MK Dons 0 Sunderland 2: Captain Cattermole sent off but Black Cats progress
22:56 GMT, 25 September 2012
When Martin O'Neill confirmed Lee Cattermole as Sunderland's skipper this season, the Irishman joked that he needed his head examined.
Such levity was in short supply on Tuesday night as Cattermole was sent off for the seventh time in his career.
Early bath: Cattermole was shown the seventh red card of his career on Tuesday night
Milton Keynes Dons: McLoughlin, Chicksen, Kay, Williams, Lewington, Powell (O'Shea 77), Gleeson, Potter, Chadwick (Lowe 62), Bowditch, Smith (MacDonald 62).
Subs Not Used: Burns, Doumbe, Ali, Spence.
Sunderland: Westwood, Gardner, Meyler, Kilgallon, Rose, Colback, Cattermole, Vaughan, McClean, Saha, Sessegnon (Johnson 85).
Subs Not Used: Mignolet, Campbell, Wickham, Ji, Fletcher, Egan.
Sent Off: Cattermole (32).
Goals: Gardner 54, McClean 82.
Ref: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire).
The midfielder was dismissed by
referee Stuart Attwell following a lunge at Dons' midfielder Adam
Chicksen, adding to a disciplinary record that makes for sorry reading.
In 79 appearances for Sunderland, the
24-year-old has been sent from the field five times, with 34 cautions
to be taken into consideration.
They certainly will be when O'Neill
censures a player who lasted just 32 minutes of a clash that was
competitive but without malice until Cattermole added to his
But the Sunderland boss was far happier when his side took the lead, nine minutes after half-time.
Anthony Kay was booked after blocking James McClean's energetic run 25 yards from goal.
Right-back Craig Gardner had a fierce shot and his direct free kick left Ian McLoughlin flat-footed.
The ball appeared to wobble in the air, thoroughly defeating the MK Dons
keeper, who was making his full debut after first-choice David Martin
was ruled out with a stomach bug.
On target: McClean doubled Sunderland's advantage with nine minutes remaining at MK Dons
Former Liverpool trainee Darren
Potter forced Keiren Westwood into a smart stop with a low, 25-yard
drive moments before Gardner's opening goal.
Sunderland made their extra class
tell even with 10 men and were rewarded when McClean doubled their lead
with an excellent individual goal.
He turned his defender before hitting a shot into the bottom corner of McLoughlin's goal.
All smiles: Gardner celebrates after giving Sunderland the lead shortly after half-time