SUNDERLAND will be relying upon an unchanged side to meet the challenge of promotion pace-makers Sheffield Wednesday at Roker Park on Saturday afternoon.
The team which won wide acclaim for a polished performance in beating Millwall at The Den last week, certainly earned the right to continue.
Although Bobby Kerr had to receive treatment for an injury received when the ball was blocked at his feet as he tried to convert a close-in change, there was never any real doubt about his availability for Saturday.
The no-change decision means that Jackie Ashurst, the 17-year-old Scot, who has been delighting youth and Reserve team crowds for two seasons will be making his home debut at No. 5 in place of Richie Pitt. And if he can make it a repeat of his performance against Millwall then the Roker crowd will be well pleased with him.
The team will be:
Montgomery, Malone and Coleman, Horswill, Ashurst and Porterfield, McGiven, Kerr, Watson, Lathan and Tueart. Substitute: Hughes.
Wednesday, 2–1 winners over Portsmouth last week, could be without their Scottish international outside right Willie Henderson, whom they signed from Rangers during the close season. Henderson went off with an ankle injury in 20 minutes and there is still considerable doubt whether he will be clear of the injury in time.
There are few Second Division sides with as many experienced players in their ranks and Wednesday, an indifferent side in the first half of last season, have now emerged as live candidates for promotion.
Eight of the first team pool were recruited at considerable cost, the list including Grummitt (Nottingham Forest), Rodrigues (Leicester City), Clements (Coventry), Holsgrove (Wolves), Craig (Aberdeen), Joicey (Coventry), Sissons (West Ham) and Henderson (Rangers) of course, they also have a former player, Peter Eustace, on a three-month loan agreement from West Ham, to whom they transferred him for £90,000 three years ago.
Sunderland will certainly be tested to meet the challenge of this side.
Wednesday’s probable line-up is: Grummitt, Rodrigues and Clements, Swan, Holsgrove and Craig, Henderson (or Sunley), Eustace, Joicey, Prendergast, Sissons.
Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on September 14 1972.