Nigel Clough’s reign as Mansfield manager got off to the perfect start as the Sky Bet League Two side knocked Sunderland out of the FA Cup.
With Clough having been appointed as the Stags’ new boss on Friday, caretaker manager Richard Cooper ran things from the technical area at the Stadium of Light and watched George Lapslie head home the only goal of the game at the start of the second half.
It was Mansfield’s first win of any description all season, and was fully deserved as the visiting side sitting in 22nd position in League Two outplayed their higher-ranked opponents.
Sunderland were lethargic throughout, although Danny Graham hit the woodwork twice inside the opening 10 minutes.
He clipped a first-time shot against the post after Will Grigg prodded Callum McFadzean’s cross into his path, before heading against the crossbar from inside the six-yard box after McFadzean stood up another delivery from the left.
With Marek Stech clawing away McFadzean’s driven effort, Sunderland created plenty of chances before the interval but Mansfield carried a threat themselves and came close when Jordan Bowery drilled a first-time volley over the crossbar after George Maris crossed from the right.
The visitors went into the game having failed to win in 14 matches but claimed a surprise lead four minutes after the break.
Kellan Gordon swung over an inviting cross from the right and Lapslie got ahead of his marker to power home the header.