WITH their FA Cup Semi-Final against Arsenal only a fortnight away, Sunderland play the first of four league games before the big occasion at Craven Cottage tomorrow when they take on Fulham, who are still managing to keep in touch with the promotion situation. And they go into the game without only one member of their recognised cup side.
After Monday’s win over Preston NE at Deepdale, Manager Bob Stokoe knew that there were several casualties, but the one whose condition gave the greatest concern was Ron Guthrie, who needed attention for an Achilles tendon injury. There was never much chance of him making tomorrow’s line-up, but the final decision was not taken until this morning.
Guthrie is replaced at No. 3 by 18-year-old youth interactional Joe Bolton, who gave an excellent account of himself when taking over as substitute from Ray Ellison at Luton at fortnight ago.
This will be Bolton’s first appearance in the starting line-up since January 6, when he hit the headlines with the best goal of the game in a 4-0 win over Brighton.
Team: Montgomery; Malone, Boldon; Horswill, Watson, Pitt; Kerr, Hughes W, Halom, Porterfield, Tueart. Substitute Young or Chambers.
Fulham beaten 2-0 at Blackpool last week, will be relying upon an unchanged side to improve their bright chances of qualifying for next season’s Watney Cup competition as the highest scorers in the Second Division apart from the promoted clubs.
Their line-up will be: Mellor; Cutbush, Callaghan; Mullery, Went, Richardson; Strong, Mitchell, Earle, Lloyd, Barrett. Substitute Pinkey.
Stokoe goes scouting
Manager Bob Stokoe did not travel with the Sunderland party this afternoon for tomorrow’s League game against Fulham. Instead, he will be on a talent spotting mission in Scotland.
Mr Stokoe said: “I don’t want to mention any names, but we are looking for a player or two and this seems a good chance to take a look around.”
Radford and Blockley still out
Sunderland’s FA Cup semi final opponents, Arsenal, are again without the injured John Radford and Jeff Blockley for tomorrow’s away game against Manchester City.
“We have sent Blockley away for the weekend. We hope it will enable him to settle and that he will available for next week,” said manager Bertie Mee. Defender Blockley pulled a thigh muscle at Leicester seven games ago.
Striker Radford, who has missed two games with a knee strain, should also be back next week. “He is making good progress and should be ready to start training on Monday,” added Mr Mee.
Stories taken from the Sunderland Echo on March 23 1973.