THE big talking-point among the contingent of Sunderland supporters who travelled to Brunton Park for this afternoon’s game against Carlisle United was the first appearance at centre half of Dave Watson, who has filled the centre forward position since his transfer from Rotherham United two years ago. His take-over fro, Richie Pitt was expected to tighten up in defence and a great deal of benefit was expected from this.
The only other change from the side which was held to a draw by Aston Villa last week was the recall of Jimmy Hamilton at No. 9 to replace Watson.
Carlisle’s good news was that Chris Balderstone, who had missed two days’ training through a virus infection, was able to hold his place.
Dennis Martin, who substituted for Ken Wilson when he was injured at Blackpool last week, continued in the starting line-up.
There were about 8,000 present when Kerr won the toss for Sunderland and decided to take advantage of the wind.
Balderstone soon had United moving, but they made little progress and Porterfield quickly had Sunderland in action with Hamilton joining in until Winstanley intervened.
Horswill and then Watson ran into difficulties on the rain-soaked surface, but when United came back again a firm tackle by Watson stopped Owen in his tracks.
Sunderland were in with a chance when Chambers picked up a clearance and sent Hughes away on the right. Hughes held off Gorman before making his centre and United had to cover up quickly in the middle with Hamilton challenging.
United produced the first shot at goal after a long centre by Derrett had been cleared. Space was made for Train, whose right-foot drive travelled wide.
A long run by Malone ended when his progress was halted by a massed defence on the edge of the penalty area.
Then United broke away to take the lead with a fine goal in nine minutes. A brilliantly-judged pass through the defence by Balderstone sent OWEN clear with only Montgomery to beat, and his well-placed drive gave the goalkeeper no chance.
Sunderland could have been level within a minute from a pass by Chambers which was driven narrowly wide by Kerr. But another scare for Sunderland followed quickly with Montgomery using his feet to push out for a drive by Train from the foot of the post.
There were free kicks from Sunderland when Hughes and then Tueart were pulled down just outside the angles of the penalty area. Neither was put to advantage, however, and the 15th minute United went further ahead.
Train set up the move with a pass to Owen who pushed the ball through for MARTIN to go in and beat Montgomery with a powerful angled drive.
Tiler was lectured for a foul on Hughes six yards outside the penalty area. When the free-kick was taken the ball was pushed square for Tueart to hit a right-foot shot which just cleared the post.
Further determined efforts by Malone failed to make progress and the Sunderland attack generally was unable to make any real impression on a sound United defence.
United had command in mid-field too, which kept Sunderland struggling to make the best use of the possession they were able to claim.
Another free-kick, this time when Derrett pushed Hughes, brought Watson up into the penalty area, but Porterfield’s kick did not carry further than the front of the goal, where United gained relief with a free-kick for a foul on Clarke.
Watson won heading duels against Laidlaw and then Owen to throw back attacks but Carlisle were on the move again when Balderstone won the ball against Malone on the wing and from his centre Train shot over.
Carlisle stayed well on top and they were near to another goal when Derrett moved through smoothly on the right before sending the ball into the middle, where it was touched on for Laidlaw to stride into an open position and send a fierce drive into the side netting.
Sunderland pulled one goal back in 37 minutes when Kerr was fouled by Derrett at the edge of the penalty area. The kick was teed up for PORTERFIELD, whose drive was deflected to the barrier and out of Clark’s reach. The encouragement of that goal did not last long, however, for in the next minute GORMAN started a storming run from midfield and was able to go right through to the edge of the penalty area before hammering in a shot which Montgomery never looked like reaching.
There was more fire in Sunderland’s effort in the early minutes of the second half, with Hughes showing up well on the right and then Hamilton heading over from a Hughes centre. In the 55th minute Ternent was booked for a foul on Chambers. Tueart took up good position to receive from Porterfield but his cross was intercepted by Derrett.
Shortly after play was resumed Montgomery had to make his best save of the game so far, diving to his left to palm away a fierce drive by Balderstone.
Sunderland had a clear claim for a penalty when Hughes was brought down well inside the area after a great break on the right, but all they got out of it was a corner-kick. The referee balanced accounts shortly afterwards when waving aside Carlisle’s appeal after Owen has been brought down by Malone at the edge of the penalty area.
Sunderland pushed up to gain a corner on the left, and though Clarke dropped Kerr’s kick neither Porterfield nor Hamilton could get in quickly enough before the goalkeeper brought the ball under control again.
Montgomery dived out brilliantly to gather a Balderstone centre with Owen challenging and then a slip by Malone presented Balderstone with the chance of a long-range shot which went wide.
In the 72nd minute Hamilton was taken out of the game and replaced by Lathan.
Tueart and then Hughes forced corners from the second of these and Sunderland claimed a second goal in the 76th minute, Porterfield took the kick on the right and made it an inswinger, which Clarke was unable to hold and LATHAN was on the spot to tap it home from close range.
But this time it was Lathan’s persistence which opened up the chance. He harassed Gorman wide on the right and when the full back slipped he stepped in to cross the ball into the middle where PORTERFIELD managed the all-important touch to drive it home.
Kerr had a shot blocked when Sunderland stormed to the attack again but eventually Carlisle moved out and Montgomery had to concede a corner in going up to turn a long shot over the bar.
From Balderstone’s kick Owen got in a header which was blocked and the ball rebounded to TERNENT at the far post and his header put United back into the lead in 83 minutes.
CARLISLE: Clarke, Derrett, Gorman, Tiller, Winstanley, Ternent, Train, Martin, Owen, Balderstone, Laidlaw. Sub: O’Neill
SUNDERLAND: Montgomery, Malone, Coleman, Horswill, Watson, Porterfield, Kerr, Hughes, Hamilton, Chambers, Tueart. Sub: Lathan
Referee: Mr A E Morrisey of Bramhall, Cheshire
HOW THE GOALS CAME
AFTER suffering badly in a first half dominated entirely by United, Sunderland fought back well enough to encourage the belief that they were going to get a point out of it. But over the 90 minutes it was United who deserved the reward of a hard-earned victory. They had the power which Sunderland lacked in most departments and particularly in defence where they were unable to contain the Sunderland attack most of the time.
Story taken from the Football Echo on November 11 1972.