Argus Talking Sport: Sunderland changes in defence to meet goal-happy Rangers

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HAVING conceded seven goals in their last two games, Sunderland can expect more trouble when they visit top-scoring side in the Second Division, Queen’s Park Rangers, at Ellerslie Road on Saturday.

By their win at Fulham on Tuesday night, Rangers moved into second position behind Burnley and are now at short odds to accompany the Turf Moor club back to the First Division.

They have the best goal ratio in the section and have averaged slightly better than 3-1 in their six home games so far.

An indication of how well they are equipped to support their drive for promotion lies in the fact that it has taken them only 48 hours to fill the gap created by the loss of 19-year-old Martin Busby with a broken leg on Tuesday night. Today they announced they had beaten powerful rivals for the signature of Burnleys Under-23 international winger Dave Thomas, for whom they have agreed a fee of £165,000.

The registration will presumably go through in time for Thomas to make his debut with them against Sunderland the appearances of the star quality players will certainly add to Sunderland’s problems.

Compared with the side which went down by 5-1 at Oxford and by 2-0 to Luton Town at Roker Park last week, Sunderland made two changes and they are both in defence. Richie Pitt, who was replaced by Jackie Ashurst after holding the centre half spot for all but one of the previous 46 games, is recalled at No. 5, while Joe Bolton, injured in the second game of the season, against Orient, takes over at No. 3 from Keith Coleman.

The side named, with the exception of Billy Hughes for Mick McGiven, has been on duty in only one other game this season and that was for the 1-0 win over Orient, when a late goal by Dennis Tueart rescued them from what seemed certain to be a goal-less draw.

The line-up is: Montgomery, Malone, Bolton, Horswill, Pitt, Porterfield, Hughes, Kerr, Watson, Lathan, Tueart

Jimmy Hamilton, Jackie Ashurst and Keith Coleman will all travel in the team party and the choice of substitute will be made shortly before the game.

Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on October 19 1972.