Watson goal a tonic for Roker men
IT WAS a gala occasion at Roker Park this afternoon with a capacity crowd packed in in good time to see Sunderland bid for a place in the semi-finals of the F.A. Cup in their Sixth round tie against Luton Town. Spectators had heeded the warning to come early and there was a steady stream on to the terraces from 12.30. For 20 minutes before the game there was the almost forgotten spectacle of seeing uncomfortable spectators at the back of the Roker End being handed down over the heads of the crowd to the front.
A little ceremony preceded the game when Sunderland chairman Mr Keith Collings made a presentation to Jimmy Montgomery to mark his 453rd appearance, which was a club record in League and Cup.
Manager Bob Stokoe made his final selection decision by naming David Young as substitute.
Luton Town made changes too, with the recall of Keith Barber the most remarkable. Only a month ago he was put out of action with two broken bones in a leg. But he was declared fit after a midweek trial with the Reserves.
Derek Hales, who wore the No. 9 at Luton last week, took over as a substitute.
Kerr won the toss for Sunderland and Luton started the game attacking the Roker End. From the long ball down the middle Pitt sliced his clearance on to the roof of the Clock stand.
Luton stayed up from the throw until the ball was played back for Shanks to hit a long one down the middle which was collected by Montgomery.
A Halom foul on Shanks in mid-field had Luton on the attack again and when John Ryan’s free-kick cleared Watson, Malone was in position to head clear. After a quick break by Hughes on the right, his centre struck a defender and was deflected straight to Barber.
Sunderland pushed up again on the left and with Hughes challenging to the a long throw, John Ryan had to give away a corner.
Tueart’s kick carried well outside the far post, where Luton gained relief from a free-kick for a foul by Halom.
An exchange of passes between Kerr and Malone had the full backs moving well on the right. When the ball was played back to him he lifted it over into the middle, where Halom had a shooting chance outside the far post but failed to connect. Then Tueart switched over to the right to gain a corner.
Garner headed behind for another corner from a long throw by Kerr, and from Kerr’s kick there were a series of heading duals in the middle before it was lobbed through to catch two Sunderland forwards offside.
Pitt retrieved a difficult situation by sending the ball back to Montgomery and then when Kerr centred from the right it took the combined attentions of John Ryan and Moore to prevent Tueart from getting in a shot.
Sunderland at this stage were doing most of the pressing and there was still no hint of danger from either Aston or Jim Ryan.
In these early exchanges, in fact, Malone had handled Aston very capably indeed.
Next came a good run by Guthrie on the left and from his centre Halom headed over under pressure from Barber.
Porterfield had Sunderland moving again with a crossfield pass which ended with a free-kick to Sunderland 40 yards out when Aston was pulled up for a foul on the full back. Malone took the kick himself and although there were a strong enough challenge for it in the middle, the ball travelled on for a goal-kick.
Guthrie won the ball against Jim Ryan just inside the Sunderland half to send Halom away on the wing. The centre forward made ground well enough, but did not release the ball quickly enough to serve Tueart and Hughes in the middle and it was blocked before it reached its mark.
Sunderland were in difficulties when Thomson moved up on the left and hooked the ball over to the far post, where both Anderson and Aston were dangerously close to making contact before it went behind for a goalkick.
Halom shot over from a good position and shortly afterwards Barber had to cover a well hit shot by Tueart.
Montgomery had to dive out to Aston’s feet when the ball was squared to the right from the goal front by Anderson.
Tueart was in a covering position when Malone was beaten by Jim Ryan well inside the Luton half, and when he moved the ball forward, Kerr centred along the 18 yard line for Porterfield to send a powerful shot over the bar.
A brilliant recovery by Watson halted Anderson and then Tueart and Kerr pushed forward in an attack which produced a corner on the left,
Sunderland had eight men up in the Luton penalty area for the kick, but Porterfield dropped it behind.
A Moore foul on Hughes halted a promising Sunderland attack and once again an overhit free-kick by Malone went behind for a goal-kick.
