeds
Bristol City v Shrewsbury or Fleetwood
Huddersfield v Port Vale
Tottenham v Aston Villa
Brentford v Halifax or Eastleigh
Bolton v Crystal Palace
Norwich v Southampton
Sutton v Wimbledon
Accrington v Luton
Rotherham v Oxford or Macclesfield

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