SUNDERLAND introduced £35,000 signing Vic Halom as centre forward for this afternoon’s game against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough, releasing Dave Watson, who has scored three of the six goals which have taken them into the fifth round of the F.A. Cup to resume his centre half role.
Wednesday brought in Colin Prophett at No. 4 in place of Alan Thompson. There were enough Sunderland supporters in the 14,000 crowd to drown the boos when the Sunderland team appeared.
Kerr won the toss for Sunderland and decided to take advantage of a fresh breeze and the run out slope on the pitch.
In the early minutes, Joicey was in with a chance when Henderson centred from the right, but his mishit shot on the turn did not reach Montgomery.
Porterfield sent Hughes away on the right following a well-placed pass. Halom made space for a shot which had Springett diving to save at the foot of the post. Then came tragedy for Sunderland in the fourth minute when Rodrigues went over the ball to Young and a stretcher was taken on to the field while the player was examined. The referee lectured Rodrigues and eventually Young was carried from the field.
Two minutes later Chambers came into the game as substitute.
After Chambers had helped to set up the Sunderland attack and a Halom shot had been turned aside, Hughes sent in a swerving drive which travelled narrowly wide.
In Wednesday’s next attack which ended with Horswill pushing the ball back to Montgomery after Watson had halted Joicey, Wednesday had two players injured and both trainers were on the field to attend to Clements and Joicey. Joicey tried to carry on but eventually went over to the trainer’s bench to receive further attention.
Guthrie was up to force a corner on the left and from Kerr’s kick Halom got in a header which beat Springett and was cleared from the line by Prophett.
They were quickly back again with Chambers receiving from Hughes to hit a left-foot drive which Springett turned over the bar.
Sunderland were on the move again when Guthrie hit a long ball up the middle. This was headed on by Hughes for Halom to head over. A Craig foul on Kerr produced a free-kick 35 yards out, and when the ball was touched on for Kerr, Watson won in the air in front of goal, only to see his header intercepted by Rodrigues.
In the 25th minute Coyle was booked for a foul on Guthrie and the Sunderland player was fortunate that there were no serious consequences. A Prophett foul on Halom put Sunderland in an attacking position again and this time Kerr laid on a shooting chance for Porterfield, who was off target from 20 yards.
Henderson led Wednesday into their next attack with a delightful pass on the inside of Guthrie to reach Rodrigues, who had over-lapped on the right. Rodrigues hammered the ball into the middle and Montgomery dived out to gather it.
Then Malone was pulled up for a foul on Joicey and from the free-kick Sunderland left themselves wide open for Sunley to shoot over the bar from eight yards.
Henderson had now switched to the left wing and it looked as though Wednesday’s intention was to switch their pressure to that flank.
Wednesday were putting emphasis on the physical side, and in the 34th minute the referee had to step in again to book Clements for a foul on Kerr.
Rodrigues and Henderson rolled back the Sunderland defence on the right and when the full back sent the ball into the middle, Malone had no option but to drive it behind for a corner. When this reached the middle, Watson cleared with a tremendous header.
Hughes, who had been getting through a lot of work in the Sunderland attack, was back in defence to lend a hand when Malone got into difficulties.
Over-hit centres from both wings took all the sting out of two Sunderland attacks and then Sissons went on from a long ball from Craig only to be halted by Malone at the expense of a corner.
In the 45th minute Horswill was booked for a tackle on Henderson. Craig took the free-kick, but his drive travelled well wide.
Looking ahead to their F.A. Cup fifth round tie with Sunderland at Maine Road a fortnight today, Manchester City had top level representatives at Hillsborough this afternoon to check on Sunderland’s performance.
In the directors’ box were assistant manager John Hart and chief scout Harry Godwin. The one message which they were able to carry back was that Sunderland can absorb critical punishment.
Malone had Sunderland in difficulties in the early minutes of the second half when he knelt to adjust a boot after Montgomery had gathered the ball and was preparing to clear. The delay was tolerated on this occasion but when the situation was repeated and Montgomery stalled again, the referee awarded Wednesday an indirect free-kick inside the Sunderland penalty area. Fortunately, Wednesday were unable to turn it to advantage.
Halom headed into the Wednesday net, but the linesman was already signalling that the ball had been out of play before it reached the middle.
A Joicey foul on Horswill had Sunderland on the attack again and after Watson’s kick had been headed out of play by Prophett, Horswill was pulled up for another foul, though it did appear that he was getting a raw deal from the referee.
When Guthrie miskicked to give away a corner, Holsgrove went close with a header.
Wednesday took the lead with a surprise goal in 61 minutes. The starting point was a goal-kick by Montgomery. The ball was picked up by HENDERSON inside the Sunderland half and he controlled it quickly to swerve past two defenders to beat Montgomery with a fierce drive from the edge of the penalty area.
Sunderland were close following a throw-in by Chambers which was driven forward by Malone for Hughes to lob goalwards from a difficult angle. Springett was caught at the near post and the ball travelled over his head to bounce at the far post before being swept away by Prophett.
Holsgrove beat Hughes to a down-the-line pass from Guthrie and then Chambers broke well on the right to hit a powerful cross which had Springett swinging on the bar as it dropped just over the top.
Sunderland were now getting a little more punch into their attacking build-ups, but they still could not close the range sufficiently to trouble Springett.
Henderson led Wednesday into another fierce attack which had shots by Sissons and Joicey beaten down before Coyle shot wide.
Then Sunderland were presented with a gift chance when Hughes moved on the blind side to pick up a back-pass and go in with only Springett to beat. Instead of risking a shot, which seemed the obvious course, he tried to go round the goalkeeper, who promptly grabbed the goal and the chance disappeared.
In the 80th minute Wednesday brought on Potts in place of Joicey.
SHEFF. WED: Springett, Rodrigues, Clements, Prophett, Holsgrove, Craig, Henderson, Coyle, Joicey, Sunley, Sissons. Sub: Potts
SUNDERLAND: Montgomery, Malone, Guthrie, Horswill, Watson, Young, Kerr, Bill Hughes, Halom, Porterfield, Tueart. Sub: Chambers
Ref: Mr D Turner of Cannock, Staffs.
HOW THE GOALS CAME
HENDERSON 61 min.
Sunderland’s unbeaten sequence ended in the tenth game and what an undistinguished effort it was by both sides.
The charitable thought was that both sides were suffering from a Cup hang-over but Sunderland could find some measure of excuse in the tough treatment handed out to them without adequate measures being taken by the referee.
Only Watson came through the game in anything like top form.
Halom is certainly an industrious player, but the work around him was well below standard, with Hughes and Tueart busy but ineffective.
Story taken from the Football Echo on February 10 1973.