Leeds United arrived at the Stadium of Light amid a poor run of form that had seen them slip to 20th in the Championship table. But the FA Cup has a habit of ripping up the form book and Neil Redfearn's side would have been quietly confident of causing an upset when they took on Sunderland.
Alas it was not to be, with Patrick van Aanholt's goal proving the difference against a young Leeds side who impressed throughout.
Centre-back Liam Cooper almost levelled the game, however he saw his late header rebound off the woodwork, but the likes of Casper Sloth, Dario Del Fabro and Cooper himself all did themselves proud.
The latter took to Twitter after the match to express his delight at the showing if not the result, writing, "Good performance from the lads! Unlucky not to get a goal, The 12th man were amazing. On to Saturday."
Regular left-back Stephen Warnock also wrote a message despite not featuring on the day, commenting on a second-half performance that will have given Redfearn plenty to be positive about.
Now it is back to their league campaign, but Leeds still have more than enough to climb up the table in 2015.
Good performance from the lads! Unlucky no to get a goal.. The 12th man were amazing.. On to Saturday..— Liam Cooper (@LiamCooper__) January 4, 2015
Nearly sneaked a draw with a header from @LiamCooper__ hitting the post in added on time. Sounded like a strong performance 2nd half.— Stephen Warnock (@StephenWarnock3) January 4, 2015