Horswill lost the ball in a run on the right and then had it given back to him by Thomson, only to shoot wide from the edge of the penalty area.
Tueart went desperately close with a lob shot when the ball was headed out to him by Garner, and Kerr was just off target with an angled drive after anticipating a headed pass from Hughes.
Thomson was lectured for a foul on Tueart, who had to receive treatment before the free-kick was taken.
Kerr was on the left to gain a corner in the first minute and from this kick Halom shot over. Tueart, Horswill and Hughes linked on the left for Tueart to finish with a half-hit shot, and them Watson won in the air outside the far post, but his powerful header was cleared.
Halom made a bold attempt to reach the long free-kick by Watson, but was inches short at the angle of the goal area.
Watson, Pitt, Malone and Guthrie were putting up a tremendous show in defence for Sunderland, keeping the Luton attack well in check.
Tueart had Luton on the run again.
Sunderland went ahead in the 55th minute with a tremendous goal by WATSON, who was scoring his third to keep Sunderland’s Cup run going. The break came from a corner on the left and from Kerr’s inswinger Watson stormed in from the angle of the penalty area to place a fierce header well out of Barber’s reach.
Tueart had Sunderland moving again with a great break on the right but Hughes just failed to reach his cross. Then Hughes went in bravely to a high ball in the middle and went down heavily after his lob had just cleared the bar.
Shanks received a sharp word or two from the referee after pulling Kerr down wide on the right and from Kerr’s kick Barber had to dive to the foot of the near post to save.
Luton were at last beginning to show a little fire in attack and Watson, Malone and then Guthrie had to go in strongly to throw them back.
Halom, too, was in a covering position to make a headed clearance.
In the 70th minute Barber was injured when he was challenged by Porterfield and needed attention before resuming. While play was stopped Hales came into the game as substitute for Aston.
Garner moved up to take a long throw-in six yards from the corner flag and Montgomery had to rise above a mass of players to gather it. From the clearance Kerr moved the ball out to the left, when Hughes hit a long centre for Halom to shoot into the side netting. Thomson was injured in making his challenge on Halom and needed attention.
Given a great pass by Tueart, Porterfield went through on the left to hit a low drive from the edge of the penalty area. Barber slipped in going for it and turned to watch it roll just outside the post.
Sunderland’s next attack started from a Watson free-kick for a foul on Kerr by Hales.
Sunderland went further ahead in the 82nd minute again from a corner. Hughes took the kick on the left and when his kick travelled to the full angle of the penalty area Pitt headed on and GUTHRIE with his back to goal, turned to sweep the ball wide of Barber from close range.
Luton appealed for a penalty when Hales dived over a tackle by Watson and when Luton came back again Hindson pounced on a headed clearance by Watson to shoot high over the bar.
Yet in the closing stages it was Luton who were living dangerously, for Sunderland were throwing in attacks at every opportunity. Porterfield was desperately unlucky not to make it three with a drive which just cleared the post.
SUNDERLAND – Montgomery, Malone, Guthrie, Horswill, Watson, Pitt, Kerr, Hughes, Halom, Porterfield, Tueart. Sub. Young.
LUTON TOWN – Barber, John Ryan, Thomson, Shanks, Garner, Moore, Jim Ryan, Anderson, Busby, Hindson, Aston. Sub. Hales.
Referee: Mr J Taylor, Wolverhampton.
HOW THE GOALS CAME
GUTHRIE 82 min.
SUNDERLAND duly claimed their place in the semi-final with a great display which built up in power and quality as the game progressed.
That 0–0 scoreline at half-time may have been worrying but Sunderland’s take-over in the second half was decisive and when Luton managed to throw in a few desperate attacks they found the Sunderland rearguard as impenetrable as it had been all the way through.
As they had promised, the Sunderland players gave everything from start to finish and manager Bob Stokoe had 11 heroes on his hands who received the sort of reception to which they were entitled from a capacity crowd when the game ended.
Receipts, £26,106 (record).
Story taken from the Football Echo on March 17, 1973.