Replay Special by Argus
(Sunderland 3, Manchester City 1)
BOLD, courageous effort sent Sunderland storming through to the FA Cup Sixth Round last night, when Roker Park, recapturing the old-time magical atmosphere provided the setting for the eclipse of one-time favourite Manchester City in a Fifth Round Replay. And though there was a spell in the second half when everyone wondered whether the supreme effort had been a little too much for hard-running Sunderland players, there was no doubt over the 90 minutes that victory was theirs on merit.
Manager Bob Stokoe had promised everyone a night to remember and never was a promise more decisively fulfilled. An eager crowd, which contained only a sprinkling of City supporters, was fed by thrill after thrill after Vic Halom and Billy Hughes cracked home two superb goals to marl the measure of Sunderland’s first half command. And when they took up the running again in the game’s last quarter to complete their grip for another great goal by Hughes, the seal was set on Sunderland’s proudest occasion for years.
The danger that City might be better equipped to take advantage of a second bite at the cherry was real enough. They are a talented side, with a built-in physical approach to boost their skills. But Sunderland, maintaining a running challenge, denied them space and time to get their game going and developed their own attacks with crisp, decisive moves which left City struggling desperately to make contact.
Exhausted after their tremendous effort, the Sunderland players savoured every moment of their triumph as the celebrated in the dressing room after the game. Match-winning hero Billy Hughes said: “It was marvellous-marvellous. We were worried when City got back to 2-1, but when the third one went in we knew we had done it. Now for the Semi-Final yes, the Semi-Final.”
Manager Bob Stokoe, thrilled by exciting effort of his player and that it had claimed its due reward, paid his tribute to the Roker crowd when he said: “They were wonderful. With all that enthusiasm going for us we could not go wrong.
“City are a great side and they have become a little more physical, but there is no bitterness left now. Malcolm Allison and Tony Book were big enough to come into our dressing room after the game and wish us every success. It must have taken some doing, but it was very much appreciated.
It was totally and completely a team effort. We carried the luck when it was necessary, but they had their share of luck, too.
“We have had two tremendous ties watched by over 100,000 people. Maybe most of the sustained football has come from City, but we scored five superb goals against them. They blamed our Maine Road goals on mistakes, but I think they were the ones who received gifts. And where would you see three better goals than we scored tonight?”
Referee Ray Tinkler, best remembered for the controversy which attended his control of the first two games between Sunderland and Leeds United in the Fifth Round six years ago, is to be congratulated on his handling of last night’s tie.
Primed, no doubt by the incidents in the first meeting at Maine Road, he was obviously determined not to allow a repetition last night.
The first serious foul of the game came in the sixth minute, when Doyle upended Hughes and he was promptly booked. City heeded the warning thereafter.
City were rocked for the first time in 15 minutes, when a flowing move on Sunderland’s left split their defence wide open. The ball moved from Porterfield, Guthrie, Hughes and Porterfield again before Kerr stabbed in square to Halom on the right and a right-foot drive by the Sunderland leader whipped across Corrigan just inside the far post to rebound into goal.
Three minutes later City were in trouble again when Malone hit a long free-kick to the far post, where Watson beat Booth in the air to head down. Halom stepped in to hit another fierce drive, which had Corrigan diving along his line to make a fine save.
City were in with a chance in 18 minutes, when Marsh found Lee with a through pass and, with Pitt challenging on the inside Lee sent his left foot drive well wide.
A brief spell of City pressure followed, with Montgomery making a fine save from Bell and then fisting behind from a long throw by Doyle. This was followed by an overhead kick by Marsh which appeared to graze the bar before being pushed away by Montgomery.
Then in the 26th minute Sunderland were back again for their second goal. A long throw by Kerr was booted out of play at the same spot. He made his second throw a short one to Hughes, who controlled the ball through a challenge by Donachie before hammering in a right foot drive which left Corrigan helpless.
Towers shot narrowly wide after a good break by Doyle and then Montgomery managed to cover a powerful close range shot from Marsh, the ball swinging away wide, after striking the goalkeeper’s legs.
Just before the break, another fine run by Hughes created another tight situation for City and they were relieved when a snapshot by Horswill swerved off the target.
Sunderland opened up the second half with two great breaks by Hughes. First he stormed through on the right and after he had been checked in cutting in towards the near post, Horswill dashed up to shoot into the side-netting. Then Hughes was away again on the left to slam the ball across into the middle, where it beat Corrigan and went out of play outside the far post.
But City were beginning to boom and they claimed their reward in the 53rd minute, when Doyle received a return pass from tower and cross the ball from the left. Bell won in the air and headed down for Lee to beat Montgomery from close range. Bell went close again on the right from a pass by Towers and then came another scare for City when Kerr took a free kick 40 yards out and Hughes’s backward headed caught Corrigan in no man’s land. It looked all over a goal, but it went outside.
Mellor, Bell, and Marsh all went desperately close as City slick machine, powered by Doyle and Bell, began to click in the style expected of them and Sunderland fans wondered whether the big take-over was on its way
Towers shot over from a good position and Montgomery turned away a strong shot by Lee.
Sunderland desperately needed another goal and to everyone’s delight it came in the 78th minute from another flowing move.
Porterfield won the ball in midfield and pushed it forward to Malone. Another through ball was played on by Halom, for Tueart to hit a fierce drive from the right. Corrigan could only parry his shot and Hughes won the race, with Kerr at the far post to slide it home.
In the 80th minute Donachie was booked for dissent and three minutes later Marsh was booked for a foul on Horswill.
City did not give up the fight, but the game was well and truly won and every Sunderland player knew it.
On a night when Sunderland players gave everything, none would deny Hughes’s star rating for a display which outstripped anything he has produced before.
The tireless work of Tueart, Kerr, Halom, Porterfield and Horswill kept Sunderland’s attacking game going well, while the strong, determined play of Watson and Pitt bottled up the centre of the Sunderland defence. Malone reached peak form with a great defensive display, while Guthrie’s bold and fearless play earned him the greatest respect.
Montgomery made several magnificent saves in a game which brought the best out of him.
Sunderland: Montgomery, Malone, Guthrie, Horswill, Watson, Pitt, Kerr, Hughes, Halom, Porterfield and Tueart.
Manchester City: Corrigan, Book, Donachie, Doyle, Booth, Jeffries, Mellor, Bell, Marsh, Lee and Tower.
Referee, Mr R Tinkler of Boston. Attendance 51,782; receipts, £26,048.
Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on February 28 1973.