Kenwyne Jones and Djibril Cisse scored to give Sunderland a 2-1 victory over Bolton in their FA Cup third-round tie at the Stadium of Light.
The two Premier League sides may be more concerned with top-flight survival than enjoying a cup run this season but they should have been able to serve up better fare than what they offered at the Stadium of Light.
Jones finally produced a moment of quality when his 57th-minute header broke the deadlock following Kieran Richardson's free-kick into the box.
Carlos Edwards then hit then the crossbar with a 18-yard shot before the winger supplied the cross which was volleyed in by Cisse (67).
Substitute's Ebi Smolarek's ballooned cross-cum-shot caught out keeper Martin Fulop but the Black Cats hung on to give Ricky Sbragia victory in his first home match since taking the job on a permanent basis.