DAVE WATSON, who missed Saturday’s visit to Queens Park Rangers through a virus infection but is now back in training, will be given a work-out with Sunderland Reserves tomorrow night, when they entertain Scunthorpe United Reserves in a North Midlands League game.
Competitive play, even at reserve team level, is probably a better sharpening-up medium than anything else and Watson will welcome the opportunity to wind himself up for Saturday’s home game against Fulham.
Better still if he can enjoy the sensation of banging in a few goals as a prelude to opening his season’s account in Second Division football. In his last game ten days ago against Luton Town, he was desperately unlucky not to finish with two or three goals to his credit and a pipe-opener with the Reserves could be just the tonic he needs.
Billy Hughes, who also had to miss the Q.P.R. trip, is fit again and takes up the right wing task against Scunthorpe, while John Tones, who has been nursing a bruised foot, comes back at No. 5.
Bobby Park has already demonstrated that a lay-off of over 12 months with a broken leg has not weakened his command of skill. Only competitive play can complete the toughening-up process which will present him as ready to take up his first team place again. Tomorrow night he will be having his fifth outing with the Reserves and if he can manage to show the same measure of improvement as he has done in his previous games then he can perhaps begin to count the weeks to the start of his come-back at top team level.
The line-up will be: Forster, Coleman and Hepworth, Ashurst, Tones and Park, Hughes, Chambers, Watson, Shannon and Kent.
Substitutes: Henderson K., res., Robson.
Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on October 24 1972.