THREE success defeats have driven Sunderland down into the lower half of the Second Division table and must have sharpened their resolve to resume winning form in their game against Fulham – one of the clubs who have overtaken them – at Roker on Saturday afternoon.
They were near to springing the surprise of their day on their visit to the Second Division’s team of the season, Queen’s Park Rangers, last week and Manager Alan Brown makes only one change by recalling Dave Watson, who missed that game though a virus infection.
The goal-front jinx which has been with Watson since the start of the season followed him into his work-out with the Reserves in their North Midlands League win over Scunthorpe United Reserves last night. Several brilliant saves by the Scunthorpe goal-keeper kept Watson waiting for his first goal of the season, but he moved well enough to indicate that he is in good trim.
If the team game reaches up to the high standard achieved at Loftus Road last week, Watson will surely not lack opportunity to end his lean spell and recapture the scoring form which enabled him to make such a big contribution last season.
Mick McGiven, a last-minute replacement for Billy Hughes at No. 7 retains his place on the strength of a fine display which marked a return to peak form, while Jimmy Hamilton, who stood in for Watson last week, is named as substitute.
The line up will be: Montgomery, Malone and Bolton, Horswill, Pitt and Porterfield, McGiven, Kerr, Watson, Lathan and Tueart. Substitute: Hamilton. Reserve, Hughes.
Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on October 26 1972.