Sunderland 2 Bristol City 2

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City snatch a point in the 88th minute

VIC HALOM failed to pass a fitness test this morning and had to stand down from Sunderland’s game against Bristol City at Roker Park this afternoon. His absence meant a reshuffle, with Dave Watson moving up into the centre forward position, Richie Pitt switching to No. 5, and David Young resuming his sweeper role at No. 6 Brian Chambers was on call as substitute.

City made one change from their original selection with Garry Collier taking over from Trevor Tainton as substitute. The pitch had been watered to provide a good playing surface, but a strong blustery wind threatened to create problems for the players.

Kerr won the toss for Sunderland attacking the Roker end, Tueart, who played with his left thigh strapped, set Sunderland into their first attack but Hughes was prevented from reaching the ball when Guthrie centred.

A strong tackle by Pitt prevented Gillies from making progress and it was a Pitt header which threw City back when they tried again. Kerr tried to send Hughes away on the right, but Drysdale moved across to it and was caught in the wind. When the full back hammered the ball down the middle it presented all sorts of problems for the defence. Gow moved between Pitt and Malone but Pitt read the position best and was able to head back to Montgomery.

Powerful

Cashley had to dive along his line to hold a close-range shot from Tueart and then Watson twice set up attacking positions by winning heading duels against Rodgers. Gow was pulled up for a foul on Tueart just outside the penalty area and when Kerr moved the ball square Tueart hit a powerful shot which struck a defender and rebounded clear.

A Gillies foul on Tueart had Malone hammering the free kick into the middle, but the ball swerved in the wind and allowed Sweeney to move in wide of Watson and head clear. Kerr and Hughes linked in Sunderland’s next attack and when Kerr centred Sweeney promptly booted the ball out of play.

Sunderland stayed on the attack and after a Watson header had been returned to him he tried again and this time the ball went straight through to Cashley.

Pitt raised his foot dangerously high in meeting a down-the-middle clearance and Fear was injured, but carried on without treatment after the free-kick had been awarded.

Kerr pushed up on the right to gain a corner an after his kick had been cleared Fear moved strongly on the right only to see Malone turn the cross back to Montgomery.

Sunderland’s most penetrating move was halted by offside when Tueart went through to receive from Hughes.

Young handled 40 yards out in trying to control the difficult ball, but there was no danger from Drysdale’s kick which cleared the middle and went behind.

There was an anxious moment for Sunderland when a through ball by Drysdale eluded Pitt and left Malone to hold Gould who had a considerable advantage.

Gould went through to the line before making space for a shot and Montgomery did well to push the ball out. Fortunately for Sunderland there was no City player up at either side of goal. Then Gould went clear again on the left and from his centre Sweeney sent a first-time shot wide.

When Richie tripped Hughes Malone sent a free kick into the middle where Merrick came under pressure and tried to get the ball back to Cashley. The goalkeeper was unable to collect, however, and it travelled just inches outside the foot of the post to give Sunderland the corner which led to them taking the lead in the 35th minute.

Kerr made it a short one back to Malone who first-timed it into the middle where it was deflected into goal off SWEENEY and Hughes followed up at the far post to make sure.

Young headed clear when a cross by Gow reached the middle and City came back again from a free-kick for a foul on Emanuel by Porterfield, but there was no danger from Drysdale’s kick.

Sunderland were quickly in action, gaining a corner in the first minute but were able to turn it to count. Then in the 48th minute Tueart squeezed between two defenders near the corner flag on the left in an effort to reach a through ball. He played the ball but Rodgers went down and the referee, after consulting a linesman, “booked” Tueart.

Sunderland went further ahead in the 50th minute with a brilliant goal by Watson. When a long ball was hit down the middle Merrick, with Watson storming in to challenge, was caught in two minds whether to attempt a clearance or allow the ball to run on to Cashley.

He decided to head back to the goalkeeper and WATSON, racing past him, cleverly flicked the ball over Cashley’s head and it dropped just under the bar.

City had a lucky escape shortly afterwards when a great ball by Tueart had Hughes clear on the left. He moved inside of Sweeney before hitting a right-foot shot which struck a defender and lifted just over the bar.

City pulled one goal back in the 57th minute after Guthrie had conceded a corner with his tackle on Gould. Sweeney took the kick and when this was headed out at the bear post MERRICK was there to head the ball into the net.

Sunderland claimed in vain for a penalty when Tueart was pulled down after gaining a shooting position. After another corner had been cleared Sunderland played the ball around quickly with Hughes wasting no time over a centre from the left to leave Pitt striving vainly to get a touch as the ball travelled across the goal.

Then came a fiery spell in which Cashley twice made goal-line clearances after losing a right-wing cross to Hughes with a diving header by Kerr nearest to producing a goal.

Montgomery made a great save from a 20-yard drive by Gow, going up to turn the ball over the bar.

Shortly afterwards Cashley was swinging on his bar to make sure that a Hughes header from a Tueart centre went over the top.

City forced another corner on the right and when Pitt’s challenge on Sweeney sent the ball behind. Sweeney took the kick and Rodgers won in the air at the near post, but his header travelled high over the bar.

In the 73rd minute Emanuel was booked for a foul on Porterfield after he had been beaten.

Sunderland were in with the chance again when Malone returned a Cashley kick down the middle and Watson raced through to send a left-foot drive past Cashley and just outside the post.

After Sweeney had shot wide from a good position City were back again through a free-kick for a Malone foul on Sweeney Drysdale’s kick was headed up in the middle and another shooting chance fell to Sweeney who was again well off target.

Porterfield had a close-range shot saved by Cashley after Watson had set the Sunderland attack in action again.

City continued to play the long ball down the middle and Rodgers was now moving up at every opportunity.

Cashley made another great save from Tueart after Tueart had won the ball from Rodgers and cut in from the left.

City’s right wing corners had always been dangerous and in the 88th minute they forced another to shape an equaliser. Sweeney’s kick was headed out from the near post and the ball travelled straight to EMANUEL whose fierce drive from the edge of the penalty area had Montgomery beaten all the way.

Sunderland: Montgomery, Malone, Guthrie, Horswill, Pitt, Young, Kerr, Hughes, Watson, Porterfield, Tueart. Sub: Chambers.

Bristol City: Cashley, Sweeney, Drysdale, Emanuel, Rodgers, Merrick, Fear, Ritchie, Gillies, Gow, Gould. Sub: Collier.

Referee: Mr L Hayes (Doncaster).

HOW THE GOALS CAME

SWEENEY (o.g.) 35min.

WATSON 50min.

MERRICK 57min.

EMANUEL 88min.

Verdict

A game which Sunderland appeared to have well won slipped from their grasp two minutes from the end when City were able to grab an equaliser. It was a surprise come-back by City for in the last 20 minutes Sunderland had passed up enough chances to make the game completely safe.

The strong wind upset everyone’s calculations and there were a lot of errors by both sides. There was a lot of excellent work in the Sunderland attack with Watson always prominent. Young did well on his return to senior duty along with Guthrie and Malone.

Over the 90 minutes Sunderland deserved to win, but they were short of bite in attack after the chances had been created.

Attendance: 33,255.

Story taken from the Football Echo on March 31, 1973